Thursday, March 17, 2011

2nd grade

I am so very excited about the singing going on in 2nd grade this year.  They just sing beautifully!

I'm excited about how sweetly they sing because if their sound is sweet now, then hopefully we can continue to build a nice sound the rest of the time they are in elementary school.  The best part is that these students have reached that place in their singing that is so beautiful that they notice and are therefore motivated to create more beauty.

Kuddos for 2nd grade!
I think that 2nd graders are awesome! because for the most part if you are in 2nd grade you are pleased to learn.  It has been my observation over the years that 2nd grade is the happiest year in all of elementary school because if you've made it to 2nd grade there are many things that you've figured out.  Simply put, you know how to be at school.  Also - 2nd graders are a little nicer than children of other ages.  It's in 2nd grade where I see students becoming totally enthralled in whatever game we are playing.  It's in 2nd grade where I see students being most comfortable with and most accepting of their peers.  And, it's in 2nd grade where their confidence that they can manage a task doesn't lag too far behind their actual ability.  It's a wonderful time.  I wish it would last longer :)

In any case, I'm happy that my 2nd graders will be singing for their parents at the end of the month.  It will be a pleasure to share with these parents the good work their students are doing, and the good work that the parents are doing as well!

 When you teach, things don't always turn out nicely.  Sometimes we or our students fail to meet either our expectations or the expectations of others.  However, when we have the chance to experience learning that is beautiful, like my "Second Grade Songbirds" we should enjoy it fully.    After all, it's those musical experiences that are truly beautiful that inspired us to teach music in the first place.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Vocal Rest!

The best and hardest thing to do when you are a music teacher is to maintain a rested voice. I am happy to say that now that I'm on Spring Break, I can rest my voice for a few days. This is good because my voice was in desperate need of silence!

The best money that I've ever spent was my "aerobics instructor" microphone and amplifier. If you are a music teacher who is trying to teach without amplification go ahead and spend the money to get the microphone, no amount of unamplified teaching is worth loosing your voice over.

There are multiple reasons to take care of your voice with plenty of water, rest, limited talking, and all the other healthy things we are supposed to do for ourselves anyway.....Here are the few that come to the top of my head

1. I like to sing - a tired voice keeps me from doing what I love..... I hate that!
2. This is my job - if I can't do my job then maybe I need to do something else
3. My students benefit from a healthy vocal model not a tired one
4. Having a voice that is not my best voice puts me in a VERY bad mood and is frustrating
5. Singing makes me happy
6. Some vocal damage is permanent, why risk it!
7. Surgery is risky at best, devestating at worst
8. A $300.00 microphone and a $50.00 amp is cheaper than lost work and surgery