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.

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Some important links:


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


15,813 Subscribers


Scream Singing - Help!

I work at two private schools as a PreK-8 general music teacher. I hold two degrees in vocal performance. (Bachelors at Eastman, Masters at Temple University.) I have also taught voice lessons for a decade, so I've always considered myself competent to teach students how to sing. But man, I'm so stuck...

At one school, things are going great! Students can sing simple melodies on pitch. Sometimes, they'll get a bit loud but nothing I can't handle. They can perform simple songs in other languages.

School two, on the other hand, students will scream instead of sing. It's either that or I hear nothing at all. Older ones do it because they don't care and think it's funny. Younger ones will "sing" super pressurized. We had a Christmas sing-along and admin mentioned how much they scream when they're supposed to sing.

Things I've used

  • call/response singing
  • humming vocal patterns (sirens)
  • pointing up and down to match the pitch

I know that this in large part due to the discipline issues at the school but I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this issue before. Do you guys have any tips? I feel like such a failure.

15:47 UTC


Jazz educators... I need a definition!

My wife and I are discussing the meaning of "In the Pocket." We both have some ideas and some ways we get students to play in the pocket, but what words would you use to define "In the pocket?"

15:39 UTC


Learn music with Eastern Music Scales?

Hey guys, I am new to music learning and I have stumbled upon this clip of Ravi Shankar, taken I believe from this longer video and have been marveled by how easy he makes learning musical notes sound like, and I would like to know more about the notes he uses. Is there a name to that scale?

I love music but am as tone deaf as they come, and have at times tried to change that to no success. Lately I have downloaded an app called Functional Ear Trainer to give it another try. And I am wondering whether there is any good material out there that uses the system Ravi uses to teach it to people, ideally in the same vein as the app I linked.

Also, I am confused by what music notes are. How come there are more than one set of notes? And does it mean you can't get certain sounds in the Do, Re, Mi... scale that you can in the scale Ravi uses (and vice versa)? Are there other musical scales other than these, and if so what does it mean?

Sorry if I ask this in the wrong sub, if there is a better one to post this in, please lmk.

12:50 UTC


College is hard

I’m a freshman music Ed major, and this semester has been rough. It’s not like I’m failing academically, but I feel like a failure. It’s so hard and I don’t understand why I feel this way. I feel so unmotivated and sad. I never feel this way, but I just feel like the fun in what I do isn’t here right now. And I feel like I’m struggling. Because the last few weeks every turn I take to try to feel better, I just cannot shake this feeling. Is it just because it’s the spring semester 😅? Anyone out there wanting to offer kind words or advice? I have no intention of switching my major because I love what I do. I love education and I love music. And I want to change someone’s world through music education in my career because it changed mine drastically. I want to do what it takes, but I would just appreciate kind words from my older friends out there :)

02:31 UTC


Tempo markings bpm ranges?

Hello, I am making a poster (a Google doc I will print out on a normal piece of paper lol) that lists tempo markings, their translations, and their bmp range. However, as there isn't a set bpm for each tempo marking, I'd love a second opinion on the ranges I've listed (especially the higher number in each range). I will link to a screenshot of what I have. If anything looks inaccurate, please let me know! I would like this to be as accurate as possible for myself and my students.


In case the link doesn't work, here is the table copy and pasted:

Grave: solemn, serious: 20-40 bpm

Largo: broad, wide: 40-60 bpm

Lento: slow: 45-60 bpm

Adagio: at ease, leisurely: 60-76 bpm

Andante: walking, going: 72-108 bpm

Andantino: slightly faster than andante: 80-108 bpm

Moderato: moderate: 86-120 bpm

Allegro: cheerful, happy, lively: 120-156 bpm

Vivace: lively: 156-176 bpm

Presto: quick: 168-200 bpm

I'm trying to keep this simple, so I've only listed the most common tempo markings I've seen. However, if anyone has any opinions on words I should add/remove, I'd love to hear that as well.

19:13 UTC


Jazz or Classical focus for Music Ed degree (guitar) - ?’s and concerns

Hello all!

