Monday, December 7, 2009

Flame Award State Winner - Sandgate State School

The Flame Awards 2009 are the nationwide competition to highlight and reward schools with great music programs. This year the judges were looking for schools that Sing!

Congratulations to Sandgate State School for becoming the winner for Queensland.

“This is a wonderfully student-centred program. Kids are encouraged to compose and perform their own songs from very early on; there’s a highly successful boys-only singing group, BOSS; the school makes regular music tours across the State and it forges close musical ties with its local high school to help ensure its students continue their musical involvement once they hit secondary school. This is an energetic and comprehensive music program which the students so obviously love being part of!”

Well done Sandgate. You rock.


Monday, November 30, 2009

Summer Clearance Sale

Summer is here, so it's time for a


We are overstocked and getting ready for new and exciting things in 2010.

Check out these specials.

Ballistic Bunnies (Black line master book and 2 CD’s) – RRP $70 – yours for only $20 with any other purchase.

Music Lanyards only $1 with any other purchase. Buy 10 get one free - Never lose your school keys again.

Hurry, these offers are only available while stocks last.

Happy Summer.

Monday, November 16, 2009

New items just added to Resource Shop

Check out these great new books that have just been added to our Resource shop.

Choral time is an innovative new resource for the Primary school teacher. Designed for the general classroom teacher and music specialist alike.

There are six books in all. Ranging from Year 1 to Year 6.

Each book contains:

* 5 Songs arranged specifically for young voices
* Full Choral Score
* Vocal Score with reproducible pages
* Includes valuable conducting tips, performance notes and CD

The CD includes various versions of all 5 songs including full performance track, individual vocal tracks for each part (2 or 3pt) and Piano Accompaniment track suitable for rehearsal and/or performance!

Check them out at Crescendo Music today.


Educational Games for Kids

Looking for great Educational games for kids? I found these great ones on the web and thought I would share.

Check them out.
The best free educational and fun games for children on the internet.
Quizzes, resources and information to all music teachers interested in using technology to enhance music instruction.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Great Clip Art for Music Teachers

Looking for something to brighten up classroom worksheets or documents. Check out the clip art downloads at Crescendo Music. There are some FREE ones but if you're a member there are loads available.

Membership to the Crescendo Music Education site costs $50 per year and gives you exclusive access to Music Resources, Worksheets, Teaching Ideas, Repertoire, Games, Activities, Clip Art and more.

Check it out today.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Musical Instruments

Did you know that Crescendo Music now has a range of musical instruments, perfect for little hands.

These instruments are not only colourful and fun, but they are all FREE TRADE PRODUCTS.

Free Trade products help the poorer producers in the Developing World and transform lives giving people income, dignity and hope for the future. How fantastic is that.

So check out the great range today. Nothing like a bit of noise in the classroom.

Don't forget to follow us on twitter.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Past Syllabus Link

How cute is this picture. Don't you just love it. Thought I would share it with you all.

Just uploaded a new link to the website. Its from the Queensland Govt site, past syllabuses.

This page has all the modules that were written for the 'old' syllabus - that was really, really good!! If you haven't come across this resource before, I think you will like them! Written by REAL teachers.



Monday, September 21, 2009

Say "Yes" to "No"

Just watched this great video. Very interesting. Check it out.

Follow Some Great Teaching Blogs

Just listed a whole bunch of great teaching blogs on the Crescendo website.

Everything from Technology in the classroom, reading, what students say to just a good laugh, you will find it here.

Check them out and add them to your must reads. Go to Links on the home page under Main Menu and click on teaching blogs.

Happy reading.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Spring is such a great time of year, so we are having a SPRING SPECIAL.

For September only when you purchase 5 or more Child's Play Books you will get a free Drum Mobile, valued at $10.

Now this is not just any drum mobile, these mobiles have been made in Bangladesh and are a Free Trade product. Free Trade products help the poorer producers in the Developing World and transform lives giving people income, dignity and hope for the future. How fantastic is that.

Forum to Share your Views

Have you got questions? Some great news or information to share? Maybe you have an opinion on something that you would like to chat with others about. Crescendo website has a forum that is a great way to share things with others. Just hop on to the Crescendo website and click on Forum on the top of the home page. Log in and go for it. The more people we have sharing their ideas the better for everyone. Why not try it out today.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Clearer Vision

Got this sent to me by email. Really liked it so I thought I'd share.

What a lesson we can learn from this one...

A young couple moves into a new neighborhood.
The next morning while they are eating breakfast
The young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside. "

That laundry is not very clean", she said.
"She doesn't know how to wash correctly.
Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."

Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry,
The young woman would make the same comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see
Nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:
"Look, she has learned how to wash correctly.
I wonder who taught her this.."

The husband said, "I got up early this morning and
Cleaned our windows.

And so it is with life. What we see when watching
others Depends on the purity of our minds
and the window through which we look.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Help with Difficult Year 7 Music Classes

Have you ever wondered if there are any resources out there for that difficult year 7 class that seems to be burnt out by classroom music elements.

