Good-quality materials for beginners

As a beginning band teacher, I often heard people say that my students didn’t need instruments of good quality because the kids didn’t know how to play anyway. That’s exactly why they need good quality. Because they don’t know what they’re doing, they have no skills to compensate for deficiencies in the instrument. They don’t … Read more

Take the opportunity: band teacher edition

What a fantastic opportunity we have been forced into! I know that could be interpreted sarcastically; I mean it completely sincerely. I am a teacher. Sometimes, I am a phenomenal teacher. Sometimes, I am a mediocre teacher. We all know teachers who have been teaching for a long time, teaching the same thing, plugging along … Read more

Reflections on the second week of pandemic teaching

The novelty of wearing a mask has worn off, and more kids are taking them off. I spent a fair amount of time during class this week showing empathy to their discomfort—I don’t like wearing one, either—and explaining why we’re wearing them. They didn’t seem to know. (That could be no one has explained it … Read more

Tips for school-at-home

School has started or is about to start ’round here. For the moment, we’re all online, and many parents are struggling with the situation. Different households have different dynamics. Parents and kids have a wide range of personalities and interpersonal relationships. Be open to possibilities. Take what works; leave what doesn’t. As a teacher with … Read more

Things that are working for quarantine schooling and living

I’ve seen three people just today ask “What are you doing that’s working?” with regards to the kids being home. Here’s what’s more or less working here. Disclaimer: This is not meant to tell you what to do. Our situations might be entirely different. This is just what we’re doing that’s working (or that we … Read more