Top 10 #MusicEd Blogs of 2020

2020 date number colored in gold, on a festive black background, with glitter | titoOnz


2020 has been a particularly challenging year for music educators and their students. As we begin a new year, we wish you and your students health and happiness and fulfillment in the year ahead.

Colorful Stars with TOP 10 Word on Chalkboard Background - 3D Rendering | porcorex

To highlight last 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 2020. Fellow educators and NAfME sponsors came through to share best practices and new ideas to make the most of these past two academic years, which were filled with opportunities for new approaches to music education in which music teachers pivoted during unexpected situations in and out of the physical classroom. In fact, the number 1 most-read blog garnered an unprecedented 57K+ visits.

Did a blog you found particularly helpful make the list?

Number 10: “Band in the Time of a Pandemic

By NAfME Member MJ Robinson

Instead of focusing on the challenges that await us in a negative light, we must approach every day as an opportunity to problem-solve. We must be a part of shaping the future of music education rather than a victim of the situation. Read more

Comfort Zone - Challenge signpost drawn on a blackboard | marrio31


Number 9: “Thinking Outside the Box for Black History Month

By NAfME Member Marques L. A. Garrett

Educators as a whole must be dedicated to exposing our students to more. Intentional programming and instruction will help represent many. Yes, this will take some work as most textbooks and curricula have not explored topics in this area. Read more

William Grant Still at piano

William Grant Still. Photo:


Number 8: “Building SEL Competency in the Elementary School Music Classroom

By Lindsey Jackson, sponsored by QuaverMusic

There are five core competency areas in which students should develop Social and Emotional Learning skills: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. All of these competencies are attainable within the elementary music classroom. Read more

Develop Relationship Skills graphic


Number 7: “The Future of Music Education

By NAfME Member Meghan Cabral

When we do not know what our classroom will look like, knowing how to plan becomes a task that seems overwhelming or impossible. However, we can attempt to come up with some different approaches, and flipping your classroom, in my own opinion, seems to be one of the educational approaches that we all may need to begin looking at. Read more

flipped classroom sticker. flipped classroom square sign. flipped classroom peeler | Aquir


Number 6: “Distance Learning Alternatives: Questions to Consider in This Bizarre Time

By NAfME Member Doreen Fryling

Many of us are now suddenly faced with distance learning situations. So, here are some ideas to consider when teaching from home (these work for sub plans or long-term school closures). Read more

Cloud Computing Concept online community mobile devices | Lisa-Blue


Number 5: “How to Make Music with Your Ensembles Even during COVID-19

By NAfME Member Michael Parsons

Not unlike countless other music educators faced with the realities of COVID-19, I found myself trying to figure out how to still have meaningful engagement with my ensembles in a way that was creative and musically edifying for the students. I started by assigning remote “virtual performances” to my students. I had them each video their individual performances remotely by using a click track that I had created on my Mac. Read more

Briarcrest SoundScape class of 2019-2020 sitting and standing on steps

Briarcrest SoundScape 2019-2020


Number 4: “Virtual Choirs: Student Thoughts on Taking Performance Online

By NAfME Members Bobby Olson and Scott N. Edgar

Before our music department decides whether or not to jump onto the virtual choir bandwagon, we wanted to see what our students thought. As we navigate these unique times, we believe that we are not the only experts in the room, and honoring the students’ voice is essential to providing relevant, remote music education. Read more

Black Wireless Headphones Lying on the Corner of a Laptop Keyboard | Devenorr


Number 3: “Creating a Middle School General Music Curriculum from Scratch

By Toni Garza, sponsored by QuaverEd

Middle School General Music (MSGM) offers a unique opportunity for educators to stretch their own creativity in planning and instruction. Since MSGM is not a performance-based class, it gives teachers an entirely new group of students to influence. Think of it as educating the next generation of music consumers. Read more

Group Of Teenage Students Collaborating On Project In Classroom | MachineHeadz


Number 2: “Online Learning in the Ensemble Class?!

By NAfME Member Peter J. Perry

The emergency school closures due to COVID-19 have pushed many school systems and teachers to use online or distance education to deliver instruction. The complexities and practicality of this varies with each content area. For example, an online discussion via Google Classroom in an English class or a student-created PowerPoint presentation for a history class. But what about music class? What about an ensemble performance class? Read more

Finger pressing play button on touch screen. | FotoCuisenette


Number 1: “Music Teacher Resources for School Closures

By NAfME Member Elizabeth Caldwell

With an unprecedented 57K+ views, Elizabeth Caldwell’s article is the most-read “Music in a Minuet” blog article of 2020. “Whether you’re hoping to move to online/virtual teaching, provide students with online resources, or put together no-tech resources for families without internet or technology access,” writes Caldwell, “here are some resources to help.” Read more

school closures


Most Popular Music Education Advocacy Articles

Read recent “Advocacy Bulletin” blog posts for the latest public policy news.

Elimination of Well-Rounded Programs
Featured in President’s Budget

February 24, 2020. The Trump Administration released its budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. Unfortunately, the budget recommends the elimination of all well-rounded education programs, including Title I-A, Title II-A, and Title IV-A. In their place, the Administration suggests combining these and 26 other K-12 discretionary programs authorized by Congress in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). If this budget became law, almost all ESSA programs would be consolidated into a single block grant, allowing the Department of Education to slash staffing and administrative costs over time and significantly reduce the federal role in education. Read more

White House | Piccaso2


2020 Analysis of State Music Education Certification
Practices in the United States

July 9, 2020. Teacher certification and licensure practices for music educators vary by state. Preservice music teachers, in-service music teachers, and music teacher educators can all benefit from knowing what the music teacher certification practices are in each state. As a result, we continue to gather and update information on music teacher certification for all 50 states and the District of Columbia to help support music education policy efforts, preservice music teacher preparation programs, teacher mobility, and reciprocity. Read more

certification | michaeljung


Read “Top 10 Blogs” compilations from past years:


Thank you to all of our NAfME Members who contributed to the past year’s blogs! Learn how you can submit a blog.


January 1, 2021. © National Association for Music Education (

April 2024 Teaching Music

Published Date

January 1, 2021


  • Uncategorized


January 1, 2021. © National Association for Music Education (

April 2024 Teaching Music
Messiah University. Learn more. Earn your master's in music conducting or music education. Online. Flexible. Affordable.
Gator Cases new Largo series. Image of high school girl sitting next to music cases in front of green lockers.