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Saturday, June 1, 2019

May Favorites 2019

Today is the day I get to look back on the past month and celebrate some of my highlights with you! I admit, some months I have a harder time coming up with things to share because life seems pretty mundane. Not so in May!

1. International Music Festival

I've been teaching in-depth units on music from a specific culture to each grade level in April/May for many years now, but last year I had students share the songs and dances they learned with the rest of the school in an assembly-type performance I've dubbed the International Music Festival. We just had it again this year and, while it is definitely a massive organizational undertaking for me, it is by far the highlight of my year. I've been teaching the same songs and dances, for the most part, for over a decade now but since they had performed them last year I pushed myself to come up with mostly new material this year. It made my brain hurt trying to memorize 10 new songs in unfamiliar languages, plus all the movements and instrumental parts I added, but it was worth it. If you're curious about how I go about incorporating music from around the world into my classroom, here's a good blog post to start with.

2. New Instruments

It has been a good fundraising year for me this year! The single biggest addition to my classroom, though, got funded this past month: 16 new tubanos from DonorsChoose! I already had 8 of the "rainforest" ones, so now I have 12 each of the black nesting ones and the rainforest ones. We used every last one of them in the International Music Festival, and they are awesome instruments!

3. Mother's Day

I was pretty blown away by the support and encouragement I got from friends and family and even the online community for Mother's Day this year, but especially from my daughters. So many cards, pictures, and even full-blown posters, flowers, and gifts! It was really special. I shared this open letter to newly-single moms on Instagram and got such a positive response from everyone- read it for yourself here.

4. Music Education Blog Posts

I always enjoy curating my favorite new posts from other music teaching blogs each month to share with you- click on the pictures to read the full articles.

(keeping students connected to and enjoying music class by Mr A Music Place)

(ending the year with purposeful fun by O for Tuna Orff)

It's always motivating and meaningful to take the time to celebrate some "favorites" from the past month- what were some of your highlights from the month of May? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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