Category: discussions

Making Positive Impact Through Music

Making Positive Impact Through Music Music educators have a role in facilitating responses, music learning and teaching in relation to hate and bigotry occurring throughout contemporary society.  Valerie Strauss suggests that “The first thing teachers should do when school starts is talk about hatred in America” and provides numerous resources for doing so. Music plays an important role in helping people make sense of, meaning, of, and respond to the world. Music programs can play an

Wayne Shorter’s and Herbie Hancock’s open letter to artists

Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock recently wrote an open letter to artists that is definitely worth a read and would be worth sharing with students. It is particularly appropriate for students in that it is addressed to the next generation of artists on how to respond to recent global events and contemporary society. Whatever students’ plans for the future, the suggestions could serve as organizers or starting points for projects in music ensembles or classes. Much of

Christmas concerts on Chanukah and considering issues of cultural sensitivity. . .

Around this time of year, the Music Teachers Facebook Group is full of posts about Christmas concerts, religion and music education, sacred music in schools, and associated issues. The majority of the posts often position Christmas as the default holiday during wintertime and focus of concerts that occur this time of year. Some posts or comments even dismiss perspectives that question this focus or admonish students who are uncomfortable with foci on Christmas and related music. I’m

Inspiration or appropriation? Impetus for analysis

NPR’s weekend edition recently featured the story Inspiration Or Appropriation? Behind Music Copyright Lawsuits. The story leads with the question: “Where do you draw the line between inspiration and appropriation when it comes to musical compositions?” This is a fabulous generative, essential, or driving question that could lead to variegated investigations, projects, and student problem solving. As with similar reportage, this story features the perspectives of musicologists, in this case Judith Finell. This and similar generative questions

CBDNA Report on Preparing the 21st Century Artist–Teacher

The College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) report on Preparing the 21st Century Artist-‐Teacher is now available. The report is the result of two panel presentations at the 2014 Ithaca College Conference on Instrumental Music Education: Preparing the 21st Century Artist-‐Teacher. I was privileged to be invited to take part in this initiative and engage in dialogue with a wonderful group of people at the conference. The panelists, whose answers to a series of questions