Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Written by a Pre-School Teacher – It says it all!

I was on a parenting bulletin board recently and read a post by a mother who was worried that her 4 1/2 year old did not know enough. “What should a 4 year old know?” she asked.Most of the answers left me not only saddened but pretty soundly annoyed. One mom posted a laundry list of all of the things her son knew. Counting to 100, planets, how to write his first and last name, and on and on. Others chimed in with how much more their children already knew, some who were only three. A few posted URL’s to lists of what each age should know. The fewest yet said that each child develops at his own pace and not to worry.

It bothered me greatly to see these mothers responding to a worried mom by adding to her concern, with lists of all the things their children could do that hers couldn’t. We are such a competitive culture that even our pre-schoolers have become trophies and bragging rights. Childhood shouldn’t be a race.So here, I offer my list of what a 4 year old should know.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I am super excited by my newest addition to Youtube. 


I am fully aware that all of you techie types out there will probably stifle a giggle when you see what took me literally hours to do. 

I made this (and many more on the way) for a couple of reasons. One of the problems I see in music teaching is the difficulty in becoming truly literate. But this I mean that the symbols and sounds are linked on all levels and in any context. This clip will put notation and sound in front of the kids, and they will be engaged!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Humour in the Classroom

Not everyone is the Class Clown – I confess I am. Humour plays a really important part in my teaching style. Every teacher brings something unique to their classroom and I guess one of the things I bring is laughter. I have one puppet that is so naughty that he can’t come to school very often. Sheldon, the snail, is cheeky and just loves to make everyone laugh, so when he appears we get very side tracked. He is a Folkmanis large snail, well he was before he became mine.
I also have a ‘joke of the week’ for years 4 to 7. It really doesn’t take long, and some kids really look forward to it. I have heard some families get the weekly Joke at the dinner table on music lesson days! (Poor things!) I used to have one for all year levels, but the frustration of having to explain the joke to the little ones got to me! Besides, we have enough laughs with the little ones without a Mrs O’Shea slack joke! But of course the most important thing for me is to have a laugh with the students over things that happen in the lesson. I stress WITH the students. The biggest crime in my music room is to laugh AT someone. The Dragon Lady of the Music Room comes out if that ever happens.
I hope that you all appreciate the talents that you bring to your music room.

(From the Crescendo Free Newsletter - sign up on www.crescendo.com.au )

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hot off the press - Semester 1 aural/written music tests! Year 1 - 7 - here is Queensland. For those not in Queensland the Sunshine State, this equates to 5/6 year olds up to 12 year olds.
The tests are FREE!!!!!!
Click here
While you are in the Crescendo site - have a look around! There are loads of freebies - and over 1000 more downloads for an annual membership. (I think it is great value - but of course I would!)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dear Teachers,
A very exciting event for musicians (young and not so young) is planned for Saturday July 13th in Brisbane.
We need 6,500 musicians to play in the World’s Largest Orchestra with James Morrison.

Please consider organising a group from your school?
QMF have provided loads of support (everything from media releases like the one attached) to risk assessments and notes for parents… and more.
If taking a group isn’t possible, please promote it to your school community and encourage families to be involved.
The official Media release is attached, including all the links, so it would be easy to send a note home, put an article in the School Newsletter, post something on your blog, tell your students….

Spread this message as wide as you can – access all your networks – PLEASE PASS THIS ON - let’s not miss this opportunity for advocacy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Striving for excellence rather than perfection 

From Anthony, M. & Swinson, P. When Perfect isn’t Good Enough. 1998. New Harbinger Publications, Oakland

As professionals or students, we are continually challenged to improve our performance by striving for excellence within our roles. However, the desire for excellence is not the same as being a perfectionist.

Individuals who strive for perfection are blind from the truth of excellence. Striving for excellence motivates us, whereas striving for perfection demoralises us. Essentially, perfectionists have standards that are unreasonable or beyond reach, and can lead to the following negative outcomes.

