Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2011

Making up Games

Authenticity is part of the code of Kodaly.  If the game is not authentic, don't do it.  Games that are folk games are easier to learn, more logically married to the music, and ultimately, more fun.  I whole-heartedly agree with this,but, what if you come across an awesome song that is just screaming for a game?  What if that song is too short to stand on its own?  What if the game is not in any sources you can find?  What then?

Adopt a game that has no song.

Where do you find these games?

Watching children play at recess

Asking teachers what kind of games the children naturally play for indoor recess.  Finding out what kinds of board and card games kids are doing so that you might adopt the structure of the game to a known rhyme or song.

Example:  Shoo Turkey
This classic song is from Step it Down.  Traditionally it is sung while students crouch and gracefully sweep the turkeys away.  I adopted it for preschool so that two songs are linked together into one game.  I saw childr…

Just for Fun

The blog readership has gone down considerably as we approach the end of the year.  You all are way too busy to be reading the blog every week.  I'll work on articles for July and August, when you are studying and prepping for next year.  Until then, take a moment to see a cool video here and there in June.  Here are some neat selections that I love.

Elementary School Musical

Rules to avoid burn-out and provide musicals for your students'performance needs.

My very best friend, the woman who suggested that I become a music teacher some 10 years ago, is currently a heap of burnt ash after her spring musicals.  I said, "well at least you got the extra cash to help the family."  There was silence.  "What?  You didn't get paid extra for this?"

I write this article for her and anyone else in her position to refer to BEFORE they say "yes" to next year's musical.  The goal here is to love your kids, your job, and to instill love of music in the performers.  If you overextend yourself, you become resentful and burnt out!  I would like to teach the children of my current students.  In order to do that, I need to construct my work environment so that it is humane to me.  Nothing inspires children like a teacher who is excited and passionate about her work.

1. Calculate the rehearsals you'll need, include auditions, dress…

How to buy a guitar

If you have one, why not use it?  If it's too big, your child will have trouble getting his/her arms around it.  In that case, you should probably get a smaller guitar.  My favorite way to get a guitar is at pawn shops or flea markets.  Here are tips to apply while shopping.
How can you tell if a guitar is really good?

Look into the hole of the guitar.  There should be wood that joins the top and bottom flat pieces to the sides of the guitar.  It looks like a snake of scored wood.  Look here at this photo of a restoration for a vintage Gibson guitar.  Do you see the snake of wood?  That is the mark of a really good guitar.  Such a guitar is worth a few hundred dollars.  I got mine at a pawn shop for less than $200.

When to get an expensive guitar

If your child is 10 or younger, I suggest you get a child's guitar and spend no more than $80.  See if the child gets excited and practices with dedication.  After a year or two you can look into a guitar.  It will be appreciated and tr…