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Fiddling, Folk and Improvisation Sessions from ASTA National Conference

At the 2020 ASTA National Conference, I attended several sessions on fiddle, folk and improvisation.  Fiddle tunes are excellent tools for teaching ear training, intonation, style, bow technique, memorization, and more. Here are key takeaways. Teaching How to Make a Simple Fiddle Tune Come Alive (Andy Reiner, Dave Reiner) The handout had many tune suggestions…
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Synopsis of Many Sessions from ASTA Conference Related to Directing an Ensemble

At the ASTA (American Strings Teachers Association) National Conference, March, 2020, I attended many interesting sessions.  Below are key points of interest to music directors from some sessions. “Full Contributor Mode”: Orchestra Rehearsal Techniques For Creating Leadership From Every Chair (Emily Schaad and Jonathan Handman) Principles of full contributor mode: Every member of the section…
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Motivation, Modeling and Games in the Middle School Orchestra

Three sessions I attended at the ASTA Conference, Orlando, March, 2020, focused on motivating middle school orchestra students and including modeling and  games in the orchestra classroom.  (“101 Tips and Tricks to Motivate Middle School Orchestra Students” by Amy Marr; “Gaming the Classroom” by Dr. Laurie Williams; “A Picture is Worth a 100(-ish) Words: Tactile…
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APP-Solutely Fabulous Apps to Enrich your Teaching (Music)

American String Teachers Association National Conference Orlando, FL, Mar. 2020 presented by Erin Broadhurst, Hilliard City School District This informative session seemed particularly timely considering the use of iPads at LPS.  Click here for the complete listing of apps discussed.  Many of them are music-specific, but some are applicable to any classroom. The Apps that…
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Looking Past the Grade: Emphasizing Feedback in String Assessment

Presented at American String Teachers Association National Conference Orlando, FL, March, 2020 by Tim Nowak, East Carolina University and Scott Glasser, Arizona State University Too often, students look straight to the number in the lower right corner (or, in musical ensembles, to the resultant chair placement they’ve earned based on that number).  This session focused…
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ASTA Session – “Help! My Students Don’t Play in Tune!”

One of my favorite sessions at ASTA 2020 was entitled “Help! My Students Don’t Play in Tune,” by Margaret Schmidt (Arizona State University) which of course piqued my interest. We’re all forever striving to improve our students’ aural skills, pitch recognition, and this is one of the more difficult skills to develop in string playing.…
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“I Don’t Have Time for Score Study!” – Score Study

This clinic was presented at the 2020 MMEA convention by Dr. Christopher Kelts of Missouri State University.  Within the clinic, Dr. Kelts offered visual and verbal examples of how he marks his musical scores for study and rehearsal.  His five-step process is as follows: 1. Logistics of the Score – The ‘before score study’ preparations…
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MMEA Theory/Ear Training In Rehearsal Session

At this year’s annual Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA) conference, I attended many sessions relating to secondary vocal music. One session that I found particularly meaningful was James Henry’s session on integrating aural skills and music theory into the ensemble rehearsal. The clever and cheesy name of this session “Guido Together Like Rameau-Lam-A-Ding-A-Dong” may have…
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Using Art as Inspiration for Movement

  Wiggles. We all have them and need to move frequently. How can we translate those wiggles into a language of expression? This November, I attended the 2019 American Orff-Schulwerk Association National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was inspiring and left me with many ideas and new songs to teach. One session was…
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Movement Exploration for primary grades

I attended AOSA National Conference in November 2019.  While there, I attended a session about movement in primary grades, specifically focused on pre-K and K.  Most of the activities I thought were relevant to grades K-2, and a few I thought could easily fly with upper elementary students as well. One of the most impactful…
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