3 Engaging Black History Month Books for Kids

3 Engaging Black History Month Books for Kids

I’ve said it before and I’m very much a person who makes sure that I cover different cultural groups all year and not just in ‘the’ month that is set aside. But I still think it’s important to cover them in that month.  February is Black History Month. Here are 3 engaging Black History Month ...
An Engaging Lesson for Black History Month

An Engaging Lesson for Black History Month

An Engaging lesson for Black History Month doesn’t have to be about struggles. I recently saw a Facebook post where a Black educator was asking people to NOT focus only on the struggles, but also joyful things. A lesson I’ve done often with my 5th graders not only can bring about a discussion about inequality ...
Decluttering Your Tech Life

Decluttering Your Tech Life

In an attempt to get back our time, some of us declutter. We attack our closets, our pantries, the junk drawer, piles of things we no longer use in the house (or the the things of people that live with us!) I clean things out pretty regularly, but I am a digital hoarder. Photos, files, ...
Boundaries

Boundaries

bound·​ary | \ ˈbau̇n-d(ə-)rē  \plural boundaries1. something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent I checked my teacher dictionary and I didn’t see that word. Just kidding, but it’s sort of true, and in the age of quarantine, distance learning, hybrid and other things we’ve adapted this year, the questionable boundaries we had for our teaching lives and personal lives ...
Music Teacher Resolutions

Music Teacher Resolutions

Happy New Year friends!Even though I’m not a big fan of the mind set that January 1st is the day to change your life, I felt like this year needed some serious closure. So I’ve come up with some Music Teacher Resolutions to take us in to 2021.. Say no. Leave it at school, don’t ...
December in the Music Class: Resource Roundup

December in the Music Class: Resource Roundup

We’re almost there. December in the music class is always crazy, and this year it’s even more insane. I don’t want you to drown, so I thought back on experience teaching and asked around to come up with these 5 ways to make it through December in your music class. Find awesome resources Play some ...
Books for the Music Class

Books for the Music Class

I’m a huge fan of using books in the music class. In current times, it’s even more of an activity so many of us are leaning on because we can do it without sharing or singing. I am always keeping track of different lists of books or pictures that I see and I never have ...
A Complete Guide To Music Class Listening Lessons

A Complete Guide To Music Class Listening Lessons

Do you want to provide more chances for your students to listen to great music? I love doing listening activities with my students, but I know there are a lot of people who don’t have the time to create their own new ones. I get it; we’re all short on time. This is why I ...
Quality Music Education Resources for Native American Heritage Month

Quality Music Education Resources for Native American Heritage Month

The month of November is Native American Heritage Month. It’s so important to make sure that what we share with students is authentic, appropriate and open to non-tribal members. There are some great resources out there to help those of us who are not indigenous navigate teaching our students, but you may not know them ...
Easy Performance Ideas For Teaching Music Without Singing

Easy Performance Ideas For Teaching Music Without Singing

So now that we are looking at our first performance season, I’ve been seeing so many people looking for performance ideas for general music. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and have been putting together a list of ideas that involve teaching music without singing and performing as well.  When performing or teaching music ...
We Hate This: Ways To Connect With Your Students Online

We Hate This: Ways To Connect With Your Students Online

We hate being stuck in a digital environment. We hate creating music without singing, dancing playing the way we love to. But we can still engage our students and connect with them. We all know that teaching virtually is not something that humans are meant to do. We are not meant to stare at the ...
3 Engaging Hispanic Heritage Month Books For Kids

3 Engaging Hispanic Heritage Month Books For Kids

I’m very much a person who makes sure that I cover different cultural groups all year and not just in ‘the’ month that is set aside. But I still think it’s important to cover them in that month.  September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. Here are 3 engaging Hispanic Heritage ...
6 Best Lessons for COVID Teaching

