/r/MusicEd

Photograph via snooOG

Designed to give music educators an online tool for easy access to forums, discussion boards, advice, teaching strategies, teaching stories, advocacy tips, pertinent articles, rehearsal advice, and anything else that has to do with the field of Music Education!

Designed to give music educators an online tool for easy access to forums, discussion boards, advice, teaching strategies, teaching stories, advocacy tips, pertinent articles, rehearsal advice, and anything else that has to do with the field of Music Education!


Posting and Commenting Guidelines

  • Be civil - Disagreements and occasional heated discussion are to be expected; however, personal attacks, rudeness, and put-downs will not be tolerated.
  • Avoid self-promotion. Sharing resources is OK, but the majority of your posts should not be sharing of resources, blog posts, interviews, articles, etc. that YOU have created.
  • Keep posts and contributions relevant to the topic of music education.

Our Reddit Friends

/r/ChoralMusic

/r/Clarinet

/r/ClassicalMusic

/r/ConcertBand

/r/DoubleBass

/r/EarlyMusicalNotation

/r/Ethnomusicology

/r/Flute

/r/Jazz

/r/LearnMusic

/r/MusicCognition

/r/Musicology

/r/MusicTheory

/r/Percussion

/r/Percussionists

/r/Piano

/r/Saxophonics

/r/Violinist

Some important links:


TEACHING RESOURCES

This is a list compiled by another teacher of MANY websites that other teachers from around the country have found useful!

Online Tutorials & Lessons

Teaching Resources / Forums / Lesson Plans:

Teaching Music Theory/Ear Training:

Free Sheet Music:

Notation Software:

Cool Tools, miscellaneous

Job-finding web sites

/r/MusicEd

17,111 Subscribers

2

Music toys for toddlers and preschoolers

Does anyone have recommendations for brands or toys to look at (or avoid) for musical instrument toys for very young kids? (Starting as young as around one.)

I’m thinking small xylophones or drums/other percussion but ideally I’d like ones that actually have decent tone and intonation/tuning, whereas some music toys for kids are terrible that way. Hopefully decent quality enough to be used for at least a few years.

Thanks.

8 Comments
2023/11/18
03:00 UTC

1

What is Music to You?

1 Comment
2023/11/18
02:54 UTC

7

how would a music education degree (BME) translate from the United States to the United Kingdom?

I am currently working toward receiving a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. I live in the United States and have lived here my entire life; however, it is possible that I will move to England in the near future. I am not sure how the degree would translate to this specific region as schooling systems and musical principles are very different. Would I have to restart university in the United Kingdom and earn a new degree?

1 Comment
2023/11/17
00:12 UTC

4

National board cert. for elementary general?

Hey folks, wondering if anyone out here has completed their national boards cert as an elementary general music teacher and which certificate you chose? The options are early adolescence-18+ band, orchestra and vocal and age 3-12 band, orchestra and vocal.

I’m k-12 cert and endorsed in all three, but I have primarily taught in elementary general, I don’t think I can do the 3-12 range because my cert isn’t for pre-k, so I’m leaning towards 11-18+ vocal since that’s a huge focus in elementary? Thoughts?

2 Comments
2023/11/16
20:43 UTC

8

Flash Drive Opportunity

Hi! Calling elementary music teachers! My cooperating teacher for student teaching is giving me a very unique opportunity to put all I want from her stuff on a 128gb flash drive I have for my future classroom. So far I have a bucket drumming play along, some fun worksheets and Orff tpt things she’s purchased, she’s been teaching for 15 years so I’m sure there’s things she’s got I can’t think of but too much to snag everything. Any seasoned teachers have any suggestions of things she might have to snag from her? Things that are hard to find like “Many Things I Am Thankfuk For” song instrumental and children’s version and the easy bucket drumming play along videos by Matthew Peavoy. Is there anything that has proven helpful to you all that you can think of?

5 Comments
2023/11/16
12:09 UTC

1

Summon The Spirits Kevin Tuck Drum Tab

Does anyone have access to this drum tab by any chance? Would love to teach it to my class!

