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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2019 Rewind: Top Music Education Posts

Happy New Year! 2019 was a great year- I learned so much from the online conversations and connections I made through this website, and I continue to grow as a teacher through my writing and creating process. I'm so grateful to have this platform that allows me to reflect and explore ideas! Today I'm counting down the top 10 most-read posts of 2019. Did your favorite make the list? Let's find out!

#10: Classroom Tour 2019-2020

This brings back memories... My summer was pretty packed this year. We had 2 new elementary music teachers join our district, so I was focused on helping them get set up, and we went on vacation with my family the week before teacher work days started, so I had to work ahead to get my classroom ready much earlier than I ever have before. I have LOVED the new color-coded storage system I set up!

#9: Allie All Along

I created this new lesson for my Kindergartners because I was looking to replace the lesson I used to teach on communicating emotion through music. My old lesson was based on a book by Dr. Seuss, who I have removed from my classroom, and I wanted to find something featuring characters that represent my black students (the vast majority in my building). This was perfect- the students loved it and the conversations we had about emotions were actually so much better with this book than my previous one because the story is so much more relatable for this age group!

#8: Color Teams

I'm glad this one made the list because it is one of my favorite things to talk about! If there is one organizational system I could recommend to every general music teacher, it's this one. The longer I use it the more I love it, seriously!

#7: My Family Plays Music

I was very focused on improving my representation of marginalized voices in my classroom this year, and this book was one of those finds that left me shocked that I hadn't come across it sooner. There is so much diversity in representation in everything from the musical genres to the characters in the story, and it's a perfect jumping-off point for active lessons with pretty much any age.

#6: Pop Songs for Elementary Choir

I honestly wish I had written about this sooner. So many great conversations with music teachers came out of this post! The sequel to this post (which also made the list- see below!) lists the specific songs I've done over the years, and I have been continuing to update that list each semester.

#5: Dance Playlist 2019

Finding good, clean, fun pop songs to use in the classroom can be hard! It has legitimately been very helpful for my own use to keep track of the songs I find that my students love- this was my 4th year in a row making one (and I've already got a good start on the 2020 edition)! It's a great reference whenever I'm tasked with putting together playlists for school events and such.

#4: Planner Tour

It's fitting that my planner tour would be on this list, because my *very first post* I ever published on this site back in the summer of 2014 (WHAT. I know, right?) was also a planner tour! Some things have changed, but actually a lot has not. The organizational systems I set up back then are still going strong 5 years (and counting) later.

#3: Pop Songs for Elementary Choir (part 2)

This was clearly a hot topic, because both posts in this series made the top 10! I am continuing to update this one as I choose new songs each semester to do with my choirs, and it lists my top resources for finding new music (which is always the hardest part of using modern music in our teaching).

#2: Elementary Music Supplies

I was putting together an instrument order around the time I wrote this post, and I realized that I had actually done quite a bit of ordering over my career with a very broad range of budget amounts and existing supplies. Going through that experience has helped me really narrow my focus to what my true priorities are for supplies, and this lists them in order that way.

#1: 15 Fun Videos for Music Class

I find it kind of funny that this one was my most-read post of the year: it was honestly a spur-of-the-moment decision to put these together because I like to keep these on hand for when classes earn the "prize" of watching a video instead of their usual warm-up. I've actually written a sequel with 15 more videos since then- here's that one if you're looking for more!

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me- I appreciate each and every person who reads, interacts with, and shares my content. It is so validating to know that others are benefiting from all these thoughts and ideas floating around in my head! Have a favorite that didn't make the list? Got a request for a topic you'd like to see this year? Leave a comment below- I love hearing from you!

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