If so then check out the new download at crescendo music. In the download section under behaviour managment you will find the download "Help with Difficult Year 7 Music Classes". In this download you will find useful tried and tested ideas from insightful music teachers that will help you get back to enjoying that year 7 class.

Check out crescendo music today for heaps of other classroom ideas and resources.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Worksheets on the Crescendo Website

Yesterday I uploaded a bunch of new worksheets to the Crescendo Music Website. Go to Downloads and then Worksheets and you will find these exciting new goodies under Missing Notes and Missing Bars.

Missing Notes
Each worksheet features one song in staff notation with some notes missing. These sheets can be completed independently, as a class, or even as an assessment task.
For Members:
Chicken in a Fence Post
Hot Cross Buns
Lucy Locket
Mister Sun
Naughty Pussy Cat

Missing Bars
Each worksheet features one song in staff notation with some notes missing. These sheets can be completed independently, as a class, or even as an assessment task.
For Members:
Chicken in a Fence Post
Hot Cross Buns
Lucy Locket
Mister Sun
Naughty Pussy Cat

Check them out today at

Monday, June 29, 2009

Being Positive

A recent U.S. News and World Report article, "Positive Psychology for Kids: Teaching Resilience with Positive Education" says that adults can help kids by encouraging them to think positively.

Psychologists Karen Reivich and Jane Gillham aim to use positive psychology on the youngest members of society to prevent them from later struggling with anxiety, depression, or other psychological problems. An estimated 2 million or so 12- to 17-year-olds experience clinical depression annually, and Reivich and Gillham have found that building resilience in younger children can help thwart depression before it starts.

Positivity has to start with us though and I found this little test you can do to help you see what kind of a positive person you are. Click here to take the test, only take you a minute or so and makes you think about your life and how positive you really are.

For a bit more of a read on this subject check out If bees are few blog.

Keep smiling.


Crescendo Music

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Invest in yourself so you have more to give

I was reading one of the blogs I follow and came across this very good article by Amy Gould. Here is just a snippet, you can read the rest of the blog at

Being a teacher requires you to give a lot of your energy to your students. If you don’t spend time taking care of yourself and replenishing your own energy levels, you may get burned out. Here are a few ideas that I’ve come up with to help you replenish your own energy. If you add a couple of these to your weekly schedule, they will pay off big time.

Start or make over a work out

Any way you can take time for yourself is a good thing, but working out is good for a lot of reasons. It raises your endorphins, which are the feel good hormones. It helps reduce stress. Plus you will increase your lung capacity and stamina. Even getting out and going for a bike ride or a walk will improve your outlook.

Read for fun

Take a look at the list of recommended books from your library. Pick something fun that you might read if you were a kid. (no self help books, educational reading or anything else applies.) Spend as much time as you can getting lost in the book (no guilt allowed either.)

These are just a couple of things mentioned on the website. Check it out, its a good read.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rain, Rain go away

Well today is another lovely rainy day in Brisbane. The rain has come again. We have gone from being in drought to being flooded. But with the rain comes some great opportunities for indoor games with your kids in the classroom.

Check out Crescendo Music for some great game ideas.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Music Teachers Help

Just uploaded is a new section under the Music Teaching Help tab at Crescendo Music “Hello Songs” These songs are just some simple, piggy-back Hello Songs. Piggy-pack songs are simply different words put to a known melody. One of these songs may become part of your daily routine! Check them out today!

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Link Updates on the Website

Hi all

Just spent some time adding some great website links to Crescendo Music Education website. I have been reading some fabulous blogs and thought that I should share my great finds. Also discovered some excellent teaching resources too.

Go to and checkout the new links. If you register and become a member you will have access to even more.

Happy music teaching.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Helping Children To Sing In Tune

Below is part of an article featured on the Crescendo website. Click here for the whole article.

Why do some children sing out of tune?
  • They may not hear the sound of their own voice
  • They may not understand the difference between singing and speaking
  • They may not have had good models to imitate
  • Too much accompaniment
  • Repertoire may not be appropriate
  • Lack of confidence
  • Physical defect

How can you help?
  • Provide a safe secure environment
  • Be or provide a good model
  • Choose appropriate materials
  • Pitch
  • Rang
  • Tempo
  • Sit a child having difficulty next to a nice singer
  • Children sing alone often
  • Encourage and accept all efforts but do not say ‘good’ if it is not
  • ‘Thank you’
  • 1. say persons name
  • 2. throw bean bag as high as you possible and make the noise with your voice
  • 3. Sit down after you throw helicopter
  • Encourage soft singing - you all must be able to hear the person beside you

  • The older children are the longer it takes to help them to sing in tune.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Check this out, its cool

Check out this website I discovered through Betty's Blog. You type in an expression and, choose a language, and with a simple click, a lady says it. It's even possible to change the effects and hear it said in a lot of unique ways.

Great for kids that are learning to read and spell. They can hear their words said back to them. They even have an Aussie accent that almost sounds real.

It is great to have a play and try and discover the many ways you could use this. Technology is wonderful really.

