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Blog posts : "group instruction"

Idea Exchange: Tips for Teaching Older Adults

By Tamra Brunn

The MacPhail Music for Life™ program is expanding at MacPhail Center for Music and we currently serve over 1,000 adults age 55+ in our student body! Earlier this month we gathered together a panel of experienced Music for Life teaching artists—Jeanie Bri…

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Finding Appropriate Chamber Music Repertoire for Any Ensemble

by Jeremy Swider, Chamber Music Coordinator, MacPhail Center for Music

Do you coach chamber music ensembles? Are you in a student chamber ensemble? Do you have trouble finding music of an appropriate level of difficulty for your group or the groups you coach?


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Idea Exchange: The Progress Principle

by Kristin Shoemaker

On October 10th a group of MacPhail Center for Music faculty members came together to talk about the importance of progress and its direct impact on student motivation. The discussion centered around findings from Amabile and Kramer’s book, The Progress Principle, and vetera…

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Things I Learned During my First Year at MacPhail

By Julia Reeves Reeves.Julia@MacPhail.org

1.   In order to be an effective teacher and survive my first year, I need to be flexible and resilient. I think this has become my mantra for working in partnerships. The concept of control is one I struggled with a great deal when I first walked into a c…

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Pentatonic Scale: Friend or Foe?

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

8c10174rThe pentatonic scale is certainly common in music from around the world. As a percussionist, I've been in African and Javanese percussion ensembles that have used the scale almost exclusively and of course I think that students should experience music from …

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Ten Super Sunny Joys of the Pentatonic Scale

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

Many years ago, I took my son to an ECFE parent/infant class.  The instructor gave us a sheet entitled, “The 10 Super Sunny Joys of Peek-a-Boo.”  Peek-a-boo is such a natural and universal game to play with babies, but there are so many great underl…

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Being a Classroom Manager

by Sarah Hruska Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

Some teachers are instinctive classroom managers.  From the very start, they know how to lead a group and manage Hitane Elementary School classroom 2student behavior.  Unfortunately, I was not one of these people.  It took me several years to develop effective classroom management skill…

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The Singular, Unique Challenge of Group Teaching

by Katie Condon Condon.Katie@MacPhail.org

Many years ago, on my first day teaching general music, I told a group of kindergarteners to raise their hands if they had something to say. Immediately, a hand shot up and a little girl said, “I have a brother”.  Hand after hand went up, each child wanting t…

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