Modern Band

  • The New Normal: An Equitable Approach to Rebuilding School Music Programs

    Wanda Vasquez-Garcia | April 6, 2021Music specialist Wanda Vasquez-Garcia, MM, addresses the inequalities and inequities facing students of color, and socio-economic disadvantages revealed in greater detail by the need for remote teaching this past year. Read More...
  • Inspired Together: How My Students and I Built a Record Label to Showcase Their Work

    Dan Black | March 6, 2021In SBO's March issue, Dan Black details how he turned a no-in-person performance year into a winning learning scenario that involved recording performances and learning to mix and deliver them and more. Read More...
  • Incorporating Hip-Hop Into the Remote Classroom

    Will Mosley | February 5, 2021Using students’ culture as a springboard, teachers can easily find inroads to foster non-musical skills. These hip-hop-themed lesson ideas, presented by NYC teacher (and Brooklyn native) Will Mosley, can be used with students in grades 3 through 5. Read More...
  • Distance Learning Best Practices to Support Your Online Songwriters

    Mike Lawson | January 8, 2021

    Before schools were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teaching songwriting in the classroom provided our students with instant feedback and support. When the necessary tools were present in the same room—instruments, recording gear, and, most importantly, teachers and students—teaching songwriting felt organic and natural.

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  • Encouraging Observations During the Pandemic

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    It is hard to believe that we are entering the holiday season and are still engulfed in this pandemic. Currently, much of our country is going back into quarantine, with many teachers shifting yet again from in-person to blended to virtual instruction for the umpteenth time. However, there seems to finally be an end in sight with strong news on the vaccine front, and it seems like a good time to reflect on the lessons we have learned thus far.

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  • Pre-Service Music Teacher Education in a Virtual Environment

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    I teach music education and music technology courses at Montclair State University in northern New Jersey. This semester, like at many other colleges and university courses, all of my classes are online.

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  • Teaching Composition Using Google’s Song Maker

    Mike Lawson | October 1, 2020

    Necessity is the mother of invention. Teaching music in a virtual environment can present challenges to the most seasoned educators. Teachers across the country are finding themselves in widely varying classroom situations, sometimes without instruments. As challenging as this new environment may be, it also presents opportunities to explore new and creative ways of making music.

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  • Starting the (Virtual) School Year With Equity and Trust

    Mike Lawson | September 2, 2020

    This school year is starting considerably different than most. When we started our virtual school year in New Orleans this August, I kept hearing the same questions being asked by educators: How do we get to know our students virtually? More importantly, how do we build trust with our students and ensure our classroom is equitable in a virtual format?

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  • Artist Keynote Highlights from the Virtual Modern Band Summit

    Mike Lawson | July 31, 2020

    This past July, Little Kids Rock hosted its first ever Virtual Modern Band Summit, an online conference featuring over 30 breakout sessions, 20 small group discussions, and other great opportunities for professional learning. Chief among these were the four artist keynotes, given by influential popular musicians from the past four decades.

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  • Virtual Modern Band Summit: A Music Education Conference for the Moment

    Mike Lawson | July 15, 2020

    For the past seven years, Little Kids Rock’s Modern Band Summit conference has been a music educator’s one-stop shop for professional learning—a joyful, celebratory affirmation of the core ethos of teaching, and a hotspot for classroom innovation through modern band. So what happens to a conference built on community and togetherness at a time when physical proximity isn’t possible?

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  • Teaching Modern Band During Quarantine

    Mike Lawson | June 15, 2020

    When the coronavirus outbreak sent all teachers home from school to start distance learning, music teachers had to come up with a new game plan, fast. For some, the challenge was figuring out how to have authentic music making experiences with their students online. For others, it was simply finding out if and how they could communicate with students at all.

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  • Online Resources for Modern Band

    Mike Lawson | April 30, 2020

    As we all enter into the second month of engaging with students online, some of the challenges and opportunities of virtual teaching have come to the forefront.

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