Elementary School Music

Two music teachers’ workshops in July

Posted in Events, Prof. Development by P. Conrad on May 16, 2012

Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts offers two 2-day teacher education workshops held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Usdans’ Huntington, LI campus.

I Can Do That Kids! on July 17 – 18 will be taught by Angelo Truglio, music educator and founder of the I Can Do That! program.

Music for Learning, Music for Fun on July 24 — 25 will be taught by Elaine Gates a Usdan faculty member since 1968.

The workshops cost $95 each, and include classroom and hands-on experiences designed to enrich the programs of elementary music teachers, and classroom teachers alikel. A Certificate of Completion will be provided at the end of each course.

Applications may be downloaded from the Usdan Center  or all 631-643-7900 for more information.


Professional Development

Posted in Prof. Development, Where-ever by P. Conrad on December 14, 2011

Organizations or schools in the NYC area which offer professional development: clinics, workshops, or certification training of relevance to elementary-level music teachers. Click the “Events” link to see what’s current.

Office of Arts and Special Projects (NYC-DOE) sometimes plans day-long clinics during the school year, focusing on the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts.

Music Educators Association of New York City (MEANYC) has short (2-hour) clinics on Saturdays at locations all over NYC.

UFT Music Teachers Committee was dormant for several years, but recently resumed offering a program of full-day Saturday clinics for music teachers, during the year.

Orff and Kodály chapters in NYC sponsor day-long Saturday events in Manhattan, with L.I. Orff workshops at Hofstra University.

Metropolitan Opera Guild

Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ, offers some one-day-only music education courses on Saturdays.

NYU’s Kodály Summer Institute is an excellent intensive program for Kodály certification held each year around first two weeks of July.

New Jersey City University has Orff certification classes in July.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has a certification for early and middle childhood music teachers. NBPTS certification is a rigorous process through which accomplished teachers earn a distinction after completing a course of assessments and portfolio submission. Information about the Music Educators certification and the NBPTS standards for early and middle childhood music can be downloaded as a PDF file.

Tagged with:

Posted in Choral Music, Events, Prof. Development by P. Conrad on December 13, 2011

The Office of Arts and Special Projects just recently announced “Cross-Choral Training™,” an all-day Saturday workshop for NYC Department of Education choral/vocal teachers.

The clinicians are two master choral conductors: Dianne Berkun (right) of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and Jeannette LoVetri (left), BYC’s Voice Specialist.

BYCA’s Cross-Choral Training™ method is functional voice training applied in a group setting, based on the latest information on voice science and knowledge of the young voice. Through the development of vocal registers and resonance adjustments, singers develop the capacity to perform music of diverse genres and styles authentically, and to respond to musical and expressive demands of the most challenging choral repertoire.

The workshop will be held at the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, 179 Pacific Street, Brooklyn (near the Bergen Street F train) from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday January 28.

Music Educators’ Workshops for 2011-2012

Posted in Events, Prof. Development, Prof. Organizations by P. Conrad on November 2, 2011

The fall season always brings new workshops of interest to elementary music teachers. One series is presented by MEANYC and the UFT Music Teachers Committee:

On Saturday, November 19, from 9AM-1PM, Jim Frankel, a presenter from the Soundtree company will host a workshop on ways to Integrate Technology into Your Music Classroom, exploring new software titles, hardware, websites, and curricular resources across grades K-12.

On Thursday, March 15, 2012 from 4:30 PM-7:30 PM, Marisol Ponte-Greenberg will lead a workshop on Traditional Music of Argentina: Music Styles, Instruments, Folk Songs and Choral Repertoire for Children. Packets with transcriptions of songs, translations and teaching techniques will be available, and Ms. Ponte-Greenberg who teaches chorus and general music at the Abigail Adams P.S. 131 School in Queens, will give a PowerPoint talk on her recent research as a Fulbright scholar in Latin America.

For all the UFT/MEANYC workshops, there is a $10.00 fee with advance registration/$15.00 at the door, and refreshments will be served.