Check it out here. Have fun.

Reward Ideas

This list of ideas was compiled during a music teachers workshop. The complete list can be found at

There are bound to be some new ideas to try, some old ones to revisit and hopefully find something that will be of benefit to you.

Reward Ideas
  • CD’s – able to bring one in the following week
  • Stickers – different sizes (small give often – medium occasionally – large – must be outstanding to get) - scratch and smell are a real hit with students
  • Bookmarks/booktags (homemade music ones – use wrapping paper and laminate them)
  • Bag tags
  • Team points – let winning team line up first or choose activity
  • Choose a game – use instruments
  • Bookmarks
  • Good points
  • A full lesson of music games
  • A special instrument for the lesson – choose a student to play
  • Contemporary Dance – play popular music eg. ‘So Fresh’ (radio edits therefore no swearing) – students work in groups to prepare a routine to the class (one minute only)
  • Music ‘Worker of the Week’ announced at assembly
  • Give students a chance to perform/improvise for class
  • Certificates for good manners, good listening, beautiful singing, most improved
  • Puppets – students hold
  • Listen to a song/CD of their choice – your music
  • Start small with rewards
  • Choose someone sitting up straight and singing nicely to begin a game
  • Smiley face on board for good behaviour
  • Positive Behaviour Management eg “I like the way ‘Jane’ is sitting”
  • Newsletter mention
  • Phone call to parents
  • Public mention in class time
  • Praise by other teachers
  • Given special jobs
  • Given royal names – ie. Should behave like one
  • Special play times in the music room (a group of friend in a class etc.)
This is just a taste of the full list. Check out for other great music resources.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A World of Music

I just read a really good blog post by Ed Pearlman at

Here is just a taste:

Expose your students–and yourself–to as many styles of music as possible. If you are involved in a fixed curriculum, plan some times to step out of it and include something different.

Every style of playing music embraces players of top quality. Find them or recordings of them and let your students listen, and it’s of course educational for us as teachers as well. We need to set the example for students to be exposed to a variety of styles, whether readily available or not.

Check out the rest of the article at There is some really good insights into exposing your students to all different types of music.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Crescendo Now On Twitter

Keep up to date with all the latest news. Follow us on Twitter


Monday, April 20, 2009

Dry Bones

Let's collect those dry bones! This traditional African-American Spiritual is perfect for learning parts of the body, and the innovative die-cut holes on each page helps us to identify them.

A full skeleton at the back of the book teaches us the scientific names for the major bones in the human body.

Magical die-cutting draws the reader from page to page of colourful artwork. Soon the rhymes will be read or, more probably, sung by heart.

Dry Bones

Key Learning Areas
- Literacy - Pre Reading
- Literacy - Early Reading
- Literacy - Intermediate Reading
- Vocabulary Building
- Spelling & Word Building
Age Level: 2 - 6 years
Type: soft cover
Dimensions: 290 x 290 mm

This is just one of the "Classic Books with Holes" series available at

Check out all the other titles today. Great classroom resource.

Drawing - An important part of learning

Though I may be a music educator most of the time, I am passionate about all of the Arts!


You may find some things that music teachers can use, or ideas that you may share with other educators. For the whole article go to, Downloads, Visual Arts.

Happy Drawing

Children use drawing as language. Indeed, because drawing is spontaneous and independent of cultural norms, it is their most expressive language while learning the codes of literacy. The content of children's drawings is far more complex and subtle than their verbal equivalent could possibly be. Fortunately there is no competition between the two; ‑it is now well known that drawing and words flourish in a symbiotic relationship. When children draw, they use words simultaneously ‑ S.L.Jent for the most part but occasionally audible ‑ and vocabulary and syntax are enriched by the complexity and subtlety of drawing's subject matter. Drawing stimulates literacy in other ways; caring adults engage children in conversation as a way to motivate drawing. The finished work provides opportunities for beginning writing.


Children get to know their world through direct experience or through books, movies, videos, and still photography. The brain is an efficient storehouse of mental imagery derived from these sources. The great art educator Viktor Lowenfeld refers to passive and active knowledge which directs us to the importance of motivation, the goal of which is to make passive knowledge active. For example: children will have had many experiences of different kinds of trees but their drawings will be more empirically correct if the teacher projects slides of different varieties when motivating drawings of the forest and its ecology.


Children delight in finding imaginative solutions to mechanical problems to which they often apply wit and wisdom. Another advantage: those who have difficulties with realism may enjoy diagrammatic drawing. This activity is an important contributor to intellectual development and the scientific attitude.

* Problems are set by the teacher or brainstormed by children. The teacher explains that problem solving may Involve combinations of 1) words ‑ headings, labels, captions, expository prose, even poems; 2) drawings, charts, diagrams, cartoon sequences; and 3) numbers ‑ measurements, specifications, proportions.

* Individuals or small groups work on the problem and come up with solutions.

* These are photocopied and organized on a wall chart or mural. The originals remain in notebooks.

* A formal discussion determines their strengths and weaknesses. Students create a display poster of the best.