0 Comments
2023/11/16
07:08 UTC

10

What to do in transition...

This may be a bit of a long shot, but I am currently weeks away from graduating with my teaching degree and completing my internship. I am pursuing K-12 music ed, vocal. In my area, there has been nothing posted for my content area and I have only had 2 interviews, both of which declined me because I "lack experience". I have been teaching private voice and gutiar for 2 years as well as working with Kindermusik and obtaining a full accreditation to teach it, but apparently it's still not seen as experience.

So, I am in a bit of a rut. Substitute positions don't pay well in my area at all and definitely won't pay enough for me to support myself. The only teaching jobs available are desperately needing something outside of my content area, and those within music are more than 2 hours away. I just feel so pathetic and helpless right now, and I don't know what to do while waiting for something to fall in my lap.

What other temporary career options do I pursue? Do I pay to be certified in other areas? Do I just lose all hope and let my music degree collect dust?

11 Comments
2023/11/16
02:27 UTC

2

Solo Critique lesson/unit

Hey everyone:

I teach middle school choir and have a small cohort of 7th grade students whose class I run like a “Vocal Repertoire” masterclass. Since there’s only about 11 students, I break the students into solos or small groups to learn solo/chamber rep. This model has been pretty successful thus far —

I’ve been preparing them for a small “in class recital” the day before the Thanksgiving Break. Before then, I would like to do a few lessons specifically on how to deliver feedback and critique to one another in a helpful, formative way.

I know the essentials I need to hit such as: Tactt/Constructive Feedback Verbiage/Language (what you say vs. how to say it) How to receive feedback Specificity Balance (praise and points of improvement) Standard criterion for assessment (I’m using the state festival rubric)

Are any of you explicitly teaching this as a skill/lesson? How do you structure your lessons/what resources do you use? I have a clear idea of the result I’m looking for, but a little bleary on how to implement as a lesson.

1 Comment
2023/11/16
00:59 UTC

5

What next with 7 y.o piano prodigy

4 Comments
2023/11/15
17:11 UTC

41

Kid caught stealing, should they be removed from band?

Hi y’all. Recently one of my percussionists came to me upset that he couldn’t find his sticks (which he paid for). Well turns out another student stole them and lied about it, always coming up with a different excuse when people would ask where he got them from. The sticks were marked so it’s 100% that they belong to my percussionist.

This student has had problems with keeping his hands to himself, cursing at other students, not following instructions, off task behavior, but never something as big as stealing. Should this student be removed from band? It is stated in our music handbook that stealing, drugs, suspensions, etc. can result in being removed from music but idk if admin would be on my side.

Edit: student who stole the sticks is a sax player. Percussionists are not required to buy their own sticks, but this one plays outside of school as well. Student who was caught stealing does not have an IEP/504 plans. Dad frequently comes to school because student is regularly in trouble.

21 Comments
2023/11/15
07:53 UTC

2

Hey r/MusicEd folks! 🎤 Need Your Help with a Cool Zoom Plugin

What's up, singers and teachers? I've been tinkering around and came up with something pretty neat— a Zoom plugin for karaoke and singing exercises. Use content from YouTube, Vimeo, X-minus, and more, right during your lessons, effortlessly:

  1. No More Awkward Delays: It’s like everyone’s in sync, no lag at all.
  2. Play/Pause Party: When your teacher hits play or pause, it does the same on your end. Magic!

Yeap, posted in singing first

It's all about making online singing lessons as smooth and hassle-free as possible. But here's the thing—I need some real-world testers. Anyone teaching or learning singing on Zoom, I'm looking at you!

Wanna give it a whirl and tell me what you think? It's all about getting those honest, no-holds-barred opinions to make this thing as awesome as possible.

Hit me up in the comments or slide into my DMs if you’re down for some beta-testing fun. Let’s make our online singing sessions rock!

Cheers! 🎶

0 Comments
2023/11/15
07:34 UTC

3

Experience with VanderCook College of Music?

