2018 NAfME National Conference: “Amplify: Innovation”


Opus 2: “Amplify: Innovation”

Sponsored by Tonara

Amplify: Innovation – Cultivating Innovative Music-Making.

How do we successfully embrace a variety of musical experiences with this generation of students? Scroll down to learn more.


This Opus, or learning track, will be led by Anne Fennell.

innovationAnne Fennell has taught K-12th grade music for 31 years and currently teaches three levels of steel drum ensembles and four levels of music composition at Mission Vista High School in Oceanside, CA, in addition to her national and international consulting and workshops. She is a royalty author with Pearson Education and published through the GRAMMY Foundation and Baby/Little Einsteins. Anne is the Council Chair for Innovations in Music Education and member of the General Music Council for the National Association for Music Education, and Vice President of the California Music Educators Association. She has received numerous local, state, and national awards, including the top 3 Music Educator award for the U.S., Music and Arts in 2015, GRAMMY Music Educator AwardTM Top 10 Finalist 2016, and Magnet Schools of America Teacher of the Year 2017. She holds a Bachelors in Music Education, a Masters in Leadership Studies, and believes in the joy and community of lifelong music-making.

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Learn more about all the Opus learning tracks.

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Developing a Culture of Innovation in Music Education

Monday, November 12th, from 9:15 to 10:15 AM

Anne Fennell

What is innovation in music education, and how do we develop a culture of innovation in our classrooms? This session will identify the “how” of innovation in music education and offer ideas for intentionally integrating innovation with character dispositions and student-centered work with the goal of providing music education for all students.


Create/Build Capacity for Innovation through Learning

Monday, November 12th, from 10:15 to 11:30 AM

Anne Fennell, Alex Ruthman, David Williams, Alexander Koops

How do we develop and create a culture, climate, and mindset for innovation in our music classrooms while supporting authentic learning for all students? Participants will identify and share processes and pedagogical approaches to intentionally support a growth mindset of innovation in our music classes. The future of our collective culture and the next generation of music educators are in our classes, ready to actively engage in music through learner-centered processes.


Composing within the Ensemble

Monday, November 12th, from 2:15 to 3:15 PM

Alexander Koops

Creating is listed as the first of four core standards in the 2014 National Core Arts Standards. Many who teach large ensembles, however, are unsure of how best to implement the creating process components of imagine, plan and make, evaluate and refine, and present within the context of large groups. Examples of student work will be presented, along with music composition teaching strategies and lesson ideas. Participants will interact with these process components individually and as a whole. The focus of this session will be on how to implement the creating process through composition in ensembles.

Teaching a Music Instrument in the Digital Age

Monday, November 12th from 3:15 – 3:45 PM

Ron Regev

Advancements in technology have always had a significant impact on the performance and teaching of music. The present lecture will give an overview of the history of the connection between technology, music performance and teaching, and will list and demonstrate the most advanced tools and applications available to teachers, students and performers today. The same technology that is pulling students away from music can be used to bring them back.

Sponsored by: Tonara

Collaborative Conversations Derived from Morning Work

Monday, November 12th, from 3:45 to 4:15 PM

Anne Fennell, Alexander Koops, Alex Ruthmann, David Williams

In small groups, participants will create intentional dialogue and discussions surrounding our topics of innovation in music education and connected character dispositions. As a large group, we will then identify and present ideas, share thoughts, and provide questions and answers to connect with our work and growth from the day.

Digital Music in Performance: The iPad Ensemble

Monday, November 12th, from 4:30 to 5:30 PM

David Williams, Patrick Cooper, Christopher Burns

In this session, presenters offer an overview of the possibilities of using iPads in live performance by examining real-life examples from an iPad ensemble that models learner-centered pedagogical principles. We will examine the social and musical characteristics of the musicians, possible approaches to rehearsals, classroom setup and equipment, and what performances might involve, including collaborations with other artists and breaking down the artificial “fourth wall” that is too often placed between musicians and audiences.


