Alison Balsom

—piccolo trumpet with rotary values,

from the Baroque period, Bach concerto


What do you notice about her playing?

What syllable is she using for articulation?

What kind of air is she using?



I had the opportunity to go to a music conference and was exposed to so many great education strategies and had a great time while I was there.

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It didn’t matter what instrument you played or part you sang, being a music educator was the importance of this conference. One great thing about the conference was being able to hear Victor Wooten talk about music. The first session I was at he talked about music and how the bass has influenced music. Although I do play the flute, everything he talked about and was explaining was so cool and was something I could relate to. It was so cool how he would ask a question about a song or a musician and people would know what he was alluding to. And when we didn’t know what it was all he had to do was play a couple of notes and the light bulb went on. He also talked about overtones on a bass and when that was first tried. Although some of these aspects don’t relate to me personally, I paid attention to how he was talking and reacting to people. Everyone was paying attention to him and learning in some way. There were also volunteers who went up and sang and also had a good time.

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The next session I attended was Salsa for kids. This was so much fun. We got to met Freddie the frog and learn about the newest book he was in. This book obviously had a Latin twist to it. There were lots of different percussion instruments that were used with different rhythms that went with a salsa step. It was also very interactive and would be great for any music class really. Some parts could be taken out for K-3 to make it easier for them.

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I got to play with drums next which was my favorite. We learned raps about respect and responsibility. They were created by Dancing Drums for inner city kids which taught them about these things. They also learned about being healthy and keeping there body healthy. I got to play small wood blocks, a djembe,  and an assortment of percussion instruments.

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I am learning more and more that there is definitely more then one way to teach music. I have learned some great interactive ways to do it. Whether it be how to engage my class and how to keep there attention; or how to incorporate dancing, playing a percussion instrument and remembering my rhythm; or helping teach students to respect there body and others through awesome percussion rhythms and raps! I very much enjoyed my time at the convention and can’t wait to go again!

Halloween Lesson!

ghost clipart

Ghost Chant!

This song can be great for starting class. Also, students can learn each others name and be involved with students they normally don’t talk to.

Ghost so scary.
Ghost so white
Don’t scare (child’s name)! (Shout the name.)
On Halloween night.

While we listen to these songs, print out this halloween coloring page ! When the music is light and quiet color the pumpkin with the candy. When the music is loud and dark color in the graveyard!

coloring page clipart

Bach Toccata and Fugue in d minor


All of these pieces are looped together, it starts over about 15:07.

These are the songs that are included in the video:                                                                                             Not As It Seems
Serpentine Trek
Alchemists Tower
Moonlight Hall
Arcadia Song
Danse of Questionable Tuning
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor-J. S. Bach
The Path of the Goblin King v2

This worksheet can be used in many ways. I would start out by teaching the rhythm by clapping and/or saying the rhythm ( 1 2+ 3 4+). Bats are quarter notes, candy corn is two notes and so on. The witches hat teaches the triplet rhythm. This can also be used to play rhythm on instruments, weather it is bells, BoomWhackers, or percussion instruments.

Rhythm halloween page

Rethinking music education

I did a precis on an article from Segue! Here it is so you can see it.

  1. Taylor, R. (2015, September). Rethinking music education in the 21st century. Segue, 28-30.
  2. Rod Taylor writes a great essay called Rethinking Music Education in the 21st century (11 October 2015) explains that the use of traditional pedagogy can be successfully combined with new and innovative ways of teaching music.
  • “Beginners” already experienced in music
  • Including what beginners know to what is new
  • Students should contribute to their music education
  • Privilege playing
  • Lecturing music should include playing music! (Students retain when they play)
  • Listen to others, even in an ensemble
  • Music educators should explore the psychological and emotional aspects of music
  • Transform audience with emotion and psychological connections
  1. Of course I already knew that there is more than one way to do many things, I should have thought the same about music. This article has helped me realize that I can teach music in many ways and hopefully will help more students learn. I hope I will be able to teach students that being a beginner doesn’t mean they are starting over learning music, only adding to their knowledge. I also want to teach that performing their music should be done just as much as they practice. If I performed more I wouldn’t be as afraid to play in front of people
  2. “When people decide to pursue music education, though, as teachers we often tend to think of them as “beginners,” and we do worse when we treat them as such. Rather, we should point out that they are quite experienced in music; they’re just beginning to express it in a way or on a particular instrument that may be new to them” (pg 29).