6 Best Lessons for COVID Teaching

Teaching in a restricted environment is no fun at all. I get it.  This is why I think it’s important to have awesome lessons that don’t even feel like the students are missing out on anything.  I wrote these 6 lessons for COVID teaching to help you out.  Restrictions in music class are no fun, but with ...
5+ Awesome Movement Ideas for COVID Teaching

5+ Awesome Movement Ideas for COVID Teaching

So the idea of teaching movement right now seems so bizarre. We can’t touch each other or get close so what are the things we can adapt? Here’s a huge list of movement ideas for COVID teaching whether your kids are at home or in person but socially distanced. Folk Dancing I know. What? There ...
Tips for Virtual Teaching: A Guest Post from Vicky Suárez

Tips for Virtual Teaching: A Guest Post from Vicky Suárez

This week I thought I’d feature someone who’s been doing lots of videos that even other teachers are using. My friend Vicky is a music teacher who posts videos that other people can use or watch for ideas. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at the OAKE National Conference in March a ...
EZ Notes Music Review for Teaching Music on a Cart

EZ Notes Music Review for Teaching Music on a Cart

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new ways to engage your students in music learning. But I understand how hard this is on a cart. Rather than give up (something I know you awesome teachers never do!), I’m always on the lookout for resources that may be perfect for teaching a la cart. ...
What’s So Fetch About Solfege? Part 3 Of 3 

What’s So Fetch About Solfege? Part 3 Of 3 

This 3-part post was drawn from my presentation for the Michigan Kodaly Educators in September of 2019. Missed Part 1 on common solfege questions and older beginners? Part 2 talks about prepare-present-practice and solfege terms for kids.  If all you took in your undergrad was a single elementary music class, you may feel confident in ...
Let’s Zoom Sing: A Guide for Singing Online with Kids

Let’s Zoom Sing: A Guide for Singing Online with Kids

So…if you are online this year, there are some BIG questions. (Or in person, or both…but let’s tackle one thing at a time). We didn’t sign up to teach this way, but here were are. How can you sing in a digital environment with issues like lag, not being able to see everyone, etc.? We ...
The Giant List Of Music Class Procedures (To Make Your Life Easy!)

The Giant List Of Music Class Procedures (To Make Your Life Easy!)

I’m often asked by new and experienced teachers about what they can do to start the year right. One answer comes to mind that can make or break your year: music class procedures.  Never underestimate how critical this is. I don’t trust myself to just remember everything, so I have this comprehensive list to help me ...
17 Ways to Do to Vocal Explorations

17 Ways to Do to Vocal Explorations

  Vocal Explorations are one of the best ways that we can help kids find their singing voice. But kids can get tired of the same old, same old…so I thought I’d go over some the best ways to keep it fresh! (Some affiliate links – won’t change your price. No pressure!) 1. Traditional You ...
Back to School To Do List

Back to School To Do List

Back to School is stressful no matter what. It’s always great to have a good idea of what things you need to do at the beginning of the year. Here’s my to-do list! 1. Meet the Parents Info It’s easy as a non-classroom teacher to get overlooked, so be proactive. Put together something with the ...
Back To School In The Time Of COVID

Back To School In The Time Of COVID

Prepping for Back To School seems to be every teacher’s favorite time. New music, new decor, new pencils, new possibilities. But… This year is so different! New stresses, concerns, budget issues across the board. How do we even prep for this? I’ve thought about your struggles (and mine too) and decided to write these ideas ...
What’s On My Cart Tour

What’s On My Cart Tour

So clearly I’ve spent time teaching from a cart. Since my Hacks for Teaching Music on a Cart post, the number one thing people have been asking for is a tour of my cart. So here we go! THE cart. I have a flip up tray addition on the left side, the paper towel holder ...
Can’t Do That….Now What? Adapting Music Learning For COVID

Can’t Do That….Now What? Adapting Music Learning For COVID

With the growing list of things we think we might not be able to do, we are looking at not being able to do a lot of the things that are a big part of what we love about teaching general music. You may want to give up (I know there’s a part of me ...
Powerful Tips for New Music Teachers

