So much of what makes music fun for us is sharing it with others: playing in ensembles, performing concerts, worshipping with our congregations, and teaching our craft. Unfortunately, many of us have found the usual ways we gather together to share music abruptly curtailed recently. With the help of technology, though, teachers and students alike can access a plethora of opportunities for distance learning through online lessons and rehearsals, practice aids, self-instruction and advancement, and sheer repertoire exploration.
Here’s our guide to navigating distance music learning and instruction. Let us know if you have any tips or pointers, and we’ll be happy to share them with our community! more “Guide to Remote Music Education”…
Music lessons should never be a dull or boring experience. There are many great method books and resources that teachers can use to make music lessons fun, interesting and engaging for students of all ages. We were on the lookout for some of these resources while at the Music Teacher’s National Association Convention in Anaheim, California. Some great resources that stood out were teaching aids and games from Keys to Imagination. Michelle Sisler was running the Keys to Imagination booth right next to ours at the show!
Today we had the opportunity to interview Phyllis Thomas, co-author of the Interactive Now! series published by Heritage Music Press.
Phyllis, born and raised in Colorado, has had an extensive career in music as a performer and music educator. She graduated with a M.M. degree from the University of North Texas with a major in vocal performance. Phyllis has sung in productions with the Dallas Opera, Fort Worth Opera and other regional opera companies. Her years of experience as an elementary music teacher in Texas is what eventually led her to co-author the Interactive Now! series with Debbie Anderson, music teacher friend and colleague.
Each volume of the Interactive Now! series, previously known as SMARTBoardNow, is a collection of ten interactive lessons designed specifically for use in the K–5 music education classroom. The most exciting aspect of this series is that it is designed for use with an interactive whiteboard or IWB. Using an IWB is tested and proven to be effective in teaching music concepts, greatly enhancing the student’s learning experience. See video below:
Let’s find out more about Phyllis and the Interactive Now! series.
Life as a music teacher can be an exceptionally fun and rewarding experience. The ability to share the knowledge of music with clarity and a twist of fun is a great gift. Unfortunately, music teachers seldom receive credit for helping students build upon and utilize their interpersonal, time-management and teamwork skills through the act of music making. Students learn these lessons and many more that can be transferred to all aspects of life by being involved in music.