Monthly Archives: August 2011

NEW Freddie the Frog: Beyond the Books | Finally Here!

NEW Teacher’s Book!

[The information below is taken from Sharon’s e-newsletter announcement that the long-awaited book, Freddie the Frog: Beyond the Books is finally in print. Get one now, for the beginning of your school year!]

From Sharon: How do I teach music beyond the Freddie the Frog storybooks?

The storybooks are just the introduction and the connection to Freddie.  Then, the learning really begins with Freddie introducing games, songs, and activities that always build on the foundation of the stories. Kids want to learn anything that Freddie thinks is fun!

The NEW Teacher’s Book outlines the 14 sequential lessons that I developed to teach music concepts, utilizing the storybooks and far beyond. The lessons include when and at what grade levels to introduce each book, how to introduce and review key concepts.  Plus, extension lessons that reinforce the learning.

It comes with a CD-Rom that includes:

Reproducible Student Flashcards

25 Coloring Pages

3 Interactive Whiteboard Lesson flipcharts/PPT files

Freddie the Frog® ClipArt

Assessment Report Sheet

Assessment Teacher Files

Available NOW

Sharon

Freddie the Frog®

-The Mascot of Music Education.

via NEW Freddie the Frog TEACHER’S BOOK is here!.

Other books and supplements in the Freddie Series:

Lab 2011: [UNT] One O’Clock Jazz Band

Lab 2011 , the CD from the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band is now available!

For those unfamiliar with the One O’Clock Lab Band,  they’re the top-level jazz band from the University of North Texas (UNT)  Division of Jazz Studies. The University of North Texas College of Music is one of the largest music schools in the country, and their rich legacy on jazz and jazz studies is world-renowned.   The One O’Clock Lab Band has received six Grammy nominations over the years, including their recent nomination in 2010 for their CD Lab 2009.

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Pender’s Music Co. just got in several copies and this is a very smokin’ CD! Be the first on your block to own it!

via Penders Music Co.

Arranging Pop Tunes for Choir

For Choral Cache Thursday, here’s an article that was recently written for “Ledger Lines,” an e-newsletter that is produced by Alfred Publishing. It’s written by Michael Spresser, one of Alfred’s choral editors:

Arranging Today’s Pop Chorals
By Michael Spresser
Alfred Pop & Lawson-Gould Editor

In the history of choral music, the arranging of popular music is still a relatively new phenomenon. Some of the earliest arrangements of popular songs of the day were developed in the 1930s, when Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians became one of the first ensembles known for singing ‘pop’ music. As you know, many of today’s current top pop songs are lyrically inappropriate, lack a strong melody, or the melody simply isn’t conducive to choral harmony.What does Alfred look for in a current pop choral arrangement? Many of the same things that are found in any successful choral composition:

– Does the melody stay within an appropriate range and tessitura for developing voices?

– Does the arranger use the best voice-leading possible? In other words, do the parts move in a way that help a singer experience success?

– Does the arrangement allow for proper and healthy vocal technique?

– Does the arrangement replicate the sound of the original while allowing for solid choral harmony?

– Does the arrangement encourage the building of listening skills and the teaching of basic musical concepts?

– Does the accompaniment enhance, while still supporting, the choral parts?

– Is the arrangement rhythmically accurate (true to the original), without being difficult to read?

– Does the arrangement allow solo opportunities where appropriate?

All of these questions, and more, are considered when we select our current pop arrangements. Arrangements that maintain choral integrity while also maintaining the style of the original are [some of the hallmarks] of Alfred publications.

Check out some of their newest releases that were featured at our recent choral reading session event, Sing-a-bration!


*Content used by permission of Alfred Publishing Company.