Music as Reflection

Monday, November 12th, from 5:30 to 5:45 PM

Anne Fennell

How can we invite students and teachers to create music that is a reflection of our individual and collective ideas and connections to the world? Participants will view student work to identify how teachers can intentionally create opportunities for reflection through students’ personal compositions and connections to sound.


Connections and Conversation Threads, Reflections

Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:00 to 8:15 AM

Anne Fennell

What innovative pedagogical approaches provide opportunities for music-making for all students? Participants will identify connections to our work from Day 1 and collaboratively provide questions and conversation threads for the Day 2 session.


Rotation Session: Reflections and Directions

Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:15 AM to 9:30 AM

Anne Fennell

Lightning Talks are 10-minute sessions that provide participants with an opportunity to connect with 5 of 8 topics in a quick format. The presenters will share their ideas and information during the first 6 minutes of the session, followed by 4 minutes of questions, discussion, and connections. At the end of the 10-minute sessions, the participants will then have 3 minutes to rotate to a new area and choose a different session topic.


Rockestra: Let’s Get Rock’n

Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:15 to 9:30 AM

Shelby Montgomery

Teaching rock music can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Learn how to implement teaching rock and popular music in your orchestra classroom. Teachers will be given a curriculum guide for the year with lesson plans. Do you have students in your school who play rock instruments but are not in a traditional music class? Find those kids, and let’s get rock’n! Teach theory, ear training, literacy, community involvement, and leadership skills with rock music, and watch your program flourish!


Video Games and Creation in the Ensemble Classroom

Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:15 to 9:30 AM

Brian Meyers

Collaboration, creativity, and technology merge in the ensemble classroom as students work together to compose music for a video game. This session presents a template of how to integrate video games and group composition into ensemble classes of all ages for a comprehensive and enlightening musical experience. Attendees will create a musical cue list in response to a video game sequence. The concept of collective collaboration will be presented as a way for students to discuss and negotiate musical ideas in reference to in-game events.


Write, Record, Release: Publishing Recordings

Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:15 to 9:30 AM

Kevin Lane

In days gone by, school music groups would make recordings of their performances and have them put on small runs of vinyl records, to be sold mainly to parents. But thanks to the Internet and media vendors such as iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube, your group can now reach a much wider audience. This session explores the steps required to release recordings of your students’ original compositions and arrangements and how to have them reach the widest possible audience.


Musicians as Citizens: Artistic Understanding & Humanism

Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:15 to 9:30 AM

Dijana Ihas

This session will share examples of strategies and materials designed to deepen students’ understanding of music beyond what is written in the score. Participants will observe examples of interactive performances designed to empower students to convey artistic ideas and perceptions through interactive and engaging performing practices. Strategies, materials, and examples of performances are built on principles of Comprehensive Musicianship and Teaching Artist approaches.


The Student-Run Venture: Reshaping the Music Classroom

Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:15 to 9:30 AM

Mark Tonelli

Student-run ventures are actual businesses that students enroll in as a course. This experiential learning is on the rise, empowering students to exercise professional skills. Students enrolled do not merely learn about artistic direction, marketing, or accounting—they actually handle this work and leave with valuable business experience. The session will explore three ventures: record label, live performance venue, and touring ensemble. Discover how this classroom opportunity can help students identify passions, hone skills, and prepare for a career.


Turning Classroom Spaces into Punk Places

Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:15 to 9:30 AM

Gareth Smith

Punk is an ethos and an aesthetic that can be a powerful catalyst for unleashing the agency and power of individuals and groups of students. Seth Kahn-Egan presented five punk premises that this presenter proposes pose challenges and present possibilities for pedagogues. These ideas point to a plethora of possible assignments, performances, and perspectives, each of which can engage students in more ways than traditional music education approaches usually provide.



Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:15 to 9:30 AM

Alex Ruthmann

New York University’s MusEDLab creates new technologies and experiences for music-making, learning, and engagement. Learn about some of them in this session.