Other workshops in 2012 include “Music & Dance,” Musical Theatre, a New York Pops brass and woodwind workshop, and a presentation on the Little Kids Rock guitar program. Details will follow here.

All of these workshops satisfy hours of Professional Development Credit and the necessary forms will be available at the workshops.

Click HERE for a registration form to print out and mail in. For more information, visit the MEANYC or the UFT Music Teachers Committee websites.

Citywide Professional Development for 2011-2012

Posted in Events, NYC DOE Resources, Prof. Development by P. Conrad on October 11, 2011

Two events are available for music teachers on November 8 (Election Day). One is listed below and the other can be found on the page for Teacher-Directed Staff Development.


As in the past, the 2011-12 school year offers a series of professional development events for music teachers in New York City public schools. There’s a cost for the series that must be paid for by the school at the pleasure of the principal, and participants must register on-at a dedicated website (CVENT). The cost of the series is $100 per elementary school participant for the full workshop series (3 days).

All workshops will be held at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School, 35-12 35th Avenue in Queens, on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, and then on Monday, January 30, and Thursday, June 7, 2012, from 8:30 AM — 3:00 PM.

This year’s series will provide “will provide practical, performance based strategies for articulating and demonstrating the ways in which music empowers students to ‘decode’ complex text.”

“These three sessions will focus upon one, specific aspect of the music specialist’s mission: to encourage students’ appreciation and participation in music thus developing their ability to read music-related text. In doing so, the goals and outcomes for our students contained within the Music Blueprint and Common Core standards are supported.”

Participants are expected to attend all three workshop days. The registration deadline for this workshop series is Tuesday, October 31, 2011.

The Fine Print: (more…)

Teacher-directed professional development for 2011-2012

Posted in Events, Prof. Development by P. Conrad on October 11, 2011

Music teachers Craig McGorry (who teaches at P.S. 35 in the Bronx) and Katie Traxler (P.S. 51 in Manhattan) are again hosting a special PD day for elementary and middle school music teachers on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, from 9:00am – 3:00pm.
Colleagues around the NYC area are invited to come and share ideas for best practices in the classroom including repertoire, engaging activities. 

Read about the original non-DOE PD day here.                            Read about the 2010 event here.

Where: PS 35x, The Franz Sigel School, 261 East 163rd Street, in the Bronx (between Grant Avenue & Morris Avenue)

Directions: Take the 4, B, or D train to 161st/Yankee Stadium. Walk away from Yankee Stadium, up the hill on 161st Street, and cross Grand Concourse.

Contact Craig McGorry at musicteachermcgorry@gmail.com for more information.

World Music Drumming workshop

Posted in Events, Prof. Development by P. Conrad on February 13, 2011

On Saturday, March 5th, 2011 from 9AM-1PM, the UFT’s NYC Music Teachers Association joins with Music Educators of NYC in hosting a workshop on “World Music Drumming: Transforming Lives — Building Community” led by Dr. Will Schmid.

This is a hands-on session demonstrating the World Music Drumming curriculum, which is designed for grades 3-5 and middle school / HS students.  Participants should bring a hand drum if possible.  The event is presented in conjunction with Hal Leonard Corp., publishers of Dr. Schmid’s World Music Drumming Curriculum.

The workshop is $10.00 with advance registration, $15.00 at the door and it includes pastry, fruit and coffee served at 8:30 AM. For advance registration, download a registration form from the UFT site and mail it in.

This workshop satisfies 4 professional development credit hours; forms will be available at the event.

Evaluating music teachers

Posted in Prof. Development, Readings & Research by P. Conrad on May 16, 2010

As New York City revamps the way it evaluates the work done by public school teachers, staff who teach in areas without an annual standardized test are wondering what sorts of criteria will determine into which of the four categories they may fall — highly effective, effective, developing or ineffective. They may also ask themselves about the training and expertise of the supervisor who makes that determination.

