Marissa Guarriello and some of her music students in black concert attire

The Key to a Successful First Year

The Key to a Successful First Year By NAfME Member Marissa Guarriello This article first appeared on the F-flat Magazine blog. “The greatest use of a life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”—William James Being a first-year teacher is hard. There’s a lot to think about and often too little time to prepare. You’ll meet more people and learn more names than you can possibly remember. And, most likely, get lost in your school at least once. If you’re moving to a new area or state,…

three male students playing guitar

Guitar Class in the Palmetto State

Guitar Class in the Palmetto State Number 30: The State of South Carolina By Thomas Amoriello, Jr.NAfME Council for Guitar Education Chair   In this edition of “50 States of Guitar Class,” we visit Columbia, South Carolina, and the guitar program led by Chris Essig who is the Academic Dean of Fine Arts and teaches Guitar 1, 2, and 3, Bluegrass Band, Worship Arts. Upon graduation from Ben Lippen School and due to their involvement in the Ben Lippen Fine Arts Department, Ben Lippen students will have developed the beginnings…

Not all heroes wear capes composite image of music teachers of excellence award winners

Five Reasons to Apply for the CMA Foundation Music Teachers of Excellence Award

Five Reasons to Apply for the CMA Foundation Music Teachers of Excellence Award By NAfME member Franklin J. Willis, sponsored by the CMA Foundation   Being a recipient of the CMA Foundation Music Teachers of Excellence award revived my passion and commitment to music education. At the time, I was a novice middle school choral music educator who was questioning my choice to be a music educator. I worked long hours trying to provide learning opportunities for my school through significant musical experiences. I was creating a choral program that…

hands holding puzzle pieces in a circle

Maximizing the Interdependence of the Artistic Processes

Maximizing the Interdependence of the Artistic Processes Putting It All Together   By NAfME Member Dr. Johanna J. Siebert Multiple workshops, inservices, and sessions have been held detailing and explaining the 2014 Music Standards, but if you are like many other educators you may still be thinking, “These are fine, but how do I put this all together in my lessons and curriculum?”   I have heard from many music teachers that there’s just no time to amply cover the multitude of performance standards at so many levels when concert…

Appropriations for Well-Rounded Education Funding in the New Federal Fiscal Year

It’s October 11 – Happy Federal Fiscal New Year! It’s a new federal fiscal year (FY20), and we have started another year without final allocations for federal agencies and programs, including federal funding for a well-rounded education. The federal budget and appropriations process for FY20 has been complicated, to say the least. The House of Representatives began their appropriations process early in the year but did so without an overall budget agreement with the Senate and the President. The absence of a “topline” budget amount resulted in generous education funding…

3 Strings UnLoCkeD guitar ensemble group photo with members posing with their string instruments

A Bigger Life: An Open Letter from a 3 Strings UnLoCkeD Southwest Parent

A Bigger Life An Open Letter from a 3 Strings UnLoCkeD Southwest Parent By NAfME Council for Guitar Education in collaboration with Parent Ms. Sarah Shea   “Michael finally fell in love with high school, and I truly believe it all started with that little music class. Ruth made his life bigger.” The NAfME Council for Guitar Education would like to share an open letter to the NAfME membership from a music student parent of Ruth LeMay. Ms. LeMay is the Director of Guitar Education and founder of 3 Strings…

Male And Female Students wearing black shirts and pants Singing In Choir

Creative Expression through Free Improvisation

Creative Expression through Free Improvisation   Increase Creativity, Connection, and Communication   By NAfME member Carole Ott Coelho and Tadeu Coelho Free improvisation has been shown to increase creativity, connection, and communication in both vocalists and instrumentalists. Often, musicians are intimidated by improvisation due to lack of training, tools, and experience.   How can we help our students and ourselves put aside fears about improvisation? What techniques exist to draw out our innate creativity? Our NAfME National Conference session will give music educators concrete tools by which to introduce free…

girl playing saxophone

Isolating and Attacking Musical Phrases for Accuracy

Do You Hear What I Hear? Isolating and Attacking Musical Phrases for Accuracy  By NAfME Member Lori Schwartz Reichl  This article was originally published in the February 2019 teacher edition of In Tune Magazine.   “Improvement begins with I.” ~ Arnold H. Glasow Through my years of directing musical ensembles, supervising pre-service music teachers, mentoring novice educators, and adjudicating ensembles, I have encountered ensemble directors unable to quite hear discrepancies in musical phrases or who lack the confidence to acknowledge and correct the errors. Even if rhythmic inaccuracies, dynamic contrasts, and…

Guitar teacher David Singleton playing guitar

Guitar Class in the Natural State

Guitar Class in the Natural State Number 29: The State of Arkansas By Thomas Amoriello, Jr. NAfME Council for Guitar Education Chair   During the 50 States of Guitar Class Series we have visited a variety of programs across America that use the guitar as a vehicle for creativity in a variety of forms from classical technique to modern styles. In this edition, the NAfME Council for Guitar Education visits Rogers, Arkansas. The Arkansas Arts Academy’s high school guitar program is led by David Singleton and is among the very…

Litlle boy seen from behind and looking at the rain storm through living room window

Instrumental Compositions for Special Learners and Friends

Instrumental Compositions for Special Learners and Friends Three Lessons for Immersion Settings   By NAfME Members Michele Kaschub and Janice Smith   Students with special learning needs are often included in regular music instruction. These three lessons work well in immersion settings, but also are effective in self-contained settings and with students who have limited mobility, but adaptive percussion instruments. They can also be done with a variety of modified traditional instruments and with touch screen devices that have Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS). Why Compose with Students with Special…