The Best Music Apps for Educators 

These are exciting times for music educators. Desktop computers and laptop notebooks have slowly changed our modes of creating, teaching, and assessing music. But tablets and smartphones have ramped up the music experience faster and farther than we could have imagined. The iPad and table computers are destined to change the way we teach and interact with students and technology. Today’s touchscreen sensitivity, which eliminates the need for a mouse, has also changed the way we work. This is important because it is gives us a more tactile surface which directly influences how we interface with data and music.

Read more: Technology: Music Ed Apps

Strategies for including students with special needs in standard ensembles

Because of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, it is becoming more and more prevalent that students with disabilities are participating in traditional music programs. Before, it may have been a situation where educators could say, “No, this student isn’t able to be a part of my class.” And now, legally, they can’t say that. That has created a thirst for information on how to work with these special needs students and incorporate them into ensembles and classes. A lot of people have a hard time with that because, for example, they might not be able to imagine how a student in a wheelchair could participate in the marching band. However, once it’s shown to them how it might be possible, the teachers tend to become much more willing to try to make it happen.

Read more: Working with Disabled Students

Exploring strategies for more inclusive music education

Many music educators speak about trying to engage as many students as possible in the act of music making. For children who have physical disabilities, participating in a typical instrumental ensemble can be a particularly challenging proposition. Fortunately, there are many adaptive tools in this day and age that have been designed to assist children who have unique physical skill sets. There are also many resources out there for educators who may be unfamiliar with how to best serve these children. And more importantly, even though a disability may be an obvious way in which some children stands apart from their peers, chances are that children with special needs – mental or physical – still have many more things in common with their classmates than they do differences.

Read more: UpClose: Adrian Anantawan

Addressing Behavioral Issues in the Classroom


When was the last time you had one of those days where you went home convinced you could set the world on fire if there was a way to make just a few key personnel changes in your band? 

When I have one of these days, sometimes I speculate as if I were on some sports TV show. I wonder how good we could be if band was like professional sports, where the team’s management could put a few underperforming individuals on waivers and bring in some new blood. More often than not, the situations that frustrate us to no end, the ones that have us considering new careers and result in our students being in the doghouse, have very little to do with making music. Instead, these situations encompass the behavior and character issues associated with boys and girls who are in the developmental stages of becoming men and women.

Read more: Guest Editorial: Fix the F#

It’s Time to Play Ball

With spring right around the corner, boys and girls from all across the country will soon be signing up for summer fun, like baseball and Little League. Were you also thinking about Little League? Wait a minute – this magazine and its articles are supposed to be about school band and orchestra programs! Well, read on.

We would all be well advised to borrow a page from our sporting friends when it comes to our beginning band and orchestra programs.

Read more: MAC Corner: April, 2014

Studying music can lead to many exciting career possibilities

By the time you read this, most of the high school seniors in your schools and districts will have received the much-anticipated piece of mail that will shape the course of their lives: college acceptance letters. Hopefully all of your students are on the way towards matriculating and making their academic dreams come true. Certainly, their resumes and applications have been strengthened by participation in your courses and ensembles, whether at the elementary, junior, or high school level.

Much is made of the lifelong benefits of musical study, and for good reason, but there are also plenty of tangible benefits to consider as well. By now, you have probably heard the story of Kwasi Enin,

Read more: Perspective: Opening Doors of Opportunity

EKU Marching Band to Employ Cutting Edge Technology

According to The Eastern Progress, the student-run newspaper at Eastern Kentucky University, the school’s marching band, The Marching Colonels, will soon be incorporating Google Glass into their rehearsals and field show. Google Glass are experimental glasses that have a built-in video camera and monitor:

Read more: Marching Colonels to Use Google Glass

Travel experiences from school band and orchestra directors

Have you taken your school music groups on the road in the past year or two? How did it go? What did you and/or your students learn from the experience? What was the best part? The good, the bad, the funny, the life-affirming, and the death-defying, SBO wants to hear about it! Share your travel experience in 250 words or less for the chance to be included in an exciting new feature that will be debuting in an upcoming issue of SBO magazine.

Read more: New SBO Feature: On the Road

NAfME’s ‘Broader Minded’ Advocacy Group Visits Capitol Hill Briefing

The music advocacy initiative Broader Minded™ from the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) was a featured part of a Congressional briefing on April 3, marking the first time NAfME has participated in such a hearing.

Read more: NAfME Visits Capitol Hill

Online music lesson provider ArtistWorks is sponsoring the 2014 ArtistWorks Classical Campus Video Exchange™ Scholarship Competition, with a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship. Designed to help aspiring musicians further their education through a cash award and through use of the ArtistWorks Online Classical Campus schools in preparation for their competition submission, the event is open to trumpet, flute, clarinet, and violin players. There is a application fee of $60, and applications are due April 30th. Submissions are due by May 30th.

Read more: ArtistWorks Classical Campus Scholarship Competition

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