Most-Read Music Education Blogs of 2017

Most-Read #MusicEd Blogs of 2017

As the end of 2017 draws near, we wish you and your students a very happy and safe holiday season. To help ring in the new year, we’re looking back and giving our readers a look at NAfME’s Most-Accessed “Music in a Minuet” Blogs from the last year. Did your favorite blog make the list?

9. The One* Thing Every New Music Teacher Should Know

By NAfME Member Audrey Carballo

“As I was thinking of the one pearl of wisdom I could give a new music teacher, I couldn’t decide between time management and organizational priorities. Tied for the number one spot, they both go hand-in-hand and are equally critical as stand-alone components.” Read more.

#MusicEd Blogs


8. Engaging All Types of Learners in the Music Classroom 

By NAfME Member Brian Wagner-Yeung

“Nevertheless, not every student who enters the music room learns in the same way, especially special learners. Music teachers can easily change the way instruction is presented to allow all students to have an entry point into the musical activities. Three key words that are used when discussing special learners include: adaptation, modification, and accommodation. In addition, differentiation can be incorporated into this group as well.” Read more

Music in a Minuet
Photo Courtesy of Brian Wagner


7. A New Approach to Instrumental Music Literacy

By NAfME Member Nathaniel Strick

“If you teach from a beginning method book, check out the first page that addresses notation. You’ll probably see one, two, or even three notes introduced. You might even get a fingering chart to accompany these notes. Usually all this new VISUAL information also includes stuff about staffs, clefs, barlines, etc. You probably feel that all this information is necessary, right? The problem with over-emphasizing VISUALS is that we are teaching our students NOT to listen . . .” Read more

Music Education
Photo Courtesy of Nathaniel Strick

6. I’m Not Just Here to Cover Your Planning Period, I’m a MUSIC TEACHER

By NAfME Member Jessica Peresta 

“Music teachers… how many of you have been called the planning teacher or the specials class? I taught at a pretty great school where I felt like my job was valued and what I did mattered. But, I was still called a specials teacher and was lumped into this category with the librarian, counselor, and gifted and talented teachers. (We didn’t have art at my school and this is a whole other can of worms that irritated me and I will write about in another blog post.) Here are the reasons the title of ‘specials teacher’ or feeling like I was just there to cover planning periods for the ‘real teachers’ bothered me so much…” Read more.

Music in a Minuet
Photo Courtesy of Jessica Peresta


5. “Dude, You’re a Fag!” on Being a Gay Music Teacher in the South 

By NAfME Member Webb Parker 

“Considering my students in this way completely changed my philosophy of teaching. Though I have continued to wrestle with the initial question of experiences of being a gay teacher in the South, I did come away with a profoundly simple philosophy of teaching: I teach unique human beings. I must start where they are.” Read more.

iStock/Jacob Ammentorp Lund


4. Google Classroom for the Large Ensemble

By NAfME Member Peter J. Perry, D.M.A.

“While it is easy to see how this platform can be incorporated into a traditional classroom setting, it can seem difficult to figure out the instructional value for the large ensemble. As an ensemble director, I have found that Google Classroom can help save rehearsal time and facilitate communication with students. Additionally, it allows me to present digital media, documents (with active links), and interactive assignments to students—enhancing the overall presentation of my materials, and of the instruction itself.” Read more.

Music in a Minuet
Photo Courtesy of Peter J. Perry

3. Welcoming a Jehovah’s Witness into the Band Room 

By NAfME Member Brian Weidner

“Can we treat students who are Jehovah’s Witnesses like any other students by accommodating for their unique needs and ensuring a quality educational opportunity for all students within a performance music classroom?” Read more


2. Rhythm Games to Engage and Motivate Young Musicians 

By NAfME Member Theresa Iacarino

“Rhythm games can serve as resourceful tools in a music teacher’s ‘bag of tricks’ because they motivate students, promote collaboration as an ensemble, and reinforce all the rhythm reading learned throughout the year! It takes focus from each student in order to collaborate and perform circle songs and games. What a treat it is to be able to get a game started and step back to watch your students facilitate their learning and cooperative playing skills. In an age where students are isolated by their single-player computer games, it is important to expose them to the tradition of making music as a community and working together to play and learn.” Read more.

Music in a Minuet
Photo Courtesy of Theresa Iacarino

1. Clever Music Teacher Hacks that Will Make Your Year Amazing

By NAfME Member Wendy Higdon 

“One of the universal truths about teaching, regardless of the grade level, content area or type of school, is that there are never, EVER enough hours in the day to get everything completed. Because I’m always feeling crunched for time, there isn’t much that makes me happier than when I discover something that saves minutes (or even hours) and allows me to focus more of my attention on the kids in my classroom.” Read more.

Music in a Minuet 2017
Photo Courtesy of Wendy Higdon

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

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Elizabeth Baker, Social Media Coordinator and Copywriter. December 22, 2017. © National Association for Music Education (