Upcoming Events

Abigail Blair & Kathryn Finch - A STEAM-

VanderCook College of Music Summer MECA

June 7-July 2

1 credit

The students we teach each day will grow up to have professions we could never dream of, and preparing them for this future can be a daunting task. This course will provide hands-on experiences with lessons that focus on musical objectives but incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math concepts. Participants will explore the value of student empowerment through problem-solving and planning, as well as opportunities to reflect and connect through weekly discussions. Coding, Digital Audio Workstations, video editing, and tech-less makerspace activities will prepare participants to create their own lessons based on their specific teaching assignments, student needs, and materials on hand. Participants will leave the course with an active plan to incorporate STEAM-powered lessons. 

This course is designed for general music educators in grades K-8 and requires some purchased materials.

Session Presentations at the International Music Education Summit

July 2021

Storytime: How to add a music lesson to your favorite picture books

Co-presenter, Abigail S. Blair

Everyone loves a story, but when children’s literature is given a musical twist, magic happens. In this session, we invite you to view picture books through a new lens, one that gives any children’s book a musical purpose. Each lesson presented in this session offers strategies for introducing a book, bringing it to life through music, and then exploring the music concept introduced in the lesson more deeply. If you love children’s books as much as we do, and want to learn how to create your own musical lessons with your favorite children’s books, this is the session for you!

Participants will learn:

-To identify how a book’s structure can lend itself to music

-Examples of innovative book interpretations

-How to expand on the music concept introduced in the book for a deeper learning experience

Creating a Musical Makerspace

Co-presenter, Abigail S. Blair

Let’s turn our music rooms into a place where imagination and creativity are not just encouraged, but essential! No matter the lesson, your students can demonstrate their understanding of the concepts you already teach using the tools, concepts, and standards of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Students can build shakers and shadow puppets, tell stories with apps and green screens, and learn all the elements that go into a Broadway musical. With a few tech tools, your students can compose melodies and variations, explore modes, add sound effects to stories, and find solutions to help others solve issues that arise in the music room. With the assistance of a DAW, students can explore form, design sound, compose their own music, and unlock the mysteries of the synthesizer. In this session, participants will explore possible materials to create and collect as well as lessons for the K-8 music room.

Participants will learn:

-What types of materials to collect for a makerspace and how to store their materials

-How to make and use a green screen and recording studio in the classroom

-Lesson ideas to get started in a makerspace: *Coding *Digital Audio Workstations * Non-Tech Activities

Put Them in the Driver's Seat: Music Tech for Student Ownership

Co-presenter Theresa Hoover

When students have ownership over their music-making, the experience is more meaningful and long-lasting. As music teachers, there are many ways we can put students in the driver’s seat to help them on the road to finding this ownership and becoming lifelong musicians. This session will focus on tech tools that music teachers can use in a variety of settings to give students voice and choice, encourage them to create music, establish connections outside the classroom, and ultimately take ownership of their learning.

During this session:

-Participants will understand what it means for students to have ownership in the music classroom.

-Participants will learn about various tech tools they can use in the music classroom to promote student ownership.

-Participants will experience several strategies to use in their own classrooms.