April Mentor – Introduction and Invitation

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    Greetings NAfME Fellow Members,

    My name is Lois Veenhoven Guderian and I am the April Mentor in Music Composition.

    More than 20 years ago I started to consistently include music composition as an integral part of my middle school general music curriculum.

    Twenty years later I am only doing more, and hopefully better work with my students in this area of music education.

    Currently, I am the Music Education Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. More than ever before, I continue to engage my non major general music students in higher education, my music majors in music methods courses and my elementary classroom education major students in ways to engage in creative music making and in learning ways to engage their future students in creative application of skills and understandings through music improvisation and composition.

    In fact, this morning, 12 pre-service educators and I were working with Kindergarten, 2nd grade and 5th grade students in 3 separate fieldwork projects in the schools with special emphasis in music composition. Composition is always a part of our teaching and learning fieldwork in the schools and as you can imagine, the young students and their teachers love our work.

    I am passionate about giving children and youth opportunities to apply what they are learning in music class in creative ways. I assume that you are also passionate, or at least interested in teaching and learning in music improvisation and composition and that is why you have logged in to the composition site.

    I invite you to participate.

    Here are some opening questions for our discussions. What age group do you teach and do you include composition in your curriculum and teaching and learning in your music classroom? What would you like to know about in regard to teaching and learning in music composition? For example, would you like some leads on research or resources? Are you most interested in learning the know how, that is, instructional strategies and how they might align with state and national standards? These are just a start.

    I hope to hear from many of you and that together we can generate lively discussions that will benefit all of us.



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