Top 10 #MusicEd Blogs of 2019

As we come to the end of 2019, we wish you and your students a very joyous holiday season and best wishes in the new year. To help celebrate this past year’s blogs from fellow music educators, we’re looking back and sharing the Top Ten Most-Accessed NAfME “Music in a Minuet” Blogs from the last year. Did your favorite blog make the list?

word TOP 10 LIST written on wooden signage over colorful pencil on desk | amirulsyaidi

Number 10: “Tools for Survival in Today’s Climate

By NAfME Member Jenny L. Neff

School breaks can lead to thoughts of taking vacation or escaping to a tropical island. The breaks are much needed for creative minds to relax, recharge, and perhaps be inspired by the beauty that surrounds us. But when it comes to working in the arts with colleagues, staying on your private “island” can leave you stranded and fighting for survival. Read more.

palm tree by the beach

Photo: Jenny L. Neff

 Number 9:Professionalism in Teaching

By NAfME member Lori Schwartz Reichl

A key goal for music educators is to create a superior sound, but this should not come at the expense of treating others with kindness and professionalism. We must aim for a purposeful and compassionate experience. What habits do you practice? As Aristotle reportedly said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” Read more.

gospel 2017 National Conference

Photo: Matt Janson Photography,

Number 8: “Ways to Celebrate Music In Our Schools Month® in Your School

By NAfME member Elizabeth Caldwell

Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) is a wonderful opportunity to generate buzz for the music program, get everyone in the community thinking and talking about the many different wonderful ways to enjoy music in all its forms, and—most importantly—draw attention to the important role that quality music education plays in every student’s schooling. Read more.

Elizabeth Caldwell MIOSM

Number 7: Make It Stick: Implement Rehearsal Routines

By NAfME member Lori Schwartz Reichl

If implemented purposefully, routines can enhance organization, eliminate chaos, ensure safety, focus students’ attention, and save precious rehearsal time. If implemented passionately, routines can also unite students to perform more musically as a cohesive unit. Read more.

routine | Artur

Number 6: “Bridging the Gap between Music Teachers and Administrators

By NAfME member Sarah Morong

The key to a successful music program is not just the teacher, or even the curriculum, but the professional relationship between the music teacher and school administrators. I often hear statements from colleagues such as, “My principal doesn’t understand what we do in the music classroom,” or “School administration is not supportive of my program.” Read more.

Confident African American school teacher or administrator | SDI-Productions

Number 5: “Music Education and Social Emotional Learning

By NAfME national conference presenter Scott N. Edgar

We do not teach music; we teach children music. Because they trust us, we are in the perfect position to help them not only encounter the accidentals in music, but to confront the accidentals in their lives with strength and skill. Read more.

multi-racial group of older students stand outside of their school buildings. One student is carrying another student on their back. | FatCamera

 Number 4: “You Might Be Left with Silence When You’re Done

By NAfME national conference presenter Martin Urbach

We must break the cycle of racist curriculum. If we don’t do it, the labor will have to be on people of color. White people created the social construct we call racism, and we must do the work of abolishing it. Read more.

words do no harm

 Number 3: Make a Sound!: Interview with Drummer Extraordinaire Michael Bland

By Thomas Amoriello Jr., NAfME Council for Guitar Education Chair

If you turned on MTV anytime from 1989–1996, you would have heard the percussive funky beats of Michael B. as he appeared in many of the videos that aired. Simply put, he was employed by the music icon Prince. The New Power Generation (NPG) was Prince’s backing band, and Minneapolis-based drummer Michael Bland landed that legendary gig at the age of 19. Read more.

drummer Michael Bland 

Number 2: “Organization Tips for the First Day of School

By NAfME member Meghan Cabral

The importance of getting organized for your students’ arrival cannot be emphasized enough. Day one is full of paperwork, handouts, excitement, and lots and lots of students coming through the music room doors. The better prepared you are, the smoother the first few weeks are going to go. Here are some of my favorite organization tips to help. Read more.

organization tips | ginton

Number 1: How Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Impacted Music Education

By Mary Rogelstad

It’s said the first thing Fred Rogers did when he returned home from emergency surgery for stomach cancer was go straight to his piano. His wife Joanne has shared with friends how much her husband loved playing that piano. His grandmother bought the nine-foot Steinway concert grand for Fred when he was only a teenager. Read more.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood song books by Hal Leonard

Image courtesy of J. W. Pepper

Most-Read Music Education Advocacy Article

Join Our Title IV-A Call to Action

April 10, 2019, was a National Day of Action to advocate for full funding of the Title IV-A Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant program. The Title IV-A flexible block grant allows districts to invest in well-rounded programs, which includes music education. Because of the grant’s significant potential to improve access to music education for students and to support student success, Title IV-A is a NAfME top priority in the annual federal budget process. Title IV-A stories are still being accepted.

Title IV-A infographic

Thank you to all of our NAfME Members who contributed to this year’s blogs!

Did this blog spur new ideas for your music program? Share them on Amplify! Interested in reprinting this article? Please review the reprint guidelines.

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) provides a number of forums for the sharing of information and opinion, including blogs and postings on our website, articles and columns in our magazines and journals, and postings to our Amplify member portal. Unless specifically noted, the views expressed in these media do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Association, its officers, or its employees.

April 2024 Teaching Music

Published Date

December 31, 2019


  • Music Education Profession


December 31, 2019. © National Association for Music Education (

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