ArkMEA Fall InService 2015

With vic

Keynote Address-Victor Wooten

Victor Wooten, Rod Taylor, and JD Blair described the development of the electric bass and its role in a band. Since its development in the 1950’s, the bass has moved its way around the ensemble from the back to the forefront and all in between. It played a key part in the support of a band but was changed when ‘slapping’ was introduced by Larry Graham. Paul McCartney changed the role into a more melodic light and Stanley Clark made the bass the lead instrument. Through the open mindedness of Jaco and the transparency  of Victor Wooten, bass players are free to dream of what they can do with the unique sound of this young instrument.

I love that this session was very interactive and it wasn’t just a speaker for an hour. Instead of telling or teaching us about the history of the bass, they were able to show us what was happening. This is a key element in Victor’s book, The Music Lesson.

the trio

Q and A with the Trio

My biggest take away from the question and answer session was how to gain the attention of students in a classroom. Victor is able to capture the attention of young students by simply playing his bass. Once they hear it they are intrigued and lean in to focus. When students are motivated, they will focus. We waste our time with teaching if the student’s are not ready to receive the information. Whether on a stage or in a classroom, we as performers and educators should be asking ourselves what the audience is doing. Are they leaning in and absorbing the information or are they relaxed to the point of sleep?

jam sess

Jam Session

As a young bassist and obviously not a jazz musician, I felt that I was at a disadvantage going into the jam session. Victor knew that I was not as experienced as the rest of the people participating and he was very helpful. It felt good to know that I wasn’t just going to get left behind. The other bassists I played with were helpful too. Making sure I knew the progressions and even throwing me out there to sink or swim. It was definitely a different style for me to get used to. JD had a great perspective as a fellow novice bass player. He gave me some tips for how to hang in with the big dogs when you aren’t sure of what to do. This definitely opened my eyes to playing around with notes more. Groove regulator


We Are Thankful For Music Class!!

Recorder Lesson

Teaching Time Signatures!

  • Triple time signatures vs douple
  • What the numbers in the signature mean

Over in 3 Over in 6

Over the river and through the woods,

To Grandmother’s house we go;

The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,

Through (the) white and drifted snow!

Over the river and through the woods,

Oh, how the wind does blow!

It stings the toes and bites the nose,

As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the woods,

To have a first-rate play;

Oh hear the bells ring, “Ting-a-ling-ling!”

Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the woods,

Trot fast my dapple gray!

Spring over the ground like a hunting hound!

For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the woods, 

And straight through the barnyard gate.

We seem to go extremely slow

It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the woods,

Now Grandmother’s cap I spy!

Hurrah or the fun! Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Just for Fun!!

Halloween FUNNNNN

Background Loop – Scary Halloween Sounds

Halloween Night – Our theme song for October.

Walking down the street on Halloween night

Lots of scary monsters and other strange sights

It’s Skeleton Day!!

Singing: Shake Them Halloween Bones

Them bones Them skeleton Dry bones

Them bones Them skeleton Dry bones

Them bones Them skeleton Dry bones

Let’s shake them skeleton bones

Listening: Pines of Rome IIThe Banshee (Skeleton of the Piano)

Piano Skeleton

Instruments: Piano, Keyboards (Xylophone)

Creating: Connect cut out pieces of skeletons to create whole skeletons… then color them!!!

Skeleton cutout

Moving: Shake Them Halloween Bones, Thriller

Science: Learning Anatomy

Cat Skeleton Mastodon Skeleton Sperm Whale Skeleton

History: With older students it would be fun to look at the change in art from before the study of the human body through autopsy. This may be too dark for younger students.

Rethinking Music Education

Taylor, R. (2015, September). Rethinking music education in the 21st century. Segue, 28-30

Synopsis: Rod Taylor enlightens readers of his article, Rethinking Music Education in the 21st Century (2015), that music is no longer a black and white formula.


  • Music and education are as important together. They have the ability to exist on their own, however, allowing the two to coexist brings them further.
  • When we treat new musicians as ‘beginners to music’ we disregard the learning they have accomplished their entire lives thus restricting their educational bounds.
  • Telling a student how to do something is less effective than letting them discover it on their own, especially in music. Music is limitless and somewhat relative. It creates a wonderful opportunity for students to create which encourages different types of brain functions.

Follow-up: Music is a creative process, not a cookie cutter as I perceived it to be when I grew up playing in band. Music needs to be interpreted and felt, with regards to the composer’s instruction. But when the composer is yourself, there are no limits to what can and cannot be done. From this, I will encourage creative thinking in the classroom asking students to expand their comfort levels to be more accepting of the endless creations we can make with music.

“Students have something valuable to contribute to their own education in music; it is our job to help them discover what that is.” (29)

“Music is dynamic, and our lessons about it should be too.” (30)

Shaking off with Boomwhackers!

Boomwhacker notesShake it off EM

Shake it Off

  1. Welcome class
  2. Pick one student to get a boomwhacker that matches one of the colors on the board. After the student has picked their instrument they will pick another student to pick their instrument.
  3. Discuss rhythms that can  be played during the piece.
  4.  Define what a pick up note is.
  5. Play the piece, Shake it Off
  6. Ask the students how they would dance to the piece, Shake it Off.
  7. Discuss the meaning of the piece and how to relate it to their own lives.

P.4.3.2. Recognize music form. ABA.

CR. 1.3.2. Experiment simple rhythmic patterns that can be used in the piece.

CN.11.3.1 Identify multip.e connections among music, other fine arts and disciplines outside the arts.

Childrens’ Book Lesson


Sammy’s Really Hot, Rainy Day (1)

Singing: I Lava You

Instruments: Guitar, Ukulele, Keyboard

Listening: Ring of Fire, Rite of Spring, Vesuvius

Creating: Make Lava Rocks for game

Moving: Play a rendition of Musical Chairs as the Floor is Lava. Kids must stay on a rock to avoid falling into the Lava.

Language Arts: Teach kids about writing poetry. Have them brainstorm places they’ve been or games they have played to avoid multiple stories about the same things.

Math: Teach subtraction while playing the game.

Science: Make volcanoes (baking soda and vinegar)

History: Coordinate with the history teacher to teach students about the geography of the Ring of Fire, how the Hawaiian Islands were formed, and the city of Pompeii.


Painting of Vesuvius.

Painting of Vesuvius by Portici

The Scream-Krakatoa eruption in 1883

Web Links for my Unit


Lesson 1: Emotional Colors: Chorale and Shaker Dance-Zdechlik

Lesson 2: Single Line: Tournaments-Corgliano

Lesson 3: Musical Portraits: O Magnum Mysterium-Lauridsen/Reynolds

How to Train Your Dragon-Final Battle (1:52-4:49)


Sound Brush-Draw the music to assist with lesson 2

Tayasui Sketches-Drawing app to assist with lessons 1 and 3

Loopy HD-Looper to experiment with layers of music to assist with lesson 2


Students can pick which instrument they would like to play then let their creativity roam free.