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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How I Used Free Resources to Build My Music Program

Picture it. August of 2015. I was a teacher who had just relocated his whole family from Florida to New York City. Fortunately, I had found a job as music teacher split between two schools. On my first day in class, my students had nothing. Only me. No instruments, no razzle dazzle, just me. Fast forward to December of 2018. My classroom now has 10 keyboards, 6 acoustic guitars, a bass guitar, an electronic drum set, and a portable PA system. My intention with this article is to share how I got from August 2015 to December 2018.

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Building a District 75 Musical Theatre Program

I have both the privilege and challenge of directing the end-of-year show at our school. My first year, we did a Broadway revue. Because of its success, my AP suggested that we do a full show the following year. So we did Aladdin. I typed out the lyrics to each song, and to make their meaning come across more clearly, I supplied images from Aladdin that went along with each lyric.

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Thoughts on Recruitment in the Choral Classroom

Thoughts on Recruitment in the Choral Classroom

Each year, I hear chorus teachers lament that students are not signing up to join chorus during the school day. Many students experience chorus in elementary school, and are ready to try something new in middle school. Students are excited by new classes available to them, such as S.T.E.M, dance, computers, art, band, drama, and other attractive options. The question remains: How can we make chorus shiny and new once again?

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What Folks are Saying ...

What Folks are Saying ...

The Computer Tech workshop with Jim Frankel and Barbara Freedman was nothing but enlightening to a computer savvy and to the non-technological teacher. Information presented was beneficial in the music classroom as a teaching tool, a creative tool and as an assessment tool. Participants experienced first hand the MusicFirst website having been given access immediately to test drive its content with its founder. While on the other hand, Barbara Freedman noted many interesting technological elements for using equipment and software to compose music.

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In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight

Brian Worsdale is a very busy man. Not only has he been recently named Music Director of The Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he is now also Director of The New York Pops’ Kids on Stage program. Kids on Stage is part of The New York Pops’ PopsEd education portfolio, providing middle school students access to the professional performance process from the first audition to the final note!

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