I’m currently going to CC in North Jersey with hopes to be transferring to William Patterson, Rutgers or Montclair.

I’m 42 with young kids and for the last 20 years have been in the music industry, recording, touring, PA-ing and management. My primary instruments in the professional realm have been guitar, bass and drums- and I played upright bass in orchestra as a kid. As well as experience teaching both professional musicians for tours and actors for parts.

(Sorry for the life story I feel it’s relevant to my question)

My initial plan was to transfer to the WPU music Ed program with a jazz focus, but the few people I’ve talked to that have experience there advise me to take the classical path because it’s easier and non competitive. In addition to this nudge towards classical my current guitar professor (there’s the only one guitar prof) studied classical in school so it is his area of expertise. So I’ve been focusing on playing classical guitar, which isn’t a huge stretch for me because I’ve spent most of my life fingerpicking / Travis style picking. I’m confident I can do well enough in auditions- but ultimately I’m not a fan of classical guitar music at all.

That said - it’s not so much about “what I’m a fan of” musically, I just want to learn how to be a great teacher and more well rounded musician- while still being a parent!

I love jazz and studying theory/ harmony etc.. but I don’t necessarily care about being in a competitive environment. I’m sure most of the kids will be half my age and twice as good- doesn’t matter I have an objective!

So here’s my question-

Does anyone here have any guitar specific experience with Jazz Vs Classical Music Education programs?

Workload being equal I’d definitely choose Jazz, but if that’s not the case I’d like to do what is best for my future career- ideally middle or high school band/orchestra teacher. Or any guitar or rock band programs.

Any advice whatsoever is welcome and thanks for reading.


17:58 UTC


Has anyone tried using koord.live for real-time remote music lessons? How did it work out?

14:04 UTC


Women's Mentorship Program Now Open

Hi there folks,

In honor of International Women’s Month, we have launched Women Empowered, a mentorship program aimed to further the progress of women throughout the music industry.

If you are interested welcome to apply here. Applications will be open until March 17, 2023.



20:01 UTC


Sore throat/lost voice activities for K-5

Hey all, I’ve been staying home dealing with a nasty cold for the last few days. I’m feeling better, but I have a nasty sore throat that is hanging on. Any suggestions for activities for K-5 where I don’t have to talk or sing much at all? I think I can make it through the day as long as I don’t use my voice much. Thanks in advance!

02:11 UTC


Is it a bad idea to leave a toxic job mid-year?

I’m a first year teacher in a really tough school that was tasked with restarting the middle school band program after it was cut during COVID. The school has major discipline issues and is the lowest achieving school academically in my large school district. I feel like I have no support from my admin until something really severe happens like a physical fight breaks out or property damage. My principal expects a concert this spring but we barely can make it 16 measures in a grade .5 piece before half the students have given up or start looking at their phones. The students make fun of the teachers including me and we have had multiple weapons such as knives and tasers found with students at school this year. I’m miserable, I feel unsafe at work, and questioning my career choice while envious of all my friends and colleagues at other schools performing great music and having inspiring performances. I’m worried leaving before the end of the year would jeopardize my job prospects for next school year. Does anyone have any insight into this?

23:24 UTC


Free Four Hour Audio/Video Course On Sync Licensing

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:


1 Comment
20:26 UTC


Jazz-specific education collaboration

When Jazz educators listen to important recordings with their students, they tell the backstories, anecdotes, and legends of the songs, performers, and recording sessions, because the context is a huge part of what makes the music come alive, and turns the genre into a culture.

But so many students - especially since the COVID lockdowns - stream the music alone, without that community to share with them the miracles of the Kind of Blue sessions, or the mythical origins of scat singing, or the fact that there's no one named "Joe Zabinew"!

So I'm developing a free listening tool that would include the insights from the community of jazz educators. Check out this prototype, then let me know if you want to contribute and/or have access to the library as it grows.


19:41 UTC


I need some advice for activities to do during a music school open day.

Our principal approached the arts department yesterday and told us (the arts department), he wants us to have our own activities for the school open day to attract more students to join next year.

