Monday, June 30, 2014

Debbie's Quick Teaching Tip #9

Happy school holidays, everyone!

This week's tip is don't forget to take some time for yourself! We're busy teachers, always worried about someone else: our students, their parents, our bosses, our own kids and family. So much so that we forget that our health (physical and mental) is just as important!

Social researcher Brene Brown puts it best: you can't care for others if you don't first care for yourself. 

So teachers, I have some homework for you. Put down next term's program, put down that left over marking, put down the vacuum (because now it's holidays and you have time to clean), stop everything! Today, do something for you. Something that is purely and utterly just because you want to do it. Something that will make you happy inside. 

Go for high tea with a friend. Sit on the couch the whole day and read a book. Retail therapy. Get in the car and just drive. But whatever it is, be selfish. Find your happy place. 

You made it through term two and reports and parent teacher interviews and everything else. You deserve it. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Finds #9

Do your students love Disney's Frozen as much as mine do? Show them this clip from US talk show The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. 

And then try to recreate it! (This version has even been transposed down to G major from Ab, for easy playing on Orff instruments and make those high notes just a little bit more reachable!)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Debbie's Quick Teaching Tips #8

This week's tip comes from our monthly newsletter (are you subscribed? You should be! Head over to to sign up!) 

Maintaining interest and practising known elements in many different contexts is the constant lot of music teachers. 
Grab some felt from the cheapie shop, draw on some staff with black marker pen (make sure you get the counters first so that your staff is the right size for the note heads), and you have a fun way to 'write' notes. Even my older students enjoy the counters and staff. Much quicker than writing, they can create, edit, sing and play what they have written, add stems with match sticks, add a clef with a length of wool...

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Find #8

This week's find is an oldie but a goodie. Bobby McFerrin uses something we as music teachers use all the time: the pentatonic scale, to teach the audience a melody. His use of stage space as "notation" would be something to try in the classroom! 

See below for the video!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hump Day Hilarity

We're going to be injecting a little funny into your life every Wednesday. Hopefully, this will get you smiling and help you through the week!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Debbie's Quick Teaching Tips #7

Sorry the Teaching Tips have been a little absent the last few weeks but we're back on schedule for every Monday! 

This week's tip comes from a colleague, Leigh Jabs: 
"a simple transcription of "Everything Is Awesome" from the Lego movie. I use it as the final song with Kinders, Preps and 1s in a construction medley with Johnny Works With One Hammer, There's A House, and Build 'Em Up. Works a treat in performances with boomwhackers (two chords) and fluorescent vests & hard hats."

See below for the transcription. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Find #7

Staff Wars

I know many of you know and LOVE Staff Wars (HERE), but did you know there is now an app version available from the iTunes store? (HERE)

At only 99cents it is worth a look!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Finds #6

Join a choir. Science shows it’ll make you feel better.

As Music Educators, we know that singing in a choir can make you feel happier. You may be interested in this:
"I used to think choir singing was only was for nerds and church people. Since I was neither, I never considered singing in a group—even though I loved singing by myself...."
Read more here