Utilize E-Portfolios to Improve Equity in Student Assessment

In the face of societal shifts and the COVID-19 pandemic, music teachers have realized the need to address issues surrounding access, equity and inclusion more intentionally in music education.

Continue reading
  79 Hits
79 Hits

Prolong the Life of Your Instruments with Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

After students, instruments are the most valuable asset in teaching instrumental music. I teach at Lexington Junior High in California, and every day I trust adolescents with these expensive and fragile items with very little supervision.

Continue reading
  455 Hits
455 Hits

Introverts: Surviving as a Quieter Music Educator

I think of extroverts and introverts in terms of batteries. True extroverts recharge their energy reserve — their batteries — by interacting with other people. They thrive in the spotlight, on meeting new people, on social engagement.

Continue reading
  98 Hits
98 Hits

Daily Diet of Fundamentals

A musician’s daily diet or daily drill provides all the necessary basics for performing on an instrument successfully. While it’s not a perfect formula, at Claudia Taylor Johnson High School, we stick to our daily drill in the same way that we brush our teeth or get dressed for school each day — we make it a part of our routine.

Continue reading
  367 Hits
367 Hits

COVID Protocols I Plan to Keep in my Elementary Music Room

Knock on wood — COVID protocols are being rolled back even more as we prepare for the 2023-2024 school year. Although masks are becoming optional, there are some COVID safety rules that I plan to maintain in my music classroom at Robert and Sandy Ellis Elementary School because they create a stronger learning environment where students are conscious of their germs and surroundings.

Continue reading
  318 Hits
318 Hits

5 Music Apps and Software that You Should Check Out

Musicians know that having the right tools can make all the difference when learning a new concept or practicing your instrument. Whether you're just starting out or you're a seasoned pro, there's no denying that great music software can help take your skills to the next level.

Continue reading
  636 Hits
636 Hits

Training Plan for Your First Year of Teaching

Congratulations on your new job! Whether you are entering your first year of teaching or first year in a new position, it is an exciting time in your life. Just as athletes train and prepare for big events, teachers also need to prepare for our big event known as the first year.

Continue reading
  462 Hits
462 Hits

Your Teacher Identity

I had an identity crisis during my first few years of teaching. I had to wade through the stressors of a new job, getting an ensemble ready for a performance within days of school starting, and trying to balance a personal life. I had an idea of who I wanted to be, but I wasn't exactly sure of who I was at that particular moment.

Continue reading
  509 Hits
509 Hits

Start a Flute Choir

Are you a band director with so many flutes that you often joke that they’re “a dime a dozen”? Starting a flute choir might be the answer to this problem.

Continue reading
  370 Hits
370 Hits

Help Your Students Discover the “Why” in Music

To really tell the story behind every piece of music, students must know the “why” as well as the “how.” A common example is when students play what the music says because it says to do so. When we ask them, “Why are you playing loudly there?” they’ll likely respond, “Because it’s marked forte.”

Continue reading
  851 Hits
851 Hits

Consider Context: Make the Invisible Visible

In her memoir “Becoming,” Michelle Obama writes, “Even if we didn’t know the context, we were instructed to remember that context existed. Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.”

Continue reading
  428 Hits
428 Hits

Reboot and Invest in Yourself and Your Program

Being a music educator is all about investing — investing in yourself, your students and your program. I’ve heard from many teachers that they feel exhausted, overwhelmed and less motivated this school year. And who can blame them? We’ve been through a lot these last two years!

Continue reading
  404 Hits
404 Hits

5 Ways to Use Synthesia

Synthesia is a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) piano software that visually cues students when to play each key with a series of descending squares. Through color coding, students can see which hand plays each key, while the length of the colored square indicates duration.

Continue reading
  5710 Hits
5710 Hits

Apply Music Learning Theory Principles in Your Piano Teaching

The beloved television icon, Mr. Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” (Heidi Moore, “Why Play is the Work of Childhood,” Fred Rogers Center, 2014.)

Continue reading
  935 Hits
935 Hits

5 Experimental Pieces Every Concert Band Should Play

What is experimental music? According to Wikipedia, it is a “general label for any music that pushes existing boundaries and genre definitions. Experimental compositional practice is defined broadly by exploratory sensibilities radically opposed to, and questioning of, institutionalized compositional, performing, and aesthetic conventions in music.”

Continue reading
  1657 Hits
1657 Hits

Observing Score Details

Students often focus on accuracy of pitches and rhythms because they want their playing to sound correct, and achieving this type of precision can provide them with a sense of success.

Continue reading
  562 Hits
562 Hits

The Honor Band Experience

One of the highlights of a middle school or high school musician’s year is being selected for and performing with an honor band or orchestra.

Continue reading
  705 Hits
705 Hits

Teach Student Leaders to Teach

I highly recommend engaging and empowering your student leaders to be instructors for music, marching  or even as peer tutors for other academic subjects. When your student leaders begin to take more ownership of your program, the overall culture and morale will improve.

Continue reading
  563 Hits
563 Hits

Instrument Repairs, Hacks and Fixes

We’ve all encountered this scenario: The baton is up, the group is ready to play, the downbeat almost hits the air, and then a hand goes up. You respond, “Yes?” A student says, “My instrument isn't working.”  

Continue reading
  2903 Hits
2903 Hits

Note-Naming ≠ Music-Reading

“The name of a note is the one thing we do not have to know, and yet some teachers spend more time on this aspect of note reading than any other,” said renowned piano teacher Richard Chronister, as noted in “Creative Piano Teaching” by James Lyke, Geoffrey Haydon and Catherine Rollin, Stipes Publishing, 2011, Pg. 55.)

Continue reading
  601 Hits
601 Hits

Have a question or a suggestion for an article you’d like to see here? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright © 2022 Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy