A Pirate’s Life for Me

  Can you tell I went on a Pirates of the Caribbean binge this week? In honor of my search for relief from my pirate rush I made a map and tried antiquing paper to create a cute treasure map using this blog post from a VERY clever mom: http://oneclevermom.blogspot.com/2012/06/mermaids-and-pirates-party-how-to.html. Then I thought to myself, what could I put on this treasure map? How about a QuaverMusic.com treasure quest? Course you could do anything with this sort of paper. Add some excitement to a lesson, maybe introduce your students to the music room with a found treasure map? Endless possibilities!


To start this quest, head to QuaverMusic.com and create a free account on their kid’s website:

1.) Pirates use to sing songs call Sea Shanties. They were songs that helped them work hard to keep the ship moving. The most important part about these songs were that they had a strong beat. Follow the map to the Studio and make a beat on QBackBeat that is worthy of a sea shantey!

2.) Yo ho yo ho a Pirate’s life for me. Pirates spent most of their lives on the water. Find the right tool in the Shop to draw your own waves that will make some beautiful music. Write 3 describing words about what you hear.

3.) Pirates overran the Caribbean from 1650AD to 1720AD. In the Phonebox, what two stops can you go that happened in that time period? Choose one and read the book in the venue.

4.) Lastly, in order to find what you seek, listen to this riddle to continue on your winning streak:

   We have three heads and only you can tell us what to say,

                   Our bodies are long gone but we are here to play.

Treasure!) Once you find the things you are looking for, head to the arcade in the Music Room for a great reward. (Let them play a game as a reward for a job well done.)


Happy Holidays to all and to all a good AARRRRRRR

December Music Ed Blog Carnival

I am SSOO sorry I am so late with this. The past few months have really slipped by me. Unfortunately this is a fairly short list but I have added some inspirational tweet quotes and resources to get you in the “it’s almost vacation!” spirit.


Matthew Thibeault – A great video post by Dr. Thibeault about algorithms and the future of music education.

The Singing Classroom – This is an older post but so important, talking about why music education matters in such passionate and eloquent words.

ITeachPiano– How do young music students acquire high levels of expertise in instrumental music? A piece from ITeachPiano.

Things for Strings– A collections of awesome music theory worksheets that are sort of comic book style. Posted by ThingsforStrings but you can visit the original website at tobyrush.com

Vocal Warmups– Blog by Kelly Parish about free vocal warmups for the younger children that out of this world!



Notable Tweets:


 I don’t think there is a subject that you CAN’T connect music to.

“Grades can cause kids to do inauthentic things.” They’ll avoid risks, avoid making mistakes. Why do we expect perfect?

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower. – Steve Jobs .

POTUS: we have 2 step up our game, close tech gaps, pay teachers well, offer prof devlmnt, “yank our schls N2 21st c”

A1 “Pirates are daring, adventurous, and willing to sail into uncharted waters with guarantee of success.” quote


 Resources Shout Out:

Carnegie Hall Toolbox– A free online collection of teaching and assessment resources for K-5 music educators.

Incredibox V4– New version of the ever popular beat boxing tool is out!



 If you are interested in hosting a music education blog carnival, click here! The next issue will be hosted by Amy Martin!

Jingle Bells for PreK

As the holiday season is upon us. I miss having to practice holiday carols day in and out truly getting into the Christmas spirit. Being able to still teach PreK has given me an opportunity to still keep a little of that in my grasp. Word recognition is big for the little guys I see. Being able to recognize words, emotions, sounds, all of that. So what I have written is a short story where they have to recognize the words jingle and bells and be able to play them when the story cues them to.  I’ve made jingle bracelets like this:


 For them to participate with. I just took some sewing elastic and cut it into strips, strung a bell on it, twisted some ribbon with it to make it look pretty, and tied it together (Thank you Julia for the idea!). The kids can now just slide it over their wrists and voila! Jingle bell bracelet. You can do a lot of little things with stories like this. 

So here’s the story:

Lily was trying to sleep in her bed, she was excited for Santa to come tomorrow night!

Lily heard a noise coming from outside her window. It sounded like bells!

She went to her window and opened it, hanging on her window sill were jingle bells!

She picked up the bells and shook them. Can you shake yours?

Lily went to sleep with her jingle bells.

When she woke up she went downstairs and saw her Dad shaking milk for his cereal. Lily shook her hand like Dad, did her jingle bells make sound?

Her Mom had music playing, when Lily danced. Her bells jingled!

That night, her Mom and Dad took Lily to a Christmas concert. The band started to play Jingle Bells, so Lily played along with her bells!

That night, as Lily was just about to fall asleep. She heard a jingling downstairs.

Running down the stairs she peeked around the corner and who did she see next to the tree? SANTA!

She waved letting her jingle bells sound. “Ho Ho Ho!” Santa smiled and said. Lilly laughed.

Santa put his finger to his lips letting her know it was time to sneak back to bed.

Lily put her bells on a chair giving Santa one last wave and tiptoed back upstairs to bed.

She went to sleep excited for tomorrow.

   Ask questions, have them do different movements, even beat activities. I’m going to tell this story like a real story teller so the kids have to imagine their own picture and pay more attention to me. I love story telling, I could captivate a whole room of kids with one of my stories. It’s all about performance.

What kinds of fun activities do you do with your little guys this time of year?