Getting back into the school year, I find that I’m a little overwhelmed by school music. Mostly choosing for my ensembles. I feel like there is so much GOOD music, and so many choices, that I have no idea where to start. I think sometimes that teaching lower grades is easier because I have repetition from year to year, where ensembles have to start with whole new music. Although I could argue the opposite a half hour later. Being someone who teaches everything from 3 year old preschool to 8th grade band and choir, I sometimes find that the day to day of planning, and maintaining all those classes can be extremely time consuming. Thankfully, I have a decent amount of time to plan during the day!
While sitting down to chose my music, I found that listening to some good music helped me make choices.
So I present for you 3 things to listen to for your motivation. Maybe you can even use one of them if you have an advanced ensemble! I picked three favorites, so I hope you’ll love them too!
Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Overture by Michael Kamen
In college, my marching band played this as the opener on one of our big shows. Three notes into the opening fanfare, and I’m back in my college town on a cool crisp fall day with my saxophone, marching across the field. I still listen to this when I need to get pumped up, and if you don’t love the horns in this piece, we can’t be friends anymore. (Just kidding!)
The Awakening by Joseph M. Martin
This is a gorgeous song I actually sang in college but forgot about until I rediscovered it last year during the choir of my Kodaly level 1 class. It’s a gorgeous piece about the power of music.
So I Sang by Darius Rucker
This is not something you can do with your kids. It’s not ever going to be a band, orchestra or choir arrangement. But it speaks so much to the power of music. He tells a story of his life in the songs that were important to him. This one is my reminder that no matter what things we face as teachers, when we teach music, we are giving kids the emotional language they may need. You never know what kid needs you. You never know what thing you say sticks with a child that needs it. You never know what kid that may be your scowling mischief maker is really hanging on every word you say.
Happy 2016-2017 school year to you. Go make a difference.