Powerful Tips for New Music Teachers

CONGRATS!! You got your first job!! Whether it’s a pandemic or not, your first year is tough, but I can help! Here are some of the best tips for new music teachers I have for you. Powerful Tips For New Music Teachers As we dive in, I’ve separated the tips into different categories. If you ...
How To Run A Music Class With No Budget

How To Run A Music Class With No Budget

I LOVE teaching with no budget. Not. You heard that right…zip zero zilch. We’re all there or close to there. Concert music has always been covered…when I was buying stuff for it and not just making stuff up. And this has been the case for the majority of the places where I have taught. No ...
Beginning Instrumentalists in the time of COVID

Beginning Instrumentalists in the time of COVID

Tips that work for Recorder, Band and Orchestra Classes There is nothing like kids right when they get their instruments. One of my FAVORITE parts of being a music teacher is that first few weeks when they can’t make a nice sound but they are SO gosh-darn excited. Heard up: I’m not about to talk ...
June 2020 Favs

June 2020 Favs

Happy Official Summer!! I thought this would be a great time to share three things that I’m currently learning from, using and loving. (Full disclosure: Some affiliate links) 1. This Facebook Group With the current state of things, if you haven’t taken a look at literature you use for your kids, you really should. I ...
Easy Hacks for Teaching Music on a Cart

Easy Hacks for Teaching Music on a Cart

Teaching music on a cart can be difficult. Learn my best tips from years of experience. ...
Curate Your (Digital) Classroom

Curate Your (Digital) Classroom

  So now that you’ve explored Digital Classrooms — what do you do with them? If you are just getting started, check out this post. We all know that people are pushing back from long hours, lots of extra work, etc., so you don’t want to just add to the noise. Even as the school ...
Easy And Fun Digital Rooms for Distance Learning

Easy And Fun Digital Rooms for Distance Learning

So the current rage in teacher groups is the digital classroom, digital library, etc. You make a Google Slide presentation, add an empty room background, and then add clip art, book covers, bitmojis and more to your room that when finished, can be shared with your students for them to interact with. All you have ...
Distance Learning

Distance Learning

So…none of us like this, none of us are happy, but here we are. I’ve compiled a huge list and I will update as I find more. Some of this is my normal emergency sub plans, some is recent findings. I will also link to some things that I have either made free or discounted ...
What’s So Fetch About Solfege? Part 2 Of 3

What’s So Fetch About Solfege? Part 2 Of 3

This 3-part post was drawn from my presentation for the Michigan Kodaly Educators in September of 2019.  Read Part 1 if you missed it.  Solfege is one of the giant’s in the music word having been around since Guido of Arezzo invented in the 11th century, but is it still relevant and useful today?  You ...
5 Simple Ways To Recharge From Elementary Music Teacher Burnout

5 Simple Ways To Recharge From Elementary Music Teacher Burnout

Hey friends, I hope your 2020 is off to a great start! I am super excited for this guest post from my friend, AMAZING teacher, and frequent partner in presenting crime, Zach. He’s one of the teachers I frequently lean on for advice, and he’s recently started his own blog. He’s picked a topic near ...
What’s So Fetch About Solfege? Part 1

What’s So Fetch About Solfege? Part 1

This 3-part post was drawn from my presentation for the Michigan Kodaly Educators in September of 2019.    Solfege…even the most quiet whisper of the word is enough to awaken our PTSD from undergrad and sight singing and ear training. All kinds of music teachers use it, but what’s so fetch about solfege?  In this ...
How To Use Music Manipulatives The Right Way!

How To Use Music Manipulatives The Right Way!

