Blog
 Loading... Please wait...

Posted

By Steve Engel

I remember once watching my daughter playing school, pretending to be the teacher. She sat in a chair holding a book up to her class of stuffed animals. She showed her class the book, and said “Front cover, back cover, spine, title page, dedication…”

It was obvious that she had learned the parts of a book through a routine of her teacher. It struck me how important these kind of routines are for music classes and private lessons.

Anyone familiar with the book The First Days of School knows that this is the holy grail of teaching prodecures and routines at the beginning of the school year. This is certainly one of few books that apply to music classes as well as the traditional classroom.

Here are some classroom management issues to consider:

  1. Where do students put instrument cases?
  2. Music stands and chairs: Does the teacher set them up? Do the students get them from a rack? Does everyone get their own music stand? What equipment gets put away and who does it?
  3. Books and sheet music: Do students take everything with them, or is there a folder storage system? Larger ensembles may need a librarian, or at least section leaders who can help distribute sheet music. What about when they forget their folders or misplace sheet music?
  4. Are students allowed to play their instruments before the ensemble warm-up?
  5. How do students know the rehearsal/warm-up has officially begun?

Here are some routines I’ve been implementing with my groups:

For beginners:

  1. Identifying the parts of their instrument, admittedly ad nauseum
  2. Assembling their instruments and explaining/verbalizing the process for doing so
  3. Verbalizing the fingerings for their first notes (Beginning Band: Concert Bb – F; Beginning Strings: D Major scale)
  4. Identifying notes on the staff, using flash cards

For intermediate students:

  1. Band: Simple warm-up exercises such as those on Essential Elements Book 1, page 18
  2. Strings: The D Major scale with simple rhythmic variations and bowing patterns
  3. Rhythm exercises, clapping and counting aloud

For private students:

  1. Scale/arpeggio exercises appropriate to the student’s ability
  2. Warm-up notes for beginners
  3. For younger students: A review of previously practiced music
  4. Introduction of new music/exercises
  5. For older students: Repertoire development
  6. A clear expectation of what is to be practiced for the next lesson

Looking for teaching resources, take a look at the wide variety of titles available at Music Books Plus, here.

About the Author:

Steve Engel has been an Instrumental Music Teacher with the Bakersfield City School District since August of 2001. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas with a concentration in Jazz Studies/Composition. He later earned his Master’s degree and teaching credential from California State University, East Bay (formerly CSU Hayward).

Keep Music Classes Fun

By Steve EngelFirst, it’s no secret that classrooms have become less fun in recent years. It’s true that students may always complain about school not being fun, but now experienced teachers are now protesting as well. Many fun, creative lesson plans have been eliminated because they don’t fit into today’s curriculum. The word “enrichment” has [...]

Read More »


What’s the Right Age to Begin Music Lessons?

By Dr. Robert A. CutiettaWe’ve all heard the stories of famed musical prodigies, from Mozart writing his first symphony at the age of eight to Stevie Wonder signing with Motown at 11. Even if your child isn’t performing with the New York Philharmonic or the Chicago Symphony by age 11 (like violinist Midori and Herbie [...]

Read More »


​PROFESSIONALISM: A DAILY DOZEN

By Mat MarucciWhether playing part-time or full time, if someone earns money playing the drums he or she is a professional drummer. Sometimes how often one works has less to do with his or her abilities as a drummer and more to do with how those abilities are applied.The following tips will help the young drummer in getting a perspective [...]

Read More »


​DAILY RUDIMENTS

Written by Mat MarucciNot every drummer is expected to be a rudimental expert but familiarity with all forty rudiments is highly recommended for each of us. And it isn’t as big a chore as you might think. If one new rudiment is studied and learned each week, it is only a matter of about 6 months to learn all 26 [...]

Read More »


​Bluegrass or Clawhammer Banjo - Which One is Easier to Learn?

By Wayne ErbsenYou’ve got your heart set on learning to play the banjo. Come to find out, there are currently two popular styles of banjo playing: bluegrass or clawhammer banjo. Which one should you choose? And most important, which style is easier?First, let me explain each style and then we’ll talk about which one is easier to learn.Bluegrass banjo was more [...]

Read More »


Music Royalties 101 Part 6: ​USER GENERATED CONTENT

Written by Jeffrey Brabec & Todd BrabecUser generated content, or UGC, presents unique issues, because non-pro users frequently post what they want and obviously do not seek out licenses for the music they may use. Early on, in the history of Internet video — which is to say, in the history of YouTube — such unlicensed uses often went undetected. If these uses [...]

Read More »


ENTER TO WIN

Who's your SUPER DADDY?Music Books Plus wants to help you celebrate the SUPER DADDY in your life ---so we're giving away a SUPER DAD t-shirt to one lucky SUPER Dad!.Enter to win a FREE t-shirt this Father's Day at http://wshe.es/xDJ5tmCUSweepstakes run until June19th 11:59pm ET. Open to CDN & US residents#happyfathersday #superdad #SuperDads #fathersday2018

Read More »


Music Royalties 101 Part 5: ​PERFORMANCES

 Written by Jeff Brabec & Todd Brabec The Performance Right, one of six primary rights of copyright under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, gives the owner of a copyrighted musical composition the exclusive right, with certain exceptions and limitations, to perform the work publicly. What this means is that in practically every type of situation where music is being performed, a [...]

Read More »


Music Royalties 101 Part 4: ​​MECHANICAL ROYALTIES

By Todd Brabec & Jeff Brabec Royalties,which are paid to music publishers by record companies for the sale of audio physical product (e.g., CDs, Vinyl) and permanent digital downloads (e.g., iTunes) are called “mechanical royalties.”This term also encompasses royalties paid by digital music services for such diverse uses as interactive streams, subscription based non- permanent downloads and locker services. These mechanical rates are [...]

Read More »