Whole Musician

Tuesday, November 13th, from 8:15 to 9:30 AM

Anne Fennell

This keynote examines goals for music teaching and learning, including ways to support the development of the “whole musician” as a way to engage all students as musicians/learners regardless of their abilities or long-term aspirations as performers. Discover methods that engage students of diverse abilities in activities that support their development as whole musicians. The session also outlines evidence supporting the strength and efficacy of whole-musician teaching and learning via a student-centered approach.


Creating Imagining: Hybrid Spaces in Teaching and Learning

Tuesday, November 13th, from 9:30 to 10:15 AM

Jonathan Kladder

Reimagining secondary instrumental or general classrooms offers possibilities for music teaching and learning. Recent advancements in technological interfaces and the ubiquity of portable technology generates opportunities for individuals to create, perform, and disseminate music. These new possibilities can offer unique spaces where students merge musical ideas, experiences, and interests. Through collaboration, individuals explore a variety of sound combinations, make mistakes, and learn from one another.


Teaching for Critical and Creative Thinking

Tuesday, November 13th, from 2:15 to 2:55 PM

Anne Fennell, Alexander Koops, Alex Ruthmann, David Williams

Participants will explore explicit opportunities to experience, apply, and reflect on critical and creative thinking through music. Current research from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) based in Paris, France, will share ideas and concepts to teach for critical and creative thinking. Through music, we have the perfect opportunity to provide reflection and dialogue that allow all students to understand these necessary skills.


The Innovative Practices of Hip-Hop Music

Tuesday, November 13th, from 3:00 to 4:00 PM

Jarrett Sheel

As the sun rises on the 21st century, American music educators are still scrambling to understand the implications of the musical praxis of the 20th century. Artist like; Drake, Childish Gambino, Jay-Z, Kanye, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and many more still seem to remain outside of the purview of the educational establishment. Seemingly, music education, as an institution, continues to be behind the times in-terms of valuing home grown folk music, in real time. Hip-Hop is the fastest growing genre of music in 2018, and on top of that is the most listened too music in the world. Hip-hop, is American music, deeply rooted in the experience of the underprivileged and marginalized. In this session we will explore Hip-hop as a method, an idea, and a product. These are the main areas explored in this talk-workshop, and we will discuss, dialogue and debate the innovative practices found in the hip-hop movement and music, as well as engage in activities like; critical listening, collaging – looping, sampling, ostinati, and democratic practice (collaborate). Attendees will walk away with activities and concepts to infuse into their own instructional practices and curricular design. This talk should not, can not and will not adequately replace the research that should accompany detailed investigation into any new or foreign art form. Hip-hop is music, and we will explore it together.


Transforming Secondary Rehearsals with Learning Centers

Tuesday, November 13th, from 4:05 to 5:00 PM

Heather Bolin, Alyssa Guerra, Kelly Morgan, Matt Spitsberg

Learn to differentiate instruction, use multiple learning styles, energize rehearsals, facilitate student-driven learning, engage the mind/body, and foster creative musicianship. Heather Bolin and team offer hands-on experiences to inspire use of learning centers in secondary rehearsals. See how these rotations maximize learning by providing many opportunities to reach myriad curricular goals via an interactive, standards-based environment. Specific centers will invite participants to explore topics that traditional rehearsals might not address.


Collaborative Conversations

Tuesday, November 13th, from 5:00 to 5:20 PM

Anne Fennell, Alexander Koops, Alex Ruthmann, David Williams

In small groups, participants will discuss common threads of innovations in music education, identifying the how and what of innovations for transformative teaching and learning.


Closing – Twitter Chat as Reflection

Tuesday, November 13th, from 5:20 to 5:35 PM

Anne Fennell

Participants will connect and share ideas around innovations in music education using the hashtag #IN_ovations and tagging @NAfME. Questions will be posed, and participants can share their ideas, growths, needs, and connections.


Next Steps – Reading, Reflecting, Closing

Tuesday, November 13th, from 5:35 to 5:45 PM

Anne Fennell, Alexander Koops, Alex Ruthmann, David Williams

Participants will self-assess and identify personal goals for their learning, understandings, and connections to Innovations in
Music Education.

Learn more about all the Opus learning tracks.