TMTA Convention 2019: Expand Your Horizons Part 1

I had the opportunity to fly to Houston and present at the Texas Music Teachers Association Convention. I have always wanted to check it out and I was looking forward to my time there. My only regret was not spending more time. It was a super quick turn around trip. I had less than 48 hours from the time I flew in to the time I flew out to take it all in. Upon arriving I was overwhelmed by the size of the hotel when I walked inside. It was huge! It didn’t take me long to figure out that […]

ASMTA Conference Sessions: Tradition and Innovation Part 2

Getting Over the Fear of Teaching Online and Video Lessons By Jennifer Foxx I thought the conference theme this year was a perfect one to share my presentation, Getting Over the Fear of Teaching Online and Video Lessons. This is a session where I stress that teaching online or giving a video lesson does not have to be complicated. Sometimes we don’t try something new simply because we are afraid of all the bells and whistles of what is out there. So instead of just trying it, in a more simple way (the bells and whistles can be added later […]

Comic Strip Music Composition

Each year I try to have at least one composition project for my students to work on. Over the years we have enjoyed doing creative story compositions. This year my students and I had a SUPER time with the A.N.T.H.E.M. program. Because of the superhero theme, I wanted to put a different spin on the story idea and have students create comic strip music compositions. Anytime I can encourage students to use their imagination it is a win! With comic strip music compositions, students began by creating a comic strip story. I go through the steps with them with the different […]

Combining Vocal Exploration with Story Telling and Composition

Today I wanted to share an easy idea that combines melody composition with story-telling. Many of you are probably familiar with vocal explorations. I love the idea of vocal explorations and how simple yet effective they are. If you aren’t familiar with vocal explorations, here is an example of one you might see… Vocal explorations are typically used for vocal warmups. Students follow a lined path singing different pitches. The visual representation of those pitches is what inspired me a few years ago. I was looking at a vocal exploration and the thought came to me, Why not use the same […]

Storybook Compositions

This year in the studio my big focus was on composition. Each month I would have my students create a storyline along with a melody that would go with their story. As the months progressed they were adding to their story and their composition. I LOVED putting these two concepts together into one, calling it “Creative Story Compositions.” On the very last month I had them choose a couple of their pages that they felt would go well together and put together a complete composition using an ABA pattern with an optional Coda adding in the bass clef. (If we had more time, I […]

Music Theory – Made Fun!

One of my favorite online resource websites is Ear Training and Improv by Kristin Jensen. Kristin has created the Ultimate Music Theory Worksheet guide. This includes over 25 free printable worksheets that you can download and use with your students. She has even gone the extra mile and included different activities and ideas you can use these worksheets with your student during their lesson. You will find worksheets under Note Identification, Rhythm, Major Scales, Circle of 5th’s, Intervals, Half and Whole Steps, Treble and Bass Clef notes and the Music Alphabet. The worksheets are clever, well thought out and very useful. I […]