We know what those are like. The jitters whenever we face anything new. And the first day of school for newbies is ESPECIALLY jittery, even for new teachers. This adorable book by Julie Danneberg and illustrated by Judy Love is about a person named Sarah. Sarah refuses to get up to go to school. Mr. Hartwell tries, but he has a huge time budging her. He tries opening the shade, talking to her calmly, until he has to give her a 5 minute ultimatum. Sarah tries hiding under the covers, begging, whining......and finally drags herself to breakfast.  In the car, she was extremely nervous. She meets the principal and gets scared. The principal, Mrs. Burton, shows her around and finally takes her to the classroom, where she states: "Class, I would like you to meet........your new teacher." via GIPHY At least, we HOPE your kids will be surprised (unless their classroom teacher has already read it to them. ) Even so...... This book lends itself to some cute musical opportunities, eve...
Names. We see 100-1,000 or more kids in music class. Sometimes the kids have music every other day. Sometimes they have music a steady 3 times a week, 2 times, a week.....or a weird block schedule where they will not see you every week. How can you even begin to learn names in a music classroom? But, putting yourself in someone else's shoes: Do you have an unusual name or spell your name in a not-so "common" way?  Raise your hand if you got extremely frustrated when people would mispronounce your name, comment on how "ethnic" it is, or misspell it.   via GIPHY My maiden name is fairly common around the area where I grew up (Missouri "Rhineland") area, but it's not that common in the wider world. It's Whithaus (short "i"). It's a derivative of the original German name of "Witthaus". Anyway, when I went to college, one of the orchestra/strings teachers would insist on calling me "Veethaus". True, that's most...
One of my most favorite assignments ever in my teaching career was teaching summer school music at the elementary level. The coordinator of summer school when I taught it knew the students needed down time. They needed enrichment. They needed higher level thinking. Summer school offered enrichment options for kids whose parents choose to have them attend. Then there were the "remedial" students. They could not sign up for classroom enrichment and could only attend "specials" if their work was finished. You know, those kids who needed art, music, and P.E. the most? But that's another soapbox for another time.....Anyway, after three years, the district assigned another coordinator. Gone were all the enrichment opportunities, including (you guessed it).....art, music, and P.E. Still another soapbox, but I digress.......Summer school music opportunities were a treasure for both the kids and me.      If you are considering teaching summer school or have been assigned...
Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Associate. When I link items to Amazon in any of my blogs, the link leads to them item. If you purchase through the link, I get a small percentage. So, you don't have to, buy if you do purchase through the link, I really appreciate it! We've all had them. We have our usual concepts that we teach year after year. But somehow, we tire of the same presentation. We might want to create a new theme. But, we've used the usual holidays, music themes, general sports themes, etc.  Why not try crazy holidays? There are various websites that list things like "National Ice Cream Day" or "National Save the Kumquat Day" (OK, I don't know about that one). Consider the fun it would be to introduce these to your kids! Here are some ideas for holidays January-April.   JANUARY January 21 is "Squirrel Appreciation Day." I don't honestly appreciate squirrels when they're in my birdfeeder, but they're cute nonetheless. Ther...
I recently blogged about Mozart the Marvelous Mouth Magician and his wonderful hat, the hat that helped him get into his head voice. The first graders love Mozart and were really excited that I told them that they would make their own hats. I will admit that this was a spur-of-the-moment idea and not aesthetically planned out well. But we do what we can! I gave each child a 12x18 piece piece of construction paper to decorate. I then took them home and rolled them into a cone so the kids would have their own "Magical Mouth Hat". I assess head voice during Echo Roll Call, which I have used for years. I learned it from the book One, Two, Three, Echo Me by Loretta Mitchell. The students sing a so-mi pattern to respond. When the students performed roll call on this day, I told them to aim for the point of the hat and see if their ears would tickle. When the kids put on their hats, suddenly many sang out. Some of my chest voice kids sang at least 3-4 pitches higher. Two of m...