Featured Resources

10 Strategies for Developing a Strong Student Practice Ethic 
How many times have we heard, “My orchestra could do so much more if only my students practiced their music.” The good news is that there is not magic or luck in getting your students to practice. Below are concreate steps that teachers take to improve the practice habits of their students. Of course, …
Developing Critical Thinking and Assessment in Music Classrooms 
The increased importance and emphasis on standardized testing have affected the classroom expectations of music educators. More and more music teachers are asked to incorporate reading and writing into their curriculum. Since many public schools in the United States are having difficulties meeting testing …
Advancing Strategies for Teaching Orchestras to Tune Themselves 
Consider this: The only daily one-on-one instruction many students receive is the moment the teacher takes to tune their instruments. If teachers took only a few extra seconds with each child, student playing positions and tone quality would improve greatly over the course of a year. And with better …
Motivational Teaching Tools 
During my first several years of teaching, I noticed a big motivational shift between fourth and fifth grade strings students. The fourth grade students found the instruments new and exciting and the lessons really interesting. However, once they graduated from the fourth grade and started to participate in fifth …
Start the year a better conductor: Five areas to evaluate 
Conducting technique is important for several reasons. As a nonverbal teaching skill, it can save valuable rehearsal time when executed clearly and succinctly. Together with instrumental technique and musicianship, learning to respond to increasingly intricate conducting gestures is an important curricular responsibility for ensemble directors...
Starting an orchestra program 
The orchestra program in Rockwall Independent School District (RISD), Rockwall, Texas is flourishing. The program began with a little more than 150 students in fifth and sixth grades at 12 elementary schools in the RISD. It has grown to include all of RISD’s elementary and secondary schools with approximately a 1,000 students in...
Get your string class up and running in 10 minutes or less 
The start of any string class presents many obstacles that can prevent a rehearsal from running smoothly. More often than not broken instruments, stuck pegs, broken bows and out-of-tune instruments can prevent a teacher from beginning a rehearsal. Establishing effective procedures for a string class can be a difficult task, but such procedures are...

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