You often see a lot of manipulatives out there for the music room, but it can be tricky to know how to use them in your classroom.  And a lot of people end up giving up on them because they go about it the wrong way. In this post, we’re going to look at how to ...
How to End the Year in the Kodaly Classroom

How to End the Year in the Kodaly Classroom

If you’re like me, you’ve spent the whole year structuring your teaching so that your students are maximizing their fun and learning potential. But as the year draws to a close, the energy dips and our eyes start to turn toward glorious summer. You start to wonder about how to end the year in the ...
Five Great Songs for Upper Elementary

Five Great Songs for Upper Elementary

Upper elementary students can be some of the toughest audiences. They’re too cool for you, don’t like sticking out, and are definitely NOT singing at an audible volume for you (*cue intense side-eye*). Maybe you’re like me and abide by the rule that they have to be singing in order to play the game. “And ...
6 Simple But Effective Teacher Hacks for Going Back in January

6 Simple But Effective Teacher Hacks for Going Back in January

,   Going back in January is always jolting for me. We run around like crazy in December, hit Christmas break, and try desperately to get everything done before the holiday is over. By the time I get through family Christmases, my birthday, New Years, and trying to relax, I get to the last day ...
The Elementary Music Teacher’s Guide to Surviving December

The Elementary Music Teacher’s Guide to Surviving December

Brace yourselves… Every teacher knows that December is one long stretch of craziness before a long break. Classroom teachers are trying to finish units before breaks, cram in parties, events, concerts, and whatever else under the sun they possibly can before that last day in December before break. So what is a music teacher to ...
Everyday Tools for All Music Teachers

Everyday Tools for All Music Teachers

Every great craftsman and artist have tools they use all of the time. It’s the same for music teachers. In this post, I found some of the best and most effective everyday tools for all music teachers. These aren’t just for elementary teachers but work really well for those of you with older kids too. ...
Using Instruments with Preschool and Kindergarten

Using Instruments with Preschool and Kindergarten

Using instruments with preschool and kindergarten music class is one of the most exciting things for kids, but looking for stuff to do with your youngest kids can be difficult because those instruments are expensive. You need to instruct them on how to hold, use, and treat them properly because replacing them can be a ...
Music Room Tour: Vintage Record Store

Music Room Tour: Vintage Record Store

Last year, I found out I was getting a new room. (!!!!AHHHH!!!!!). I’ve never had my own classroom before. I even got to preview it during construction! (I may have died lol.) I’ve been so insanely excited, and I’ve only been decorating in my brain for over a year. I couldn’t wait to have a ...
Book Fair Finds

Book Fair Finds

One of the kids’ favorite events (and teachers too!) is the book fair! I always pick up a few books when it’s here, but this time I was super excited to see a bunch of different books for my younger students! Check out my favorite book fair finds for the music classroom! Here’s what I ...
Teaching Melodic Composition with Solfege

Teaching Melodic Composition with Solfege

Sometimes I think teaching composition is really easy, and then I try to teach my kids to compose melodically.  The first time I did it, I didn’t give strong enough parameters, and the kids came up with everything under the sun, which was GREAT, except they couldn’t write it. And that’s a big No-No in ...
No More Belt Tests! Why I Changed My Recorder Curriculum

No More Belt Tests! Why I Changed My Recorder Curriculum

A few years ago, I was feeling SUPER frustrated with my recorder curriculum. I didn’t see the retention I wanted, left hands were everywhere but on top even with reminders, students memorizing and forgetting, and memorizing those songs for belt tests… WHY? “Belt” Resource issues: Kids focused on the prize but didn’t retain note names.  Music was ...
5 Tips for Back to School

5 Tips for Back to School

That time is almost upon us (I know..!) This year is going to be a Here are my 5 top tips for Back to School!  Start off on the right foot and get ready!  Click here to check out a quick video of this post on my Facebook page. As you ran out in June, ...
The Battle of Blank Stares – You aren’t a kids’ show! 

The Battle of Blank Stares – You aren’t a kids’ show! 

