Music Educators turned 3 today!

Music Educators turned 3 today!

Create music

Ask the student to play a scale of C major ( or any familiar scale).

Now ask them to create their own scale of between 5 and 8 notes.  Get them to write the scale down.

Ask them to play the scale up and down. ( It could vary on the way down -  like the melodic minor)

Now ask them to compose a tune using the notes of their scale (in any order).

This lesson addresses the areas of:

1) Scale playing

2) Note naming

3) Theory

4) Improvisation

5) Composition

Accompaniment app on Kickstarter

Thought you and your followers would be interested in our accompaniment app! It’s called Cadenza and it lets you play concertos, sonatas and chamber music with real ensemble recordings following your tempo. We’re currently available on Mac, and we’re now on Kickstarter to put the app on iPhone/iPad and expand our library.

Look us up on Kickstarter - “Cadenza, an orchestra in an app” based in Boston. Direct link here!

Thanks so much for helping us spread the word!

If you want to know why I haven’t been on tumblr in a long time:

I’ve been fighting fires.  (Well, really just taking rides to automatic alarms then going home.  But you get my point.)

Just started a new blog.



Thus is education…



Thus is education…

Choir people:

Ola Gjeilo just joined tumblr.  If you are unfamiliar with his work, you should fix that.

Just listen to his O Magnum Mysterium

Or his Sunrise Mass

His work is challenging and still accessible for high school aged choirs.  I definitely recommend checking his work out.  It’s absolutely beautiful.


Would anyone be interested in tickets to see Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall on December 13th?


I am selling tickets and they’re not at a bank-breaking price. It’s going to be a great show with amazing soloists. Tickets are running out quickly, so let me know asap.


Would anyone be interested in tickets to see Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall on December 13th?

I am selling tickets and they’re not at a bank-breaking price. It’s going to be a great show with amazing soloists. Tickets are running out quickly, so let me know asap.

Clark Terry on Improvisation

I thought this article was an interesting read. The concepts are basic, but they are solid and invaluable to students at any level.


Excellent.  I have serious respect for the person who put this whole thing together.  Very cool.  Watch it.

Amazing video.  Maybe some ideas for teaching 12-tone and making it relatable to whatever age group you wish.



You love a teacher when they’re hiding your children from a crazed gunman in Newtown and getting shot while protecting them. You adore educators when they’re using their body to shield your kids from a falling wall in the middle of a tornado in Oklahoma.

But let that teacher have the nerve to ask for job security or reasonable pay or a manageable workload and all of a sudden we’re lazy union thugs.


Whoops, this turned into a rant.  This rant is inspired by the Chicago Teachers Strike:

No, teachers only become lazy union thugs when they use their students as hostages/pawns.  Demanding said things is 100% valid and deserved.  Going on strike and refusing to educate students, that’s a whole different story.  Teaching is one of the most important civil service jobs out there and it deserves the most respect (and pay, honestly).  As long as teachers maintain integrity in their work.  

It seems that recently, education funding has been re-routed to less important things (like funding several unconstitutional wars and shit).  And I’m noticing an odd trend that I have never heard of before coming from teachers.  They have been going on strike and holding their students’ education hostage, all the while making the school district look bad.  In reality, the school district is trying to do the best that they can with the limited resources offered.  However, I must concede that school districts don’t always cut spending in the right places (270 assistant principals, 400 deans, 120 vice principals per principal, million dollar salaries to superintendents [I exaggerate, of course]).  

This does not, however, give any educator the right to step out of the classroom and leave the children without an education.  Not at all.  Demonstrating before school, after school, and during lunch breaks.  Fine, more power to you.  That’s the way it should be handled.  With maturity and professionalism.  Union representatives need to do their job at the negotiating table.  What kind of example would a strike set for their students?  If you don’t do your job and whine, you will get what you want?  NOPE.  

Teachers deserve the utmost respect because they tend to have the most integrity among all civil service jobs.  They deserve higher pay, more benefits, reasonable workloads, more alcohol.  Until, of course, they sacrifice their integrity and use bully tactics to get what they want.  That crosses a line simply because it loses sight of what is important and sacrifices the value of their students.



I’m an instrumental music ed student, and part of our new degree track is a class called Student Assessment/Decision Making. One of the main points of this course is to establish a good understanding of the differences between formative and summative assessment, what/how/when each are used, and to build our “teacher toolbox” of methods.

I’m interested to know if anyone else has experience/knowledge in this area, and examples of how you have successfully/unsuccessfully implemented it in your classroom.

We’ve also spent some time talking about standards, what they mean, why they’re there, how to break them down and use them, and how to make them meaningful to your students. If you have any input on that, I’d love to hear it, as well.


The think tank has now surpassed 23,000 members!  Don’t forget to submit any good content you find!

I like Diane Ravitch.

I like Diane Ravitch.