I’m looking to get a Masters in Music Ed plus certification at Vandercook sometime in the next few years, so I would love to hear what people think of the school! Some background about me…I have a degree in music performance and have been teaching general music at a private school and have come to really love it which is why I want to pursue a Masters in Ed. I’m a guitarist and would probably go into an orchestral track. My main question to people who have gone through their program: how flexible is it? I’ve been told it’s very flexible to the point where students can keep their teaching jobs and get their masters at the same time, but I want to know how much truth there is in that. Ideally I would like to keep my current teaching job while pursuing a masters there so if anyone has done the same please let me know!

6 Comments
2023/11/15
03:28 UTC

5

Advice on how to get in touch with schools?

Private guitar/piano teacher here based out of northern va. I have a lot of experience teaching but since I just moved into the area I'm starting from zero. I heard contacting schools is a good way to get leads but not sure how to go about it. I tried doing it about 4 years back but nothing came of it. Any advice on how to get in touch and what to say/do?

Also any other advice on getting students is appreciated!

Edit: Thanks everyone for the great advice! I messaged a bunch of FB groups in the area. Going to order some cheap flyers/business cards online and send them out to teachers and other local places.

19 Comments
2023/11/14
22:11 UTC

2

Advice on DMA in music composition applications?

I'm applying to universities on the east coast of the US after over a decade out of academia, mostly working artistically as an electronic music producer focused on "deconstructed"/post- club music, but originally trained in neoclassical composition. I'm struggling to figure out what I can provide musically to support my applications to doctoral programs that fits with the general acousmatic/electronic/digital music landscape at PhD level.

Anyone have any advice for a composer a little out of the loop in entering back into the hallowed halls of academia?

2 Comments
2023/11/13
06:44 UTC

11

Chances of getting hired right after college graduation

I will graduate in December and am currently seeking a job. I am aware that many music teachers hold a master's degree and have more experience. I have just submitted an application for an elementary music teaching position, and I am quite nervous about it. My major is in instrumental/general. I am craving for a full-time job right after my graduation. What are the odds of me getting hired? :(

16 Comments
2023/11/13
06:25 UTC

3

Songs that only span 3 octaves?

I've been teaching with boomwhackers.

Any recommendations for something we can play that may work in terms of octave span?

5 Comments
2023/11/13
05:02 UTC

1

Help! Looking for a Marching band warm up book

I remember using this book in high school. I believe it had a yellow and blue cover and had multiple warm ups in it. It was folio sized. My brain tells me that it was a Yamaha Sounds of Summer book, but the Internet can't seem to find it. So I think my brain filled in those gaps with incorrect information. So I'm reaching out to Reddit to see what you know. Thanks!

3 Comments
2023/11/12
19:19 UTC

10

Is the guitar worth learning?

Hello,
I am 3.5 years into my first elementary music teaching gig, and was just wondering if its worth picking up the guitar. I teach ukulele so I know my way around a soprano uke, and in that time I picked up a baritone uke en lieu of having to buy and learn the guitar. The uke works and meets the needs for my classroom. BUT, it's not exactly the best instrument to accompany some of my bigger groups.

Do you think it would be worth picking it up? The holidays are coming up so I've been contemplating getting one if the price is right, but I am not sure if it's worth the investment. I have tried to pick up the guitar before and just found that it's so bulky compared to the ukulele that I am just a little intimated by it. Help me!

16 Comments
2023/11/10
17:25 UTC

5

Correct order for Armed Forces Medley?

What is the correct order for the Armed Forces Medley? We play the Veteran's Day Assembly each year and up until this year, I have been playing them in order from oldest to newest branch:

Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force, Space Force.

This year, one of the vets told me that is incorrect and it should be Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard.

Thanks in advance!

16 Comments
2023/11/10
14:01 UTC

5

Guitar Class Post Mortem - Any advice?

Trying to learn from a recent experience where I felt I did my best but things still didn't "go my way". Perhaps there are other techniques or strategies that could be applied? I'll tell the story and would be happy to hear feedback, as well as respond to questions!

