One of the techniques that I use with my classes is “self-evaluation.”  Through this technique, I put the students in the judges seat.  As we prepare for upcoming competitions and concerts, it is important the know how to improve the ensemble’s performance.  So what do I do in my classroom?  I recorded each band and use the same exact scoring sheet from one of our competitions.  It is important to go over all the terms in the sheet, as they might not know some of them.

So… after we evaluate the ensemble, we are able to pin point areas of improvement.  It’s also a fun way to track the progression of the ensemble (record them at the begin and compare when you are finished).  When it comes to individual practice session, students should also record and listen to their pieces.  When I teach private lessons, I also record my students on my voice-memo app on my phone.  This allows them to instantly playback their session and identify what mistakes they are making- technically and musically.


Student Assessment

Not only are infographics an effective way to share information, but they can also be used for student assessment. After exploring Kathy Schorock’s Guide to Everything Blog, I came across another blog around blended learning and technology in the classroom. Catlin Tucker’s blog shares one of her assignments through student designed infographics. Tucker suggested using three different tools for creating their assignments:




Tucker highlights at the end: “I love that every infographic was unique. Students focused on topics they were interested in researching, used the tools that worked best for them and created finished products they could share with the world!”

I was curious about infographs that were posted on Youtube.com and came across this video that highlights the progression of music technology over the past 100 years. I showed the video to my 8th grade band class and during snack, I actually overheard a discussion amongst the students about the information in the video. The visual appeal of the presentation had a bigger impact on the students…

I explored Easel.ly/ a bit to create my own infographics. Similar to even creating this blog, templates through the application assist through the visual design. I think this is a great way for alternative or supplemental assessment…

Time Management

Time management was (and still is) a crucial part of my life. I learned how to time manage at an early age independently, due to my heavy involvement in music throughout high school. When I speak to my students about scheduling, I have to laugh when I reflect back to my high school routine (and yes, I still remember it.)

My favorite time of the year was Fall Semester. Not only was it marching band season, but I was also on the varsity Field Hockey team. School dismissal was 2:10pm and from the bell to bedtime, my schedule was jam-packed.


Field Hockey Practice/Game 3PM-5PM

Northshore Youth Symphony Orchestra Rehearsal 6PM-8PM


Field Hockey Practice/Game 3PM-5PM

Marching Band Rehearsal 6PM-8PM


Field Hockey Practice/Game 3PM-5PM

Dance Classes 6PM-9PM


Field Hockey Practice/Game 3PM-5PM

Marching Band Rehearsal 6PM-8PM


Field Hockey Practice/Game 3PM-5PM

Football Game (Marching Band) 6PM-10PM


Flute Lesson 10AM-11AM


Church 7AM-10AM

University of New Hampshire Youth Wind Ensemble Rehearsal 1PM-3PM

Northshore Youth Symphony Orchestra Flute Choir Rehearsal 6PM-8PM

Now within this schedule, I neglected to note that a majority of my ensemble rehearsals were a 30-45 minute drive one way and that I was eating most of my meals in the car. I also didn’t include dress rehearsals and concerts that occurred as well as my involvement in the school music theater program. On top of that, I was taking all honors and AP courses, and tried to maintain a social life with my friends. I look back at this crazy schedule, and I realized that even though it was hectic, I was able to prioritize and manage things in my life.

I had very limited time for homework, but yet, homework was a priority. If I had 30 minutes to read for my AP Lit class, instead of watching a TV show, I read. There were plenty of times that I wish I had NOTHING to do, but I do not regret anything. With my heavy involvement with music, sports, extra-curricular activities, it has helped me to succeed in life.

Every year, I talk to my 8th grade students to help them prepare for high school. I talk to them about picking the right classes, getting involved with student government, etc. that will help them develop into flourishing students. Band Director Dan Burton states it the best in his article: “Band is just a vehicle to teach the kids what they need to know for life… And it’s probably one of the greatest vehicles. When they come in, they learn how to work to create success.”

Reference link:


Quote of the Day 11/3

Psalms 150: 1-6

1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3 Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5 Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.