For fine arts, they can have various creative classes where they draw/paint/sculpt etc. Drama can do little mini plays. But music class is a bit different. I cannot teach them to play music unless they already play instruments. We will of course have little mini auditions as well, but can you suggest any activities that will be fun, but also indicative of what class will be like.

This is for year 10 intake, which is a very intensive course that is heavily theory and composition based. We can do little mini class performances with drums etc, but that's not what the classes will be like. Any advice?

06:51 UTC


Should I take a job as a school orchestra director?

I have been a musician for 20 years and have been a private music teacher for around 6 years now, teaching piano, violin, viola, cello, and upright bass. I've done one on one lessons and also facilitated larger groups of students in an ensemble setting. I love what I do very, very, very much and eventually hope to quit my day job and teach full time.

A unique opportunity presented itself to me this week. A local school district is discussing possibly wanting to hire me to re-start the orchestra program at all their schools, as the program was eliminated a few years back due a lack of an orchestra director.

This would honestly be a dream job for me. Like, it's exactly what I want to be doing for the rest of my career. I'm feeling deeply worried though. I have a good secure job that I like right now where I'm making decent money, and it would be scary to walk away from that.

One of my concerns is that I do not have a formal music degree, nor a teaching degree. I have two different associate degrees, a shit load of musical experience and knowledge, and a decent amount of teaching experience, but that is it. I see that a lot of people directing school orchestras have master's degrees or PhDs. Would this make it risky to go into that kind of job for me? I don't want to be expendable and lose security by taking my dream job.

I'm feeling uncertain and nervous about the possible change. Anyone have any advice or input on how they would handle a decision like this?

18:11 UTC


Looking for Discussion Topics for a Middle School Band

For a teaching assignment for my observation class, I need to have a 15 minute discussion with a middle school wind ensemble that can be discussed in pairs/small groups, then with the whole class. This is something normally done in gen-ed classes, and I have the option to do this assignment with my class instead of my students. My CT says to try it with the students since they have an advisory period right before band, and it wouldn't waste rehearsal time. It'd be an interesting experiment since these kinds of discussions never happen in a band hall.

I'm trying to come up with a discussion a middle school band can have where students can voice their opinions and have healthy disagreements. Any ideas? Thanks!

16:38 UTC


Bit of a doomer post for music but interested in y'all's thoughts

Hey everyone. So I just read this post about the declining of teaching in America currently and there are some BLEAK theories as to where education is headed.


My big question for you long time Music educators or current ones.

Does anybody know of states that are actively cutting music programs and teachers?

I'm super worried about keeping my current job due to the unstable nature of what's going on in the US right now.

07:12 UTC


How many ensembles/ classes do you teach?


I’m a high school band director and I’m curious to what the course load looks like for other teachers.

School goes to give some context. Teachers have to be at school at 8:20 and stay until 4:20 before extra curriculars can start.

I teach Beginning orchestra

Intermediate orchestra

Advanced orchestra

Advanced percussion and beginning percussion in the same period

A class called college and careers

And another section of beginning and advanced percussion in the same period.

Listed above is just my contract. Outside of the school day I also am the assistant director of marching band which comes with a small stipend, director of jazz 2 which comes with a small stipend, do all the book keeping for the winter guard for no compensation, and I’m suppose to be the director of the pit orchestra for school musicals for no compensation.

To me this is a lot of stuff on my plate and is starting to become overwhelming. I’m just wondering how much stuff other high school directors or responsible for

19:48 UTC


Trinity of Diminished Series

10:53 UTC


Wish me luck as I have my senior recital tomorrow!!

20:38 UTC


Should the chest be engaged while singing?

Collegiate brass instrumentalist here.

I’m currently taking voice ped, and am going to lead warm-ups soon. I want to include a breathing exercise that involves engaging the chest (like imagine you’re sticking it out). Take air in for four beats, then “shhh” for as long as possible while engaging the chest. However, is engaging the chest important for breathing and singing, or should it be avoided? I’ve read that any tension in the chest should be avoided, but I’ve noticed for me that my breath management is a lot better when engaging the chest.


