Engage Your Middle Schoolers

Music in middle school is critical. For many students, middle school general music may be their last encounter with school music. It also has the potential to reach the entire student body.

Music in middle school is also challenging. How can teachers inspire adolescents toward a lifetime of musicking? How can we make school music relevant to them? How do we keep them engaged?

Suzanne Burton has collected a treasure trove of teaching strategies for the 21st-century middle school general music classroom in Engaging Music Practices: A Sourcebook for Middle School General Music. Opening chapters cover adolescent development, learners with special needs, and singing with middle school students. The remaining chapters present alternative music-learning opportunities designed to capture the young adolescent’s interest:

• Keyboard Ensemble
• Guitar
• Drumming and Percussion
• Steel Band
• Film Scoring
• World Music
• Music & Technology
• Music Composition
• Learning Centers

“The book most definitely takes the ‘general’ out of ‘general music,’” writes John Kratus.

Learn more about Engaging Musical Practices, edited by Suzanne L. Burton, NAfME/Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Suzanne L. Burton is associate professor of music education and director of graduate studies at the University of Delaware.

John Kratus is professor of music education at Michigan State University, East Lansing.

—Linda C. Brown, May 7, 2011, © National Association for Music Education (nafme.org)