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Mindfulness: A Path Toward Teacher Wellbeing

March 10, 2015

On March 6, 2015, Jennifer Niedzielski presented a workshop at MacPhail Center for Music entitled Mindfulness: A Path Toward Teacher Wellbeing. (See video at the bottom of this post.)

Click here to view the PowerPoint that accompanied this presentation.

Participants in this highly experiential and rejuvenating workshop learned:

►Skills to access inner resources of awareness, emotional resiliency, and insight

►Strategies for recognizing and counteracting early stages and conditions of…

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Tech in the Practice Room: Five iPhone/iPad Apps to Optimize Students’ Practice Time

March 3, 2015

By Guest Author:  Dr. Joel Salvo, Prof. of Cello - St. Cloud State University

During my days as a student, settling into a practice room was akin to setting up camp.  After unpacking my cello, I would empty a tote bag with my tuner, an oversized metronome, some recording gear, and a handful of batteries.  If I wanted a video recorder, that of course had to be checked out from the music office and would involve unloading the contents of yet another bag.  Students today are able to fit all this practice gear and more into their pocket by way of smartphone and tablet apps.  Obviously mo…

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Why I use my iPad: Communication, Motivation, Tangible Feedback & Music Access

February 26, 2015

by Tiana Malone

In music therapy, communication with families, clients, other therapies and team members, and caregivers is very important. My iPad is an important tool for facilitating that communication.

Evernote is a cloud-based note taking program that has helped me communicate with my clients and everyone involved in their care. I keep records of my weekly sessions and can easily email them, with permission, to anyone involved in the care of my client. I can share the notebook in Evernote so the team has access to it in real time. They can e…

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Setting and Communicating Boundaries with Parents

February 12, 2015

By Dr. Carlynn Savot

The working relationship between a music teacher and students and their parents is a unique one, and its scope can be difficult to define. To provide students with an inspiring and challenging learning environment—and at the same time keep our sanity—it's helpful to set boundaries and communicate them clearly. These boundaries will be different for every teacher, and the strategies listed here can help us each to decide on our own comfort zone. 

1. Use the lesson time
Forms for school or summer programs that need your signature? Ask …

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Idea Exchange: Capturing Great Video with Simple Devices

January 26, 2015
Content by Robert Luna | Post edited by Hanno Strydom

Toward the end of 2014 the MacPhail Music Learning Lab hosted guest presenter, Robert Luna, 
Creative Director & founder of Luna Creative Technologies, in two sessions about capturing great video using industry level approaches, adapted for everyday use with simple devices like consumer cameras, camera phones, tablets and web cams.

Session Videos
Both sessions were video recorded. At Mr. Luna's request, access to the videos is restricted only to MacPhail faculty members. Contact us to request the links for these videos.

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Minnesota Orff Workshop Blog

December 4, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson 

On October 25th, I attended a Minnesota Orff Chapter workshop presented by the internationally known elemental music expert and master Orff Schulwerk teacher, Steve Calantropio.  I looked forward to this event for months, not only because of Mr. Calantropio’s excellence as a presenter, but also because of the workshop’s topic. For a full biography of Steve Calantropio visit the Minnesota Orff website. On the chapter website’s description of the workshop, the following question was posed:

 “Does the philosophy [Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman] described as Orff…

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Idea Exchange: Effective Studio Management Tools & Strategies

November 18, 2014

by Hanno Strydom

In this nine-minute video I share several of the key tools and strategies I use to keep my MacPhail cello studio running smoothly.

It is based on my recent MacPhail Music Learning Lab Idea Exchange session, Effective Studio Management Tools & Strategies, and I cover five key aspects of studio management:

  1. Calendar & Schedule Management
  2. Day-to-Day Communication with Students & Parents
  3. Student Assignments & Additional Learning Resources
  4. Studio Policies & Expectations
  5. Student Recruitment

Tools discussed include Google Calendar, MailChimp, a …

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Idea Exchange: The Progress Principle

October 20, 2014

by Kristin Shoemaker

On October 10th a group of MacPhail Center for Music faculty members came together to talk about the importance of progress and its direct impact on student motivation. The discussion centered around findings from Amabile and Kramer’s book, The Progress Principle, and veteran MacPhail teachers Bob Adney, Joy Moeller, and Andrea French shared from their experiences.

Idea Exchange: The Progress Principle
Kristin Shoemaker facilitates a panel discussion featuring MacPhail faculty membere, Bob Adney, Andrea French & Joy Moeller
[Video has been edited for clarity and flow]

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Advice from the Sages

October 15, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson

The recent September 27 Minnesota Orff workshop featured a lunch time panel discussion with three Orff Schulwerk master teachers: Judy Bond, Arvida Steen, and Jane Frazee.  They talked about their early experiences with Orff Schulwerk and answered questions from audience members.  Here are just a few choice pieces of insight from the discussion:

On Singing: 

“Your first instrument is your voice.  If we can’t work with the voice, we are not really making music.  It takes some children a long time to make their singing musical.  Don’t give up on them.”
-Arvida S…

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Minnesota Orff Report

October 7, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson 

The September 27 Minnesota Orff Chapter workshop, presented by Dr, Julie Scott, was on a favorite topic of mine: singing!  The title was: “Singing in Orff Schulwerk.”  Dr. Scott is a past president of AOSA, the national Orff Schulwerk association.  She was my recorder pedagogy teacher many years ago in Orff levels at St. Thomas.  Dr. Scott has been an Orff levels instructor for twenty years.  She is also an expert on teaching singing to children with 30 years of experience directing children’s choirs in various settings.  Dr. Scott is the director of Music Educators Work…

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Friday Round Up

September 26, 2014
  • Local composer James Holdman is in Istanbul for the fall to study middle-eastern music, and is recording live Turkish music and is blogging about it here
  • Nicely designed tuner and metronome app Tunable is free for a short time on the app store. 
  • 4-Early Year Keys for Effective Classroom Management from Edutopia
  • If you feel like you don't need to practice, just check out the video below...

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Things I Learned During my First Year at MacPhail

July 21, 2014

By Julia Reeves Reeves.Julia@MacPhail.org

1.   In order to be an effective teacher and survive my first year, I need to be flexible and resilient. I think this has become my mantra for working in partnerships. The concept of control is one I struggled with a great deal when I first walked into a classroom, because I had zero (count it: zero) classroom management skills. Learning to lighten up and go with the flow was really important in helping me see  students as people, not things to be taught.

2.   The best way to learn how to teach is to teach alongside other teachers.

3.   Atti…

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