#MaslowBeforeBloom

One advantage to online teaching is the occasional moment to consider things outside of “school”, and possibly the time to act on them. This could be a small home chore, project, article, news blast, social media check in, moment of silence, or many other things. Today was a chance to dig into Dr. Pearlman’sMaslow Before Bloom“. This fantastic (and easy) read is digestible, thoughtful, reflective, and empowering.

“If a student is hungry, tired, or scared — give them food, a nap, or a hug. This does not require board approval or a bond issue. It seems so simple. It is simple. It is also very effective.” (p 8)

Throughout my career, I have participated in a number of conversations about students that are focused on the WHAT a student is doing and ignores or dismisses the WHY a student is doing it. You can contextualize it in a behavioral setting, academic setting, or…

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The Inspiration We Receive (and maybe provide)

During these unique times, it has frequently been said that the arts will get us through. They will heal us. They will explain to us. They will inspire us. They will reflect us. In alternate conversations, the challenges of our society looked to schools for assistance and sollutions. As an educator, this was both empowering and frustrating… it is not a school’s responsibility to make sure the economy is working, but students can benefit greatly from the routines and social engagement of the school setting.

In my own journey, I felt a sense of duty to provide students a meaningful learning experience while supporting the diverse and complex social/emotional perspectives. This responsibility was heavy, but was driven by purpose. Every student deserves an…

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Dear Diary, today I learned…

Over the past few months, we have faced an “unprecedented” pandemic, impacting communities and societies without prejudice world wide. These categorizations allowed us to feel a disconnect to the realities of our realities. Words like unprecedented, never-before, and unparalleled described this COVID-19 health crisis.

Then, on May 25, 2020, George Floyd experienced something that doesn’t fit any of these descriptions. It was not an “unprecedented” moment, it was not a “never-before” moment, Read more of this post

Allowing Their Voice

When we challenge students to find the voice within their musical expression, we often create boundaries (intentionally or otherwise) that can alter/enhance the expressive perspective of the students. If we do not allow for relevance and limit them to our expected expression, the investment and creation generated from the students Read more of this post

What makes a tuba a tuba?

What makes a band a band? What makes a choir a choir? What makes an orchestra an orchestra? What makes music music? What makes…  As I continue to travel this glorious rabbit hole called a PhD, I am constantly challenged on my beliefs and understandings of what music is, what being a musician is, what being a music educator is, and the complex relationship between each of these. The identity I have as a band director only encapsulates a small portion of my musical being. Read more of this post

Start From the End, Don’t End at the Start

Over the past few days of this enlightening SMTE experience, I have been left with a persistent and nagging question… are we teaching our students to meet today’s standards, or are we empowering them to create tomorrow’s? For many, reflection on this will provide false security and validation. Unfortunately, many are chasing their tail, hoping for a new outcome and creative solution to the age old problems with music education. What if we didn’t try so hard to “solve” those problems? What if we stopped chasing our tail and just ran with the wind? Read more of this post

Whatever you do, don’t let “their music” in here!

As the last few opportunities for “me” time start to fade away, and the end of that glorious time of year that we call “summer vacation” becomes real, I am renewed in my dedication to music education. As a musician, I have been trained in a multitude of technical, musical, and nonsensical means of storytelling through my instrument. As an educator, the training has been much the same… exploring various approaches to adapt to the ever changing community of learners (like a dart board on a merry-go-round). When I committed to pursuing this final degree, I was unaware of how much impact my experiences would have on my own reflections and practices.

We are currently at, in my humble opinion, a tipping point in music education (yes, it absolutely can be argued the same for ALL of education, but I am choosing to focus on music). Read more of this post

Enjoying the ride

As I ventured into my graduate studies, looking for new challenges, I had no idea what was in store. The twists and turns that my musical, educational, and professional brains would journey through have been exciting, frustrating, and of course, left me with more questions than answers. My background as a musician (and music educator) is firmly rooted in the instrumental ensemble tradition. This was where I came from… this is what I recreated in my own classroom… but now it feels different. Read more of this post

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