Tracking the Expansion of the MEANYC All County Bands

Tracking the Expansion of the MEANYC All County Bands

Ten years ago, I recall receiving an e-mail that MEANYC was organizing an All County music festival! I saw this as another wonderful performance opportunity for my students and could not wait to involve them. I nominated 26 students for the band and waited with bated breath, hoping that four or five would be accepted! Much to my surprise all 26 of my students were accepted.

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Bridging the Gap: How a Group Of Music Teachers Created a Learning Environment to Support Their Work and Their Students

Bridging the Gap: How a Group Of Music Teachers Created a Learning Environment to Support Their Work and Their Students

My story is probably similar to many music teachers in New York City. I was the founding music teacher at an elementary school in the South Bronx that had never had music. I was the only music teacher in the building, there was no curriculum, and the administration barely came into my classroom. I was alone. Like most of us, I dove into the hard task of trying to figure it all out, not only how to be a great music teacher but how to create a program.

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Help! My Principal Wants Me to Teach Strings!!!

Help! My Principal Wants Me to Teach Strings!!!

When I entered into teaching 15 years ago, one of the first teaching job presented to me would have been teaching beginner band. As a string player who was hoping to teach strings, the thought of teaching beginner band started giving me palpitations. Luckily, I met with a veteran teacher who gave me tips on how to start a beginner band before I went in for the interview. I didn’t have to worry about teaching beginner band but I still remember that feeling of “where do I begin?” So here are a few tips/suggestions/advice that I have given to a few colleagues over the years who have asked me “How do I start a string program?”

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Afro-Latin Rhythms in Band and General Music Classes

Afro-Latin Rhythms in Band and General Music Classes

Afro-Latin rhythms are part of the foundation for jazz, rock and pop music. You can teach Afro-Latin rhythms to give your ensemble a strong rhythmic foundation and explore connections between different cultures. Afro-Latin rhythms include rhythms from salsa, Afro-Cuban 6/8 (bembé), swing, bachata, merengue, bossa nova, and samba music, all rooted in West Africa and developed in places like Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Brazil.

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President's Corner - Speaking the Language of "Music"

President's Corner - Speaking the Language of "Music"

This is the time of year when we can see just how much our students can demonstrate a mastery of everything we’ve taught them. One of my sixth grade students raised her hand last week and said, “Mrs. Peltz, the altos are still missing the do-la skip at measure 43 on page 5. Can you go over it again?” Of course I could, that is, once I got over the fact that this young musician was speaking the language of “music.”

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