Music should not be an intimidating art. In fact, no art should be intimidating. The arts are not an elitist group of people who have some secret that they’re keeping from the rest of us. Then why is it that my interactions with non-musician friends often include a twinge of shame, a joke about their tone-deafness, or an overall feeling of dread? Why do we more easily gravitate to one type of music? Though the thoughts I have to share on this topic are a far cry from a scholarly research, they are the analysis of my observations throughout the past 15 years in the classroom and as a...Read more
I remember when I had my first child, nothing went as planned. Not only was he born during Hurricane Sandy, but our magical idea of bringing him home to our cozy place for the first time after leaving the hospital was not even an option. Without power, and a northeaster looming in the forecast after the hurricane, we had no other choice but to stay with my parents for two weeks. They had power, were excited about the opportunity to provide us a place to stay, and I liked the idea of someone else cooking for us.
I remember my husband taking multiple trips to our house. His excursions...Read more
There is an ongoing effort in education to collaborate, communicate and connect across the curriculum. In the fall, after a shipment of new supplies was delivered to Mrs. Taylor, our technology coordinator, she offered the packing pieces to the SK classroom. We quickly put them to good use. What a wonderful time of constructing and creating evolved from this...Read more
Singing has been a central part of my life from as early as I can remember. I remember family vacations with long car rides that included mix-tapes so familiar and played out that I knew exactly what was next. I remember learning new songs at camp and school and wanting to share them with my siblings, singing them on the way home or when I was alone. My musical memories include being part of singing ensembles that engaged every part of my emotional being. It is partly because of these positive personal experiences that I ended up as a music teacher — my main goal to share joy of singing...Read more
The sounds of the Rossman School Holiday Program are still lingering in my ears. Last Thursday, over 200 students took to the stage at Missouri Baptist University’s Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center for the first time.
Weeks before, anticipation mounted as the littlest students wondered about the “red cape program” and older students worked hard in music class practicing pitch, articulation, rhythm patterns and how to look joyful. These preparations are not new, as Rossman School has presented a holiday program since 1917. However, standing on risers in a new venue...Read more
The third, fourth, and fifth graders have turned into creative, confident composers this winter. We started our journey into the world of composition by learning to improvise short melodies on the xylophone using the C pentatonic scale. I gave the students a four measure rhythmic pattern and they experimented by playing the rhythm on various notes, making up melodic phrases on the spot.
After sharing their improvisational skills individually, each student worked to create a new melody until they composed a song they loved enough to call their own. I was so impressed by the...Read more