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Blog posts : "community partnerships"

Things I Learned During my First Year at MacPhail

July 21, 2014

By Julia Reeves Reeves.Julia@MacPhail.org

1.   In order to be an effective teacher and survive my first year, I need to be flexible and resilient. I think this has become my mantra for working in partnerships. The concept of control is one I struggled with a great deal when I first walked into a c…

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Vocal Exploration to Match Pitch

November 26, 2013

by Shannon McGuire McGuire.Shannon@MacPhail.org

Children signing carolsSinging is extremely personal. It is important for the educator to have an open mind to provide encouragement in a gentle and kind manner, which will encourage the human voice to match pitch. It is definitely OK to be honest when the student does not …

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What I Should Have Done on My Summer Vacation

September 9, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

BooksWhen I was a kid, I always dreaded the last few weeks and days of summer vacation before school started. That dread was most likely linked to the transition and change involved in switching from the autonomy of summer vacation to the school year, where you …

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HMDX Jam Box Bluetooth Speaker

June 11, 2013

by Josh Osborne Osborne.Josh@MacPhail.org

I've been using the HMDX Jam Box for my daily speaker needs  for the past month now. I teach in community partnerships, Music For Life, and individual music therapy sessions, so I have often been confronted with the need for a portable solution to amplific…

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Showcasing Student Compositions with SoundCloud

May 23, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

This year at MacPhail's New City School partnership, students in grades 6-8 composed music for solo instruments such as the saxophone, trumpet, and piano.  Students composed the pieces using MuseScore and sent them to professional and student musicians, who…

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Book Review: Hands On: A Rockin' Rhythmic Romp by Jim Solomon

May 13, 2013

by David Birrow  Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

It is May 13th. For K-12 general music teachers, the light at the end of the tunnel is now visible. Spring concerts will be finished in a few weeks, then a couple weeks of teaching, then summer break. Those teaching weeks that are sandwiched between conce…

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The Traveling Studio

May 9, 2013

by Josh Osborne Osborne.Josh@MacPhail.org

Now, I love my job. I enjoy that each day is different, the variety of clientele and students I see, the traveling, the successes, and the fact my job revolves around music—one of my greatest passions. Although, if you spend enough time around me, I will t…

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Book Review: Learning Sequences in Music

April 29, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

Learning Sequences in Music by Edwin E. Gordon is a great summer reading book.  Not a "sit on the beach and feverishly turn pages" book or the new Grisham, but more like "I finally have time to seriously devote to this huge book."  Gordon is a music ed res…

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iPad, How I Love Thee: An Alphabet of Delights for the Itinerant MacPhail Teaching Artist

April 23, 2013

by Emily Greenleaf Greenleaf.Emily@MacPhail.org

Are you thinking of requesting an iPad for using in your MacPhail teaching? Here’s a list of ideas:

A     is for Amplification. Suppose it’s April Fool’s day, and you want to play Haydn’s Surprise Symphony for your students. With nothing …

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Book Review: The Tropical Recorder

April 22, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

The Tropical Recorder is a book of recorder tunes with Orff instrument (hand drum, xylophones, shakers et. al) accompaniments by Jim Solomon and Mary Helen Solomon.  This book is available in the Community Partnership Resource Library on the 3rd floor and i…

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Book Review: Jump Right In Grade 4

April 15, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

One of the great books in the Community Partnerships Resource Library is Jump Right In: The Music Curriculum Level 4 by Cynthia Taggart, Beth Bolton, Alison Reynolds, Wendy Valerio, and Edwin Gordon. MacPhail owns the Teacher's Guide along with the four CDs…

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Teaching Composition with Electronic Music

April 11, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

I'm often surprised by my student's musical interests. A couple of years ago, all my middle school students in partnerships would talk about was dub step.  When I finally got around to checking out this style of music, I discovered it was simply a type of

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Power of the Pentatonic

April 2, 2013

by Sharon Mazion - Breck School

Note from David Birrow: Sharon sent me this excellent reply to last week's posts about the pentatonic
            scale's use in general music settings. I thought it was convincing and warranted it's own post.

I tend to approach my teaching more from an Orf…

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Things Technology has Fixed in my Teaching Part 2

March 28, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

The second in a series showing HOW exactly technology has improved the quality of teaching or music therapy.i.e. Problems and solutions. No how-to's, just what impact is seen with students and clients

I'll only use technology for two reasons:

  1. It solves …

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Exporting an Entire Class All at Once

March 18, 2013

By David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

I accidentally figured out how to export a ton of tracks all at once and it has completely made my week. 8 groups of students at New City School were recorded playing recorder trios. I was able to export their recordings to individual mp3 files all at once!…

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Pentatonic Scale: Friend or Foe?

March 13, 2013

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

8c10174rThe pentatonic scale is certainly common in music from around the world. As a percussionist, I've been in African and Javanese percussion ensembles that have used the scale almost exclusively and of course I think that students should experience music from …

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Ten Super Sunny Joys of the Pentatonic Scale

March 7, 2013

by Sarah Hruska-Olson Olson.Sarah@MacPhail.org

Many years ago, I took my son to an ECFE parent/infant class.  The instructor gave us a sheet entitled, “The 10 Super Sunny Joys of Peek-a-Boo.”  Peek-a-boo is such a natural and universal game to play with babies, but there are so many great underl…

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17 Blog Posts