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No Child Left Behind and What It Means for Music Educators

No Child Left Behind and What It Means for Music Educators (with contributions from subscribers to the Music K-8 E-mail Discussion List) If you’re a public school teacher in the United States and haven’t heard about “The No Child Left Behind” act (Public Law 101-110) of 2001), you’ve either been hiding under a rock or have an administrator that’s not too concerned:-) The major emphasis of this act is accountability for students, especially in reading scores, and the connection between that and aid money to schools. How does this impact music? Highlighted are some of the portions of this act, how some schools are reacting, and ideas for helping your district implement these objectives without foregoing the fine arts. (These highlighted portions are from the NEA website. For a copy of the entire act, click here You will need Adobe Reader to view. *States must establish a baseline, or starting point, they will use to measure their progress over the next 12 years in meeting a key ESEA goal: All students performing at a “proficient” level or above on state reading and math assessments by 2013-14. States must also: determine how they will define “proficient” student performance in reading and math. decide what indicators of student performance they will include in their definitions of AYP. set incremental AYP targets that establish minimal levels of increased student performance from 2002-03...

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Why Teach Music?

Why Teach Music? by Deborah Jeter Why Teach Music? Ever wonder why music has gotten a bad rap within the education system so many times throughout the years? I have. It’s bothered me that with all the documentation stating how important music is for the development of the whole child/person, that more people aren’t aware of it’s critical importance. Without going into the research, ’cause that would be like “preaching to the choir” at this site, (a community of music lovers). I am going to focus on some general and obvious ways music enhances our thinking, our reasoning, our emotions, and our intelligence. The following information was primarily obtained from Southern Music Company in San Antonio, with some of my own beliefs inserted on a “soap box” here and there. I chose to share this information, because many of us will be taking on new students, privately or publicly in the near future. Not only is it a good reminder for us on those more difficult and trying days where we sit and wonder why do I put myself through this?, but it is also a good reference to hand out to parents, and even music-sceptics. It can’t hurt! Why Teach Music? Music is relevant to the core curriculum (the three R’s)? Let us count the ways. Music is mathematical. It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time...

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Advocating Music During Budget Cuts

Advocating Music During Budget Cuts by Karen Stafford Here I am, a teacher experiencing burnout, and you’re telling me that I need to get involved?! I thought that was WHY I was burned out — because I’m too involved! When I began researching teacher burnout, and ran across the information that an element of burnout is often caused by isolation, it really surprised me. The way that I’ve dealt with burnout episodes over the last twenty years is to duck and run for cover. I’ve quit teaching twice and worked as a news photographer and once as a flight attendant. But I’ve always returned to teaching, realizing that my life was more meaningful in this line of work. It does seem though, that teachers are exceptionally high-risk in regards to job burnout, AND music teachers which have one of the more stressful positions are even more prone to burnout. How do we survive? Read on. John Hylton, an associate professor of music at the University of Missouri, states this: “Teaching, especially music teaching, is a highly stressful profession. Stress can become a problem as music educators move into the middle stages of their careers because the frustrations inherent in music teaching, such as the variety of roles that music teachers are expected to fill, the pressures of public performance and public accountability, and the need to recruit and motivate...

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Relief

Relief by Karen Stafford One of my favorite little “clippings” found in the teachers’ lounge is a cartoon of a very frazzled woman with hair going all over the place. The caption: “I have one nerve left, and you’re getting on it!” Raise your hand if you identify………… The parent who’s raising heck because her precious child didn’t get the lead……..the classroom teacher who threw a dental song at you at the last minute to teach the kids to sing for the visiting dentist………..the parent who scheduled two 30-minute music performances for Grandparent’s Day, then let you know a week ahead of time…..the district administrators that decided to eliminate your job or or building…the car that broke down and costs a month’s salary to fix….your child, who tells you an hour beforehand that she needs a diorama for school….shall I go on? Stress……..we all have it, we all experience it, some more than others. Teaching is stressful enough, what with government regulations, paperwork, and just generally dealing with different and strange personalities at times. Music teaching can be abundantly stressful. We feel we’re constantly having to justify ourselves and our area. We feel that people expect us to be automatic performers at a minute’s notice. We might be expected to put on a grand show within a week, then get the flack if it’s not flawless. Then, being teachers...

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Roland Rhythm Coach and V-Practice Pad

By Karen Stafford Roland Rhythm Coach and V-Practice Pad FROM ROLAND: Percussion has always been an important part of child development. From the first pot-banging experiments on the kitchen floor to the Timpani in the high school band and orchestra, children have always enjoyed percussion. The new RMP-1 Rhythm Coach Pack is an electronic practice pad that lets students practice with 28 different drum sounds only THEY can hear. The Rhythm Coach Pack’s mesh practice pad and sound module provide everything students need to work on their technique privately at home or in school. With a built-in metronome and battery or AC operation, students can practice anywhere. KAREN’S REVIEW: Roland was very good about letting me use a Rhythm Coach Pack on approval for 90 days to test it out. I think this could turn out to be a percussion parent’s best friend! With the quiet mesh pad and headphones, practicing rhythms can result in much more peace in the family! Included in the Pack are the practice pad, module, connections, headphones, carrying case, a pair of sticks, two instruction manuals (one for the pad and one for the module), plus a main pamplet and practice CD. The Module (pictured above) itself features 28 drum and percussion sounds, including snares, bass drums,and marching quad toms. There is an advanced metronome system that supports time signatures up to 13 beats...

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