Top 10 #MusicEd Blogs of 2023

To highlight this past year’s blogs from fellow music educators, we’re looking back and sharing the Top Ten Most-Accessed NAfME Blogs from 2023. Check your NAfME Notes newsletter every other Thursday for the latest articles. Subscribe today.

Did your favorite blog make the list?

Number 10: “Music Finds a Way

By NAfME President Scott R. Sheehan

In every culture on every continent since the dawn of civilization, music has been part of the human experience. Music communicates and connects people across time and cultures and allows people to find their creative and expressive voice, both individually and with others. Music is part of our identity and how we make sense of the world around us. Music can be a source of strength, hope, and joy and can bring comfort, healing, and respite. Regardless of the challenges societies face, music finds a way to amplify the human experience by creating the soundtrack of our lives, which transcends generations. Read more

music will find a way | South_agency

Number 9: “Professional Learning Communities

By LaSaundra Booth, NAfME Professional Development Content Manager; Chair-Elect for NAfME Council for Orchestral Education

Although each topic is different, my approach to delivering the content is the same. One of my first tasks is to find out who is in the room. Once I know who is in the audience, I give attendees the opportunity to let me know what their needs are concerning the given topic. I then tailor my presentation to meet the needs of the attendees, even if it means making changes to a presentation, I spent days creating. In the end, it is more important to give teachers what they need instead of what I want them to have. I am taking this same approach with this article. I encourage you to email me and let me know what your needs are concerning professional learning communities (PLCs). After I learn about what is important to you, I will write a series of articles to address these topics. Read more

four professionals at shared table with laptop in discussion

Getty Images | Delmaine Donson

Number 8: “Make AI Your Personal Music Teaching Assistant

By William I. Bauer, sponsored by NAfME Corporate Member University of Florida, Online Master of Music in Music Education

What impact will this have on music education? Only time will tell, but there are some ways that music teachers can harness this technology now to help with instructional tasks that may be time-consuming or tedious. Teachers can also use AI to brainstorm new ideas and approaches to engaging students in music learning activities. AI has the potential to become your personal music teaching assistant. Read more

Chat AI concept on smart phone held by a woman's hand

Photo: Laurence Dutton / E+ Collection via Getty Images

Number 7: “The History of Double Bass Patterns

By Jason Heath, sponsored by NAfME Corporate Member Eastman Music Company

The double bass, also known as the upright bass, is a stringed instrument that has been a staple in orchestras and other ensembles for centuries. Over time, the shape and size of the double bass has evolved, leading to various patterns that have become popular among musicians.

One of the earliest double bass patterns was the violone, which emerged in the 16th century. The violone was a large instrument with six strings and a fretted fingerboard. It was used primarily in church music and was often played by a basso continuo player. Read more

double bass instrumentalists in 2022 All National Honor Ensemble Symphony Orchestra rehearsal

Photo by Lisa Helfert

Number 6: “A Dozen Fun, Productive, Refreshing Activities to Help Recharge Your Ensemble

By NAfME Member Robin Linaberry

I’ll bet you’ve lived this day: Your greatest intentions and most innovative lesson plans simply fall flat. Students can just reach a limit, unexpectedly and inexplicably. What do we do??

In my case, I began to pay closer attention to each group’s level of collective maturity. By constantly assessing their capacity for attentiveness, I learned to predict whether a post-concert listening experience would work. Simultaneously, I began to build a repertoire of alternate activities that would still be engaging, educationally productive, and even fun for the students. Read more

2022 ANHE Concert Band Rehearsal students conversing

Photo: Lisa Helfert

Number 5: “Children’s Books: A Great Partner in the Music Classroom

By NAfME Member Suzanne Hall

Children’s literature, including picture books, can be appropriate for any age level and can help students understand complex concepts, such as music. It can also engage students in music learning. Students garner a deeper comprehension of both the text and music when bringing children’s literature to life, and reading aloud enhances students’ enjoyment of the arts. Language arts acquisition and music acquisition share many commonalities, including sound discrimination, fluency, and comprehension, but the list of commonalities increases when discussing children’s books. Here are examples. Read more

Spiders Song for xylophone and metallophone

Number 4: “Creating Music with a Neurodiverse Population

By Ruth LeMay, NAfME Council for Guitar Education North Central Division Representative

3 Strings methodology is a new adaptive music literacy model that brings neurotypical and neurodivergent individuals together to create music. It provides equal access to music education for groups who are simultaneously overlooked, misunderstood, oppressed, and frequently dismissed, while fostering authentic relationships that build community across racial, socio-economic, and neurodiverse populations. The methodology works alone or in conjunction with traditional music notation, guitar tabs, or chord symbols to create neurodiverse ensembles. Read more

Strings ensemble Emergence

3 Strings ensemble Emergence. Photo by Carmen LeMay.

Number 3: “Back-to-School Music Rituals to Boost Positive Classroom Culture

Sponsored by NAfME Corporate Member Kindermusik

As educators, we know that when children feel safe, their creativity starts flowing, and when their creativity flows, boosts in academic performance, problem-solving, social-emotional skills, and all areas of brain development begin to take hold. So, our first job is to establish the trust needed to make young minds and bodies relax, reenergize, and gear up for learning.

Setting classroom routines to introduce concepts and aid transitions can help build a positive and encouraging classroom culture. Luckily, you have the perfect tool to make this successful—music! Read more

Kindermusik Rituals Image. Teacher standing in front of preschool or elementary students with arms outstretched

Number 2: “Music In Our Schools Month® 2023: ‘Music Is All of Us’ Song Bracket

By NAfME Member Elizabeth Caldwell

This year the theme for Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM®) is “Music Is All of Us.” I have been doing a “musical March madness”-style song bracket, where students listen to different songs each day and vote on their favorites, for several years now, and I was so excited to see the new theme this year that could be taken in so many cool directions! I decided I wanted to compile songs that focus on the importance of “us”—friendship, unity, togetherness, community. Read more

MIOSM 2023 song bracket

Number 1: “Planning for the Inevitable: Navigating Challenges in and out of the Classroom

By Amy Kraft and NAfME Member Dr. Lori Schwartz Reichl

As educators, our professional lives revolve around planning. We plan lessons, units, field trips, concerts, parent conferences, and the list goes on. But what happens when our plan is suddenly interrupted by an unexpected bump in the road? How do we respond to a challenge in our personal or professional life that seems to block our carefully designed path?

When I least expected it, life presented three major challenges within three short years that were not part of my plan. Read more

2 adults 2 children in light blue Team Henry tshirts standing outside by Team Henry banner under a canopy tent

Photo courtesy of Amy Kraft

Most-Read Music Education Advocacy Article

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

AI and Music Education

By Zachary Keita, NAfME Advocacy and Public Policy Communications Manager

As new technology becomes integrated into everyday life, it’s important for educators to understand the potential implications for their students and their classrooms. Recently, AI has begun to make its way into the music space, lowering the barriers to entry for music creators even further by enabling high-quality production without the need for professional equipment. Currently, there are several AI-powered programs capable of generating instrumental soundtracks based on text prompts. AI in the music space also brings a host of new copyright concerns. Recently a U.S. federal judge ruled that “AI-generated art cannot be copyrighted,” noting that AI-created works lacked human authorship, which is a “requirement of copyright.”

As it concerns the music education classroom, AI has the potential to revolutionize how music is taught. Read more

ChatGPT app on computer screen

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

Read “Top 10 Blogs” compilations from past years:

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

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Published Date

January 1, 2024


  • Music Education Profession


January 1, 2024. © National Association for Music Education (

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