22:09 UTC


A minute in the life:

05:09 UTC


Principal closed communication between specials teachers and classroom teachers

My principal sat down the specials team today and said that it’s embarrassing when the teachers ask how the class went and we say that there were behavior issues. She said that it’s not their problem, and we should have the classroom management to cut out any behavior problems. She also said that we should lie when they ask and say that it went great no matter what. The teachers always ask, and the kids usually chime in, especially if it was a rough class. Opinions?

01:15 UTC


Having a class write a melody

Hi all,

I'm currently teaching a series of lessons on folk songs to group of Year 5s and 6s (ages 9-11). We began with learning a pre-existing folk song from where I come from and are now writing our own folk song. Having now written lyrics together, the next lesson will focus on writing a melody together for those lyrics. I've realised that I have very little idea as to how this can be achieved in a class setting, so I thought I should ask here. To clarify, I am perfectly capable of writing a melody by myself, I'm just unsure as to how I can get my class to write one in a fairly quick manner.


18:00 UTC


Ukulele pronunciation

I was teaching ukulele and I say it like “you-kuh-lay-Lee”. A kid said “it’s pronounced “Oo-kuh-leh-leh”, it’s disrespectful if you don’t say it like that”.

I know that is the proper pronunciation. How would you respond? Is it actually disrespectful?

16:19 UTC


The Minor Four Group 3

07:55 UTC


Thinking applying to grad school. Any good string programs?

I am a first year teacher and I’m thinking of applying to grad school after getting some years under my belt - around 5 - and have trouble finding any universities besides University of Florida and Ohio State that offer excellent degrees for orchestra teachers. What schools would you guys recommend?

03:54 UTC


What is the most important thing to do when teaching K-6 music?

I try to use NAMFE standards and hit different ones. I see value in theory, history, ear training, all the nuts and bolts. But in the end I feel like the thing that matters the most is just having the kids play actual songs and work towards performances.

I mainly prioritize group rhythm reading warmups (or vocal warmups), then get into actual songs. But then I look at the standards and think that either I'm not putting enough attention to many of them, or that the standards were written by someone who isn't really in the classroom with kids.

What do you think is the most important thing to spend your time on teaching to kids?

01:33 UTC


I made a Guide on Brazilian Samba Instruments, let me know what do you think :)

Samba originated in Bahia, Brazil, and quickly became a sensation across the country, particularly in states like Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. The diversity of Samba Instruments, drums, and rhythms reflect the varied forms of percussion present in Brazilian culture.

Samba encompasses a range of styles, from rural and traditional Afro-Brazilian traditions to the characteristic rhythmic patterns found in major cities and popular music. Although it has many forms, Samba maintains a predominant 2/4 timing, with an emphasis on off-beat and syncopated rhythms. The genre is passed down through oral traditions.

These drums can be played with hands, sticks, and even rings such as the Ring-Repique. Additionally, a variety of shakers and other instruments are used to create the complex Samba sound. Samba instruments range from traditional Afro-Brazilian designs to modern, industrial versions.

Samba de Roda, which emerged from a blend of West African and Bantu cultures brought to Brazil by enslaved Africans, was the primary form of Samba. The genre rose to prominence in the early 20th century with the emergence of samba schools, or "Escola de Samba," and the innovations of Radio in Rio de Janeiro.

Bahian Samba, which emerged in the late 20th and early 21st century, coincided with the rise of Salvador and Rio's Carnival celebrations. Today, Samba is popular worldwide and continues to evolve, merging with other rhythms. Traditional forms of Samba, such as Samba Roda, which is found alongside Capoeira and the Afro-Religions of Brazil, continue to thrive.

Percussion instruments have been at the heart of Brazilian music for centuries. The original Samba de Roda utilized a Knife and a plate, an Atabaque drum, a Pandeiro (Brazilian tambourine), a Caxixi shaker, and an Agogô bell. As the popularity of Samba spread beyond Brazil, dozens of new instruments were added to the mix. The result is a rich and varied sound that has captivated audiences around the world.

Knife and plate, Atabaque and Pandeiro in the background

To read the full article click here

1 Comment
22:50 UTC

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