John Favicchia interview

Alfred Publishing recently had a great chat with John Favicchia, drummer extraordinaire and author of Elements, a Comprehensive Guide to Improving Your Drumset Vocabulary! In addition to his role as a private drum teacher, John spends a lot of time recording and has worked with such greats as Steve Khan, Tony Levin, Chieli Minucci, Lonnie Plaxico, John Benitez, just to name a few. John maintains a very busy schedule presenting clinics and touring throughout the nation and around the world, so they were very appreciative of the time he took to share his thoughts with them. Here is  the interview:
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Texas UIL | PML & You

The University Interscholastic League was created by The University of Texas at  Austin in 1910. It facilitates educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests, and has grown into the largest inter-school organization of its kind in the world. In particular, the Music Program of the UIL is designed to support and enrich the teaching of music as an integral component of the public school curriculum in the state of Texas.

And while your area may or may not have its own version of the UIL, there’s no doubt that the resources available from them can and are helpful to most educators, whether from the state of Texas or not. The TX UIL has been in the process of revising its Prescribed Music List, and recently, more than 100 titles were added to the band division of the list. Scroll through the slideshow below to review the latest additions, as well as to click through to audio files and pdf sample scores (where available).

Tipster: Teaching Young String Groups

We came accross this article on the web, and thought it would be a good one to pass along, especially since school will be starting up again in just a few weeks. It’s by Jacquelyn Dillon-Krass from Wichita State University.

Tips for Teaching Young String Groups to Play “In Tune”

by Jacquelyn Dillon-Krass

Music students learn more than music – they learn of life and self-worth. You are a valuable person in the lives of your students. “Don’t under-estimate the importance of your work or the responsibility that your job demands; enjoy it.”

Without a doubt, the most important and most difficult task facing the string teacher is teaching students to play “in tune.” Orchestral educators need to understand that (1) Good pitch never just happens; it is very carefully taught; (2) Poor pitch never gets better on its own; in fact, it usually gets worse; and (3) Concern for playing with good pitch is a never-ending quest, that has to be stressed daily with every group.

A beginner group, playing even the simplest music, should be expected to play with good pitch (first fingers in correct place, whole steps and half-steps obvious, etc.). “All purpose” second fingers (neither high enough nor low enough), so often heard, are simply unacceptable. In other words, there is absolutely no excuse for groups at any level to play out of tune.

If students are trained to be concerned about pitch from the very beginning, and then never allowed to play out of tune in rehearsals, they will play in tune under pressure at concerts. My beliefs and ideas on teaching young students to play in tune follow:

Follow the link below for the tips and the rest of the article from Conn-Selmer‘s Keynotes Magazine…

via Keynotes Magazine – Now Viewing Classroom Technique : Strings : Tips for Teaching Young String Groups to Play “In Tune” by Jacquelyn Dillon.

Elementary Music Resources

Dr. Vicky V. Johnson, Assistant Professor and Area Coordinator at Tarleton State University (Stephenville, TX), has compiled a comprehensive website of music resources, including some valuable elementary music links. Here is one of them, which is sourced from the TMEA website, on tips for new teachers:

Teaching Resources

As part of our commitment to excellence in music education for all students, TMEA supports its members through a myriad of professional development opportunities. TMEA sponsors Region workshops with grant funding, hosts the annual clinic/convention that offers hundreds of hours of professional development opportunities, partners in a mentoring network for teachers, provides pedagogical resources through its monthly magazine, and offers additional resources through this website.

Teaching the Fine Arts TEKS

The backbone of fine arts instruction in Texas, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills TEKS, help educators structure instruction around what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level in art, dance, music, and theatre. The Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts CEDFA supports fine arts teachers in implementing the Fine Arts TEKS. This network began as a cadre of educators and administrators trained by CEDFA to provide professional development workshops specifically targeted on TEKS implementation. CEDFA offers resources through its website and hosts statewide fine arts summits that focus on teaching strategies aligned with the TEKS. The CEDFA Summits serve as the only venue for educators from all four fine arts disciplines to meet and discuss relevant issues such as assessment and integration of the arts with other academic disciplines.

Fine Arts TEKS

TAC Chapter 117