Herring’s Head

November 22, 2019

“Herring’s Head“ is a cumulative folksong that I have taught and sung with students of all ages at many schools over the course of my teaching career. It features humorous lyrics that deliver a conservation message about whole animal or “nose to tail” eating (mindful consumption). “Herring’s Head’s” call-and-response structure, extroverted attitude, and whimsy made it a popular and […]

The Boar’s Head Carol

October 21, 2019

For about 25 years, I spent nearly every holiday season consumed by the preparations and execution of a big school performance. I have directed so many of these, with students of all grade levels, K-12. In fact, for much of my adult life, I spent most of each fall listening to, arranging, teaching, and rehearsing […]

Inspiration

August 28, 2019

In the contemporary climate of data-driven education, you don’t hear much about inspiration in the popular rhetoric about music education and its role and purpose in the lives of children. But in fact, the music teacher’s most important responsibility is to inspire his or her students.

The Cards

May 9, 2019

Around the country, the school year is coming to a close. For high school students, spring break is fast becoming a distant memory as students complete projects and write papers, cram for end of course tests, Advanced Placement exams, and  finals. Performing arts programs, too, are in the last stages of preparation for the final […]

How Great is the Pleasure, or, Love and Music

February 26, 2019

A lovely eighteenth century canon you can make a staple of your school choirs’ repertoire.

What Your Students Will Remember

December 19, 2018

They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Personent Hodie

November 16, 2018

A closer look at “Personent Hodie”, a medieval Christmas carol.

Solfege with Amadeus

September 5, 2018

A Nashville School of the Arts project to learn as many choruses as possible from the Mozart Requiem in four months and then perform them en masse at a spring concert.

Teaching Modes and Exercises with Solfege

May 7, 2018

Part 4 in Walter Bitner’s series on teaching solfege.

Teaching Music with Solfège – Part 3

March 16, 2018

This is a simple but somewhat thorough description of the syllables for movable do solfège with la-based minor and how I applied them in my work as a teacher.

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