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Commentary

  • Teaching by Ear, Learning by Heart Creative Musical Arts at New England Conservatory – Part 1

    NEC | July 16, 2023I was fortunate to have been brought up in a musical environment that emphasized listening first. As a young Suzuki violin student, my teacher made me learn every piece by ear before looking at the music. I was also required to work on daily sightreading and rhythm exercises and to study music theory and history. […] Read More...
  • Finish Strong

    Dr. Matthew Arau | May 11, 2023In high school, as a member of the track and field team, I specialized in the 800-meter race. The final curve and last 100 meters could make or break the race. Did I have enough reserves in my tank to accelerate and kick it all the way to the finish line or had I spent […] Read More...
  • Perceiving All Rhythms Literally is a Sin

    Richard Floyd | March 13, 2023If there is a component of music that might be perceived as unquestionably measurable it would be rhythm. Certainly, rhythmic notation appears to be fixed, exact, and finite. A quarter note is a quarter note, an eighth note is an eighth note, and so on. Do the math, match rhythmic notation with a metronome marking […] Read More...
  • Three Questions to Ask to Build a Strong Music Program at Your School

    Adrian Gordon | March 13, 2023Building a strong music program at a school is a desire of every music educator. We understand the power and influence of music in our own lives and ultimately want to see it continue for the next generation. But during the daily grind, we can easily lose sight of the bigger picture: our professional purpose. […] Read More...
  • Lead Before You Lead

    Dr. Matthew Arau | February 19, 2023February and March are busy times with festivals and concerts, and it is also a time where students begin to look ahead to leadership auditions in the spring and summer. Leadership applications may include essays, an interview, letters of recommendation, a performance audition, teaching a peer, and possibly even a service project. While the actual […] Read More...
  • I Want to Add Mariachi to My School’s Music Program. Where Do I Start?

    Jaimie L. Abney-Giraldo | January 15, 2023SBO+: This is the first in a series of articles about how to start a mariachi program from scratch, especially for educators with no background in the genre. You’ve seen the research, you’ve read the anecdotes and success stories, and you’ve analyzed your school’s demographic trends and student interest. You even have the support of […] Read More...
  • What Are You Looking For?

    Dr. Matthew Arau | November 13, 2022November is here and with that comes the changing colors of the falling leaves, cooler, crisper temperatures, and in the United States, a day to specifically focus on gratitude – Thanksgiving. Student leaders can expand on this one special day and create a month of gratitude. The great thing about focusing on something for a […] Read More...
  • Five Things I Learned by Bringing Mariachi to My School District

    Jaimie Abney-Giraldo | November 13, 2022SBO+: This is the first in a series of articles about mariachi and other genres of music to make our programs more inclusive and diverse. A few years ago, I was invited to adjudicate a mariachi festival and I was blown away by their musical excellence, the obvious enthusiasm, and the effectiveness of community outreach. […] Read More...
  • Video Games are Master Teachers

    Jared Brockmeyer | November 13, 2022SBO+: Jared mentioned to me he was going to make this presentation at the Midwest Clinic in December. I was so fascinated with his topic I asked him to share it with SBO+ readers. As I was finessing slides for the upcoming Midwest Clinic presentation I watched my 10-year-old daughter try Portal on my Nintendo […] Read More...
  • This is Lifelong Learning

    Karen Cross | October 13, 2022For years, principal Robin Scott has watched through her office window as eager sixth graders met outside in the early days of school, showing off their first sounds on new instrument mouthpieces. Then—just months later—she marveled at those same students as they confidently performed full pieces of music. She’s always been intrigued by the exponential […] Read More...
  • Why the Bassoon is the Most Interesting Instrument in the World

    Donovan Tong | October 13, 2022SBO+: This article came to us from a talented musician and writer who clicked “Write for SBO” on our homepage. Have something to share? Write for SBO+! I started playing the bassoon, the most wonderful instrument I have ever seen, in 6th grade. It all happened by chance. In the summer of 5th grade, my dad […] Read More...
  • Composing and Copyright

    Harvey Rachlin | October 13, 2022For many musicians and singers, music is the pulse of life. Their hearts swell to the sound of lush melodies, their bodies sway to intoxicating rhythms, their spirits lift to the soothing blend of sweet harmonies. As creative sorts, their passion for music sometimes goes beyond performing music–they want to create it. Who wouldn’t dream […] Read More...
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