Procrastination, an avoidance tactic, occurs when individual’s fear not being able to live up to their own, or others, unrealistically high expectations.

Fear of Failure can result in apathy. This occurs when the person knows he or she will never measure up 100% of the time.

Paralysed Perfectionists are so afraid of messing up that they refrain from taking chances or making decisions until the perfect option is made available to them.

The workaholic Syndrome leads to trouble with delegation because no one can achieve their high expectations.

They also have trouble saying no, thus over-committing themselves and losing their life balance, and health and wellbeing.

Perfectionism can lead to depression, anger, social and performance anxiety, worry, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, and eating disorders. This is because perfectionists have unrealistic standards with work, relationships, and other activities. The following strategies may help reduce perfectionism. 
  • Be less detail orientated. Sometimes near enough is good enough.
  • Be less concerned about being judged by others. Have faith in your own knowledge and expertise.
  • Become more tolerant of self and other’s imperfections. Sometimes your way is simply different not better.
  • Accept yourself as an imperfect creature with faults and limitations.
  • Whilst it is desirable to be approved by others, we don’t need it to survive. It is better to concentrate on self-acceptance and unconditional positive regard of self and others.

Nine Ways Excellence Outperforms Perfection

1. Excellence is willing to be wrong - Perfection is being right

2. Excellence is risk - Perfection is fear

3. Excellence is empowerment - Perfection is anger and frustration

4. Excellence is spontaneous - Perfection is control

5. Excellence is accepting - Perfection is judgement

6. Excellence is giving - Perfection is taking

7. Excellence is confidence - Perfection is doubt

8. Excellence is flowing - Perfection is pressure

9. Excellence is journey - Perfection is destination

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Free Downloads on www.crescendo.com.au

Some of the free downloads from my site!


I do hope they are useful to you - and save some precious time!!!!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

These ‘Find the Mistake’ sheets make for a great classroom activity.
Check out this free example worksheet – ‘Lucy Locket’ is written on the staff, but there are three mistakes. Students simply find the mistakes and circle them, working on their skills of reading and understanding the staff.
As a bonus this sheet is quick and easy to mark for teachers!
Find this sheet  here. While you are on the site have a look around at all the other free stuff!
More of this series is available for Crescendo members! Join for just $50 per annum.

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet
pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, "I'm sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away."

The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?" "Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead," replied the vet.

"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried, "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!"

The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150."

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Union Meeting for Specialists in the Logan Area.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Winner of the Crescendo Membership Giveaway

The winner of our January Membership giveaway has just been drawn.

Congratulations to
Marissa Nash

She is our lucky Crescendo Member that scores this great puppet pack below including:
Spider puppet, bee puppet and two cute finger puppets.

If you would love the chance to win the February Member giveaway all you need to do is become a Crescendo member or if you already are, then your automatically in the draw. 
 To become a member of Crescendo Music Education for your chance to win, check out the website for more details.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A frog goes into a bank and approaches the teller. He can see from her nameplate that her name  is Patricia Whack.

"Miss Whack, I'd like to get
 a $30,000 loan to take a holiday."

Patty looks at the frog in
disbelief and asks his name.
 The frog says his name is Kermit Jagger, his dad is Mick Jagger, and that it's okay, he knows the bank manager.

Patty explains that he will
need to secure the loan with some collateral.
The frog says, "Sure. I have this," and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patty explains
that she'll have to consult with the bank manager and
 disappears into a back office.

She finds the manager and
says, "There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who
 claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as

She holds up the tiny pink
elephant. "I mean, what in the world is this?"

The bank manager looks back
at her and says,

"It's a knick-knack  Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan, His old man's a Rolling Stone."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Click here to go to the free download of this great worksheet. Staff positions for the little ones!!!
I think you will love it. There are more for members. For only $50 for an annual membership, you gain access to about a thousand downloads - and it is growing!!!!!