Ah, manipulatives! Kids like to touch things, so using little something to help teach is so popular. Manipulatives in music class enhance the tactile and visual learning styles. A manipulative is a small tool or toy that students can handle to see concepts differently; thus, it gives the students one more means to understand the idea. Manipulatives work wonderfully for the following: Visualizing form patterns Creating solfege patterns Creating rhythm patterns Illustrating phrasing Vocalizing You can purchase manipulatives, or you can create your own. That may sound like a daunting task, and some of these do take some time. You may not be able to use them right away if you take your time creating them, but that's OK. They will be available for the next school year. Here are examples of some manipulatives that I have used in the past that take little time to make. Flat Marbles Flat marbles look beautiful at the bottom of the vase or scattered on a table, but they are also...
This is a short blog entry, but it's something that's been on my mind for several days. Like most everyone else, I have been saddened and horrified at what took place in Ukraine in March. It reminded me, once again, how we are all one world and in situations together more than we realize. Many of our students definitely do not understand this. It is up to us to understand. For one, chances are good you have students who are of Ukrainian descent. If you choose to do a short unit on Ukraine, it is important to have resources that provide music as authentically as possible. Ukraine, like other Eastern European countries, has beautiful folk music that goes back generations. Music is a means to hold them together, even in difficult times. Never was this as apparent to me as when I saw a little girl on a news clip, a little girl hiding in one of the many refugee shelters such as subway stations. She was quietly singing to her doll. I couldn't understand the words, of course, but ...
I am one of the worst when it comes to putting something down and then not being able to find it again. In my music classroom, it was usually the CD remote. It would be right under my nose and I wouldn't see it, but excited students would. They'd run up en masse to be the first one to grab it and hand it to me. Of course, that would start arguments. I also used a Whole Brain Teaching  scoreboard to help with classroom management. There were generally kids who wanted to put the tally marks up as well. AND, those who wanted to clean the room even though it was my rule that students were responsible for their own messes...... So.... At the start of the second semester, after the holiday break, I decided to establish student jobs. Because I wanted to make sure each student had at least one chance to do a job, I established 3-4, depending on the activity. I started with Student Conductor, who would be the basic eyes for the class, help direct singing, or run errands. The remote issu...