NafME Music Convention

On Thursday November 5, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the NafME Music Convention in Hot Springs, AR. There I was able to attend a few different sessions that were all wonderful. One of them was particularly informative, and especially relevant to me in my stage of life, Ready, Set, Hired!.

The session was run in the form of a questionnaire to a panel of local school administrators. It was organized into 4 main sections: initial contact, resume, cover letters, and interview. There was a leader who asked the administrators questions about the topics and the panel responded with advice of how to get noticed, do’s and don’ts, and other helpful hints.

I found parts of the session especially reassuring because I already knew the information, but I found that I was learning new information that I know will help me from making some mistakes in my future job search. Overall, I really enjoyed the session, and I am so grateful that I was able to go.

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Some of the ATU crew after the keynote address, with Victor Wooten! Photo creds to Dr. Barber (I didn’t take any pictures of my own)


Rethinking music education

  1. Taylor, R. (2015, September). Rethinking music education in the 21st Segue, 28-30.
  1. In the article, “Rethinking Music Education”(September 2015), Rod Taylor explains the basics of his beliefs on and approach to music education.
  1. I agree with Mr. Taylor about his points about the individual taking charge of his or her own education and listening being a vital part of music education. I feel as though his approach to everything is very organic and self- paced learning. I also found it interesting that he mentioned his lesson teacher encouraging him to play other genres of music to expand his knowledge. He said that he “didn’t like that idea then, and [he] doesn’t like the idea now” (Taylor, p. 29). I think that is a great idea because the principle learned in different genres are transferrable across music as a whole.
  1. I feel as if my approach to teaching has changed, after reading this article, in that I will attempt to let the students pace the lessons more.
  1. “The ability to listen to others is perhaps the most defining characteristic among successful musicians” (Taylor p. 30)

“Music is dynamic, and our lessons about it should be too.” (Taylor p.30)

“The Happy Birthday Song”


This is a song that most people will know, but I chose to use it for my BoomWhacker assignment, because it would be useful to play and sing when classmates have birthdays throughout the year.

Read more about “the Happy Birthday Song” here!

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  1. Students sing “the Happy Birthday Song”.
  2. Hand out BoomWhackers for melody and chords
  3. Have students playing the melody play, and have those with chords sing.
  4. Repeat step 3 with parts switched
  5. Finally have all students play and sing their parts.
  6. Have students switch BoomWhackers with someone else (switch from melody to chords, and vise versa)
  7. Repeat throughout the school year on each student’s birthday (or birth months? if it would distract other lessons)

P.5.3.1   Sing and play a variety of simple songs alone and with others, containing level-appropriate expressive elements and elements of music

P.5.3.3   Demonstrate during rehearsal, using established criteria, correct techniques in classroom instruments (BoomWhackers).


This would also be great on mallets, guitar, recorder, or a mix of those and others


Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Oh the Places You'll Go

Publisher: Random House, 1990

Singing: Wheels on the bus; Yellow submarine; I’ve been working on the Railroad; Locomotion

Listening: music from around the world; Scene from August Rush; Fantasia “Rhapsody in Blue”

Instruments: watch Stompcreate a “boom band”; “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flats

Creating: song writing about a place student has been to/ would like to see, and what about that place makes it special, interesting, memorable, etc.

Moving: Scavenger hunt for Dr. Seuss items/ characters


Drama: evolution/ history of transportation

Art: Draw a postcard of a place the student has been

Language arts: write about life goals; write directions to house

Math: conversion of miles to feet (and other units of measurements)

Etc: Flat Stanley; learn how to say greetings in different languages

Hear the book read out loud!