___

I recently tried out teaching a 3-kid 9-year old beginner guitar class. A parent reached out to me and was looking for a teacher to create a class for her son and his friends as their after school program had recently been disbanded. The class had lacked direction (learning random songs by rote) and I was offering music literacy skills. I mostly teach individually but have some group experience and wanted to stretch out. The kids were friends, all boys, and all from different families. The class location rotated between the different houses of the families based on their availability.

First few classes went well. Perception is that the kids were a bit rowdy but along for the ride and we had a lot of fun. I introduced the idea of earning stars for good conduct, and the consequence of losing the star for misbehavior offered some carrot-and-stick guardrails for repeat acting out. Some bad acting is observed but seems to back down if I show some aggression/authority.

____

On the 4th class we were in a new location for the first time, and the parent at the house had a very timid/loose authority over the kids, even told me "I can't yell at kids that aren't mine" (lol). So, when I arrived to begin the class, the kids were playing hide and seek in the house to forestall beginning, and then wanted to come out and sing happy birthday to me (not my birthday) as a 'surprise'. I was torn between playing along with amusement and playing the role of the expectant and authoritative teacher; I understand they're just goofing off, but in the absence of a proper parental authority they didn't seem able to show respect for the class or for playing music as a group. Later in this class I observed persistent intention to lie/deceive from certain kids or instigate distractions when it was necessary for me to give one child individual attention to improve their playing technique.

Due to this and other time wasting behaviors, I had to cancel some 'preferred activities' as I actually brought forward a blended schedule of music 'games' and 'learning' to do. Though the boys had a tendency to make everything a competition, I found offering bounded ways to compete was fun for them.I let the kids know what they were losing, and gave a poor review to the parents about their behavior.

Later I wrote a follow-up to the parents, offering a belief in the potential of their children to learn, conduct guidelines for future classes (butts in seats at start time), request for a consistent location, proposed an end-of-term recital to offer a long term goal, and recommended a parent to be present as I perceived the acting out would be less bold under those conditions.I tried to offer an honest mixed review but also show proactivity towards better outcomes. Privately I felt I had done my best but professionally I was unsatisfied to not have achieved a more ordered class.

___

After some time off and interruptions from sickness, it looks like the parents are opting to suspend the class and have not engaged with the merits of my suggestions. Honestly it's less stress for me (though the money was good), but I'm left with some loose ends because I would have enjoyed the process of trying to sculpt a better class or learn how to shape and model the behavior of the boys. They learned to read quite well and could have become a venerable guitar 'crew' with a bit of discipline.

___

Even though I can't put new strategies into practice with this group I still get to perform the autopsy. Maybe I'm not the best with this age of boy, so I wanted to know if I went wrong anywhere, or if the parents dropped the ball, or otherwise hear some collective wisdom so I can be ready to try again when an opportunity appears.

Thoughts?

TL;DR Class I was hopeful for fell apart due to behavioral rebellions of the kids and poor interactivity from the parents, or so it seems to me. My process of rewards / consequences and using games as encouragement couldn't match the level of distraction / sabotage the kids seemed to output. Could I have applied smarter class strategies to keep it alive?

8 Comments
2023/11/09
23:18 UTC

0

Make Money Licensing Your Music - Free Four Hour Video Course

I'm a Berklee Alum with hundreds of tv, commercial and video game placements. I put together a completely free four hour audio/video course that breaks down the basic of sync licensing and everything I've learned over the last ten plus years of licensing my music.

Check it out here if you're interested:

https://www.htlympremium.com/free-course.html

0 Comments
2023/11/09
17:43 UTC

4

Damper bar for metallophones

I am not a teacher yet but one of my former classmates who is now a teacher has a question I am passing onto Reddit.

“Does anyone know a way to DIY a damper bar for metallophones or anyway to make them not ring as much? Google hasn’t been helpful at all and I will take literally any and all ideas. Asking for my (and my students) sanity”

Please reply if you have any advice!!! Thank you!

7 Comments
2023/11/09
02:10 UTC

1

Stompin' Tom Connors - The Hockey Song on Xylophone

Hi everyone,

I am a Grade 5/6 teacher and we are going to be learning a few basic Christmas songs on the xylophone.