Self-assessments may not have a the same value as students’ scores on a standardized test, but for a classroom music teacher, this kind of systematic evaluation (along with peer observations) can make a powerful difference in students’ success.

Evaluating teacher effectiveness in music” is a short article from the Spring 2008 issue of  American Music Teacher, and while it’s written largely from the perspective of private instructors, it contains valuable ideas on different methods and problems of self-evaluation.

The author, Kathleen S. McAllister, is a professor of piano and piano pedogogy at Baylor University in Texas. She argues that watching video of one’s own teaching is essential to any serious self-evaluation. Even a simple audio recording for later review can provide tremendous insight into the “the gap between how we think we are teaching and our actual behavior during lessons.”

Another resource is Music Teacher Self-Assessment: A Diagnostic Tool for Professional Development available from Edwin Gordon‘s GIA Publications. Authors James Froseth and Molly Weaver include a DVD that lets users examine behaviors in a teaching sample before creating their own assessment videos.

The GIA book is an outcome of a collaboration between the University of Michigan and the Flint, Michigan Community Schools during the 1991-1992 school year, part of their national music education research project.

Teacher-directed staff development

Posted in Events, Prof. Development by P. Conrad on November 15, 2009

flip photo. . . at a meeting of elementary school music teachers, organized and hosted by Craig McGorry at P.S. 35 in the Bronx, on November 3, 2009.

16 people attended, some of them from schools as far away as Brooklyn.  Participants discussed and shared activities (body percussion, movement to music, xylophone work, singing rounds, rhythm notation games, etc.), including:
  • Body Percussion Rondo:  “Everyone learned it, then broke into four groups.  Each group spent about 10 minutes coming up with their own 4-measure ideas.  We then regrouped and combined the parts with the A-section from the original rondo.  The result is an activity that moves from learning a piece to composing other sections and finally performing them.”
Other material demonstrated on the videos includes:
  • Body Movement: to identify different sections from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (presented by Evan Alboum of P.S. 246, Bronx).
  • Macro-Beat Awareness: activity presented by Fay Watson of P.S. 75, Manhattan)
  • Two African-American handgames —Hambone and Juba (presented by David Haiman of P.S. 180, Manhattan).
  • Balafón: Orff arrangement for 2nd graders, from Walt Hampton’s Hot Marimba (presented by David Haiman) .
  • Kokoleoko: a Liberian folk song acappella arrangement
  • I Won’t Go to Macy’s Anymore: a schoolyard rhyme (presented by Walter Paul of P.S. 42, Manhattan)
  • John Kanaka: a Pacific Islands sea shanty with circle play
Mr. McGorry writes: “What made it work so well was that different voices contributed.  Also, we kept bringing it back to the practical:  how do you use this in a classroom?  What are the potential problems that you could encounter in doing this?  How do you avoid those problems?”

“P” In-Service courses for Music Teachers

Posted in NYC DOE Resources, Prof. Development by P. Conrad on November 14, 2009

“P” courseThe New York City After School Professional Development Program offers a selection of “P” In-Service courses that are designed to equip educators (teachers, secretaries, and other school-based personnel) with the skills and abilities to increase student achievement.  Course offerings are high quality, low-cost alternatives to traditionally offered college courses.  Available across all content areas, courses may be applied toward salary differential requirements and meet the New York State 175-hour Professional Development requirement. (ASPDP classes do not offer academic credits toward fulfillment of licensing requirements.)

Summer “P” course registration will begin on June 2nd after 4 PM.  Mark your calendar for the Fall 2009 registration which begins on August 4th after 4 PM. Fall courses begin meeting on Sept 21st. Visit the ASPDP website to view the catalog of courses. For additional information contact Helaine Schwartz, Director at 718-935-5753 or via e-mail at aspdp@schools.nyc.gov

Past offerings that may be of interest to music teachers included Using the Recorder in the Classroom, Composing with Garage Band, Technology Through Music and Other Arts, and The American Musicals Project – History, & Literature through the Arts.

(Click on the last title to see a description of the course.)