5 Great Tips to combat students who just stare at you. ...
Diary of a Kodály Aspiring Newbie

Diary of a Kodály Aspiring Newbie

I’ve taught with a Kodály influence for a couple of years.  I think my style was Kodály meets Feierabend meets Stouffer. My student teaching experiences were 5th grade and older. So my first year out of school, when I was thrown into a classroom as a maternity sub for a full year, in an Orff ...
Getting To Know You Blog Hop

Getting To Know You Blog Hop

Several music teacher blogger friends and I have joined together for a blog hop. We’ve teamed together in order to collaborate as bloggers and bring you music education ideas using a variety of methodologies and approaches. However, before diving into music education topics, we thought it would be fun to organize a blog hop! Before ...
Plan With Me Sundays

Plan With Me Sundays

So I grabbed myself a cover, a portable punch, a set of disks, and printed pages from the planner I use by the 3am teacher, found here. The pages I plan on using are month by month dividers, income and expense pages for my store, note pages, goal pages, and the calendar page. The joy of ...
5 Favorite Music Freebies! 

5 Favorite Music Freebies! 

Today I’m linking up with Jen from Noteworthy By Jen to bring you my Five Favorite Freebies!  1. First up, are these super cool rhythm practice cards from Ginny at Ginny’s Music Space.   These are adorable and just plain old fun.  My kids really enjoyed them, and they are bright and colorful. 🙂 2. Next, ...
Teacher Appreciation Week – Why I Teach Music – Part 4

Teacher Appreciation Week – Why I Teach Music – Part 4

I meant to write this post in March for Music In Our Schools Month, but couldn’t bring myself to finish it, as it’s an emotional topic, and I cried a couple of times writing this post.  The teacher who was most influential in my life passed away before I knew I was going to be ...
Songs for a diverse age classes from of YouTube!

Songs for a diverse age classes from of YouTube!

First, let me say if you haven’t used YouTube for things besides watching videos of cats, and old television clips, you are sorely missing out! (Although I do love bloopers…!)  YouTube has become a place for educational sharing.  For me, this is one of the places I reach out when I need an idea. I ...
5 Favorite Pins of February

5 Favorite Pins of February

Today I’m linking up with fellow CMU alum Aileen Miracle over at Mrs. Miracle’s Room.  I will be sharing my 5 favorite pins. 1. Folk Dancing – This website has a large list (about 100!) of different folk dances, including some multicultural dances!  2. Speed Limit Game – This is a really fun way to talk ...
February Survival Guide

February Survival Guide

In February, the winter blues start to hit.  We’re stuck inside more often, and the kids get really a bit more rowdy. We all suffer from the lack of fresh air. 1. Play Parties. I had never heard of them until last weekend at MMC with Jill Trinka, even though I’ve done several of the ...
Rockin Resources Linky Party

Rockin Resources Linky Party

I’m so excited for the TpT sale tomorrow! I have SO much in my cart! I wanted to tell you about a few of the items I’m excited for! First, I’m going to tell you about my big release.  I wrote an entire recorder method book.   I teach band and choir as well as ...
Five Favorite Pins

Five Favorite Pins

1. KnowYourCopyrights.org This one I pinned a few days ago, but as a Teacher-Seller, I thought it useful. As a classroom educator, and music educator, I found it AMAZING. It is the least attractive pin I have seen in FOREVER, but it uses attainable language, and lays things out in a way that makes sense. ...
A few sub-tub ideas!

A few sub-tub ideas!

I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’m starting to feel the tug of a stretched out immune system and fall weather! I hope these are some things you can add to your sub tub!! For your younger students who desperately want to write music, this is a fun practice activity.  They draw ...
My Big Beef

My Big Beef

Last year, while teaching my students the state song, “Michigan, My Michigan”, the song I learned growing up, I discovered this is a lie.  In prepping my lesson, I found that this is not the true state song.  So the following class time, while telling them about this discovery, I instead had to tell my ...
I'm busy music teacher located near Metro Detroit, MI. I help busy music teachers who want highly engaging materials for student led learning so they can take time for themselves.

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