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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

2018 Rewind: Top Music Education Posts

On this last full week of 2018, I want to stop and look back on all of the content we have covered this year on Organized Chaos. What a year it has been! Lots of opportunities to dig deeper into improving our practice as music teachers, as well as continuing to share practical advice for those aspects of music teaching with which many of us struggle the most. If you've missed any of the highlights below, this is a great chance to catch up on some reading! And if you're curious to find out which post was the most popular this year (and enter a giveaway!), stay tuned to the end!

1. Teaching Recorder

This series of posts is chock-full of all of my top tips for teaching recorder: everything from trouble-shooting all those squeaks and squawks to organization tips, logistics and teaching strategies. See all of my posts on recorder here:

2. Teaching Pitch Elements

I also wrote a series of posts on specific lessons for introducing new solfege pitch elements, practicing letter names, and exploring high and low. See all of those posts here:

3. Social Justice in the Music Room

This was possibly the most important series I have ever written. Please, please, if you have not had the chance to read these, I hope you will take the time to do so now. I received so much excellent input from experts in each specific area. We owe it to our students to do some hard thinking about how to do better for our most marginalized students!

4. Advice from Administrators

This year I also had the opportunity to do something a little new: interview administrators about issues relating to music teachers and share their insights with you in a series of posts on the job search process and advice for current teachers for improving their relationships with administration.


5. Elementary Choir

From favorite warm-ups to rehearsal procedures, concert organization and lesson planning, these posts on elementary chorus teaching were among my most-read this school year!

6. Most-Read Post of 2018

And... drumroll please.... the most-read post from this year? 5 things to stop saying to music teachers! This one clearly resonated with a lot of people. It can be so frustrating to hear these ignorant comments from others, but it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who hears these disrespectful remarks regularly, and I'm genuinely hopeful that people outside our field will learn from this post- I truly think they usually have no idea that what they're saying is offensive, and/or have no idea what our jobs are actually like!

These are just a few of the highlights from this past year's content on music teaching- you can find lots more by searching through the archives on the website's sidebar on elementary music class openers, lesson ideas for the first day of school, finishing the school year strong, and SO much more! What were your favorite post(s) from 2018? What content do you hope to see in 2019? Leave your answers in the comments at the bottom of this blog post for a chance to win a $10 gift card to my store! Be sure to enter your email address here after you leave a comment so I can get in touch with you if you win :) Giveaway closes at midnight EST on December 31st:

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  1. The social justice posts were amazing!

  2. I’m pretty new to your website, I found it looking for tips for teaching choir - thanks! I also enjoyed the social justice article, relevant no matter what part of the world you’re in (Australian here). Happy holidays!

  3. I’ve been struggling with the organization of my recorder class and I always have trouble getting specific advice. I so appreciated your detailed tips on how to run the recorder program!

  4. I LOVE your website. As a new teacher, I have really appreciated reading about different lessons ideas for recorder for upper elementary and basic lessons for lower elementary. Thank you for sharing so many ideas. It has helped me immensely! One of my favorite posts was working with special needs students. Such great ideas!

  5. I love your blog! I enjoyed reading your posts on classroom setup and incentive ideas. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. I enjoy your positivity and encouraging insights in every post! Suggestions for 2019: Ideas on curriculum and activities for 6th graders. Thanks!

  7. I really enjoyed your class rewards/freeze dance posts! I'm always trying to find more ways to musically reward the kids.