I am wondering if anyone can help my students and I learn how to play "The Hockey Song" on xylophone? I am hoping a text/document showing simply the notes could be sent my way and we could learn to play a great song on our xylophones!

Any and all help is much appreciated! Cheers

0 Comments
2023/11/09
00:20 UTC

10

Music education jobs

Are there many jobs in music ed? I want to major in it but I don’t know if it’s a good idea for my future. Music is my passion but I really want to be able to support my self.

27 Comments
2023/11/08
22:21 UTC

8

Music Education In David Epstein's book "Range"

Hi! My class partner and I are college students who have been asked to do a project on David Epstein's 2019 book, 'Range. This book is focused around why generalists triumph in a specialized world. The book mentions music education in many different chapters, due to music participation often being a specialized role. As music educators, what are your thoughts on being specialized in the music field? Do you think it is more valuable for students to learn just one instrument with all their time, or is it better for students to dabble in many instruments or techniques? We would love to chat on the subject, so feel free to discuss the questions posted or ask us questions about the book in relevance to this subject!

28 Comments
2023/11/08
18:41 UTC

3

Classroom/Carpet Woes

I’ve had a rough start to my year that mainly has to do with losing my classroom and being relocated to the stage in the cafetourium. It sucks. Finally got the rug I ordered at the start of the year and my beloved Sit Spots do not work on it!!! The rug seems to be too plush. Anyone have any other suggestions for creating spots for kids to sit on? I’m going out on maternity leave soon and would really love to find a solution before I do.

Thanks!

4 Comments
2023/11/08
17:17 UTC

3

Best methods and resources for teaching class guitar?

I've been teaching full classes of 5th grade guitar for the past 6 years but would like some input on better resources/methods out there.

The classes are 20-30 5th grade students. Each student gets a numbered acoustic guitar to use once per week in class for 1 quarter of the year (9 weeks). I start by teaching them how to hold and treat the instrument properly, how to strum with/without a pick, then move to reading chord diagrams. They learn the simple, 1 finger version of G, C, and G7. They then learn A7 and D. Then move on to the full version of C, A, E, Em, full G, etc. all while learning simple folk/traditional songs. They take a test over the chords on week 8 and try to learn a song of their own for fun on week 9.

I've been using the eMedia Guitar Method program and would love to continue using some kind of digital media. Is there something out there that's similar? Should I be teaching note/tab/melody reading instead? I wonder if what I am teaching these students is the best method to have them get a good idea of what the guitar can offer in a relatively short period of time.

7 Comments
2023/11/08
05:55 UTC

2

Individualized Guitar plan

Hi everyone, I wanted to ask some veteran Guitar teachers to help me out. This is my first year teacher guitar.

I'm currently running the gambit that I have students who are excelling, and I have others who won't pick up the instrument.

I spent the majority of our first quarter doing all the theory and the tab-reading and whatnot.

I now want to transition them into more "songs" rather than just melodies.

Does anyone have a good method to get them to direct themselves in their own learning with their own "songs of choice" rather than just letting them 'learn a song?'

I would rather them learn music they want to learn (my band counterpart mentioned that learning melodies is fine, but playing "ode to joy" at a campfire is much less impressive than actual song-work, and I agree, and less versatile)

This also comes to the caviat that if I ask them to learn a song, there is usually vocals with it, and most of my kids do not sing, which obv wouldn't be something I'd grade, but they wouldn't look at it that way. I am thinking of looking for some of those Isolated vocals youtube videos so that they can play in real time.

Any help appreciated

5 Comments
2023/11/07
23:35 UTC

2

Masters Degree?

Hi! I am currently looking into getting my masters degree (I currently hold a BM in Music Education). I’ve been having a hard time deciding what I want my masters in.. i love music education, but I’ve also have taken an interest in special education (and how to incorporate it into the music classroom).

Would it be more beneficial to stay within my content area for masters degree or would it be a good thing to get my masters in special Ed? Any guidance or advice would be appreciated🙂

8 Comments
2023/11/07
22:05 UTC

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