The visual and performing arts provide a snapshot of culture throughout history. Great societies are created and remembered through the lasting works created by their most talented citizens. Great art and performance reflect the ideals and customs to define who we are as a society. Through the arts, we look into the hearts and minds of people of diverse cultural heritage, providing us with a lasting tribute to their cultural ideals, tribulations, and values.

Follow this link to find out about the 10 Lessons the arts teach according to Eliot Eisner - external image pdf.png 10Lessons_handout.pdf
This pdf file courtesy of the National Art Education Association.

Here is a link to "New Horizons In Learning" with a great collection of articles about integrating the arts! The same site has a link to "Teaching and Learning Strategies". In this area of the website you will find information on some of the best researched and the most widely implemented methods of helping all students to learn more successfully. Browse the entire site for more very interesting perspective!


Integrate research recordings from folklore researcher, ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax's archive into your lessons. His entire digital archive is now online. Be aware that the recordings are unedited, so listen before you share them with your students!

From the audio web page:

The Sound Recordings catalog comprises over 17,400 digital audio files, beginning with Lomax’s first recordings onto (newly invented) tape in 1946 and tracing his career into the 1990s. In addition to a wide spectrum of musical performances from around the world, it includes stories, jokes, sermons, personal narratives, interviews conducted by Lomax and his associates, and unique ambient artifacts captured in transit from radio broadcasts, sometimes inadvertently, when Alan left the tape machine running. Not a single piece of recorded sound in Lomax’s audio archive has been omitted: meaning that microphone checks, partial performances, and false starts are also included.

Physical Guitar Wiki

My former website, is now available in a wiki format.
So, you want to play the guitar? These are four steps to success ---> get a guitar,understand the physical aspects, get a good teacher, and get some lessons. Sounds very simple, huh? Establishing good guitar habits takes patience and focus! I hope the information provided here will bridge the gap between getting a guitar and getting a lesson book. Use the articles and resources freely and share them with friends! Now it's time for Physical Guitar!


I will suggest that each selection to be used in class be previewed! Midi Files of National Anthems world radio mp3 files this is a classical music search site...they were having issues but claim to have fixed them. this is kind of like an automatic world music blog aggregator!

There are hundreds more - Youtube also has thousands of examples!

Composing Music From Day One - The First Creative Experience

Music composition is a mystical talent that only the gifted few will accomplish. Let's take a comparative stance regarding this statement:

Level One - Walking
A toddler attempts to stand and tumbles down after a step and a half. Eventually the child takes three or four steps with parental help, gaining confidence along the way!

Level One - Writing
A second grade student writes a short poem. The poem is chock full of spelling and grammatical errors, but the teacher gets the idea and encourages the child to keep writing!

Level One - Composing Music - A third grader steps up to the musical keyboard and plays a few notes one after another. Mom says, "Let's write that down! Let's Record it! Play it again for me!"

That's the way it should happen, composing music at a young age should be aided and abetted! Encouragement and praise should be a part of the normal course of learning. The issue preventing this type of activity is either time or lack of knowledgeable guidance. Take the time to make it important, and seek out the knowledgeable guidance! The first creative experience in musical composition must be a very positive ten minutes. These minutes can make a great difference in the creative direction a young person takes!

The young composer usually lacks the skill to record musical ideas using the traditional symbols of notation. How else can the child's creative ideas be preserved? Digital recording devices are everywhere! When a child plunks out that first melody on a keyboard, you don't need a sophisticated mp3 recorder, a video camera will do the trick! Take the video to your child's music teacher to transcribe the notes that were played. Get a copy on paper, give it a title, and list your child's name as the composer! Let them know that this first creative accomplishment is an import event! It's certainly just as important as reading the first words, or memorizing the multiplication tables! Pride and accomplishment in musical creativity opens new doors for young children.

The "challenge" of composing music eventually becomes as natural as reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Add singing, playing an instrument, and creating music to the mix and your children will tap intellectual talent necessary to construct meaningful material from imagination; brain activity, and pure fun will move to levels far above those required for everyday success. Best of luck! Grab that first creative experience and turn it into a significant, educational, and enjoyable event!


This opera study guide was put together by the San Diego Opera as a support page for their school assembly program. The information and music provided here are great!
Go to the San Diego Opera Unplugged study guides! I also stumbled upon a neat Mozart timeline math quiz at their web site!

Poetic Tidbit - "Only A Band Director"


I will suggest that each selection to be used in class be previewed! Midi Files of National Anthems world radio mp3 files this is a classical music search site...they were having issues but claim to have fixed them. this is kind of like an automatic world music blog aggregator!

There are hundreds more - Youtube also has thousands of examples!
Mythology and MusicThis section is posted at the request of a friend! The links below will lead you to connections between mythology and music. There are even some Biblical references for your perusal. I hope many find it to be interesting and useful.


This is the "songs that refer to mythology" category link at
Each song name linked will pop-up a reference window outlining the specific mythology-related lyric phrase. Sometimes you must read the entire page to find these references, but it is interesting reading! There are also numerous tidbits of background information about most of the songs. Educator advisory: read thoroughly and give the students only the information you want them to have!

Mythology In Music

"... Mythology in Music. This website explores and portrays the influence of mythology on today's contemporary music. In addition, you will find links to websites where you can learn more about mythology." -- from the website
Links on the site include
Greek Mythology
American Mythology
The information on this site is not explored extensively, but it does provide a catalyst for new ideas!

Here is a list of external links -- Links


This page and it's portals provide a very extensive look into the "god of music".

An Introduction to Ancient Greece

from Highland Park Middle School in Austin, Texas
The site is a teacher's guide which includes links to plays, stories and information appropriate for students in grades 3 through 6.
Greek Mythology Resource Page
Highland Park Elementary SchoolAustin, Texas
© Copyright 1997 James Parks & Sally Corbett

This Wikipedia category

explores various mentions of music in Greek Mythology. This link will lead you to the various sub-categories related to Greek Music
Writing Project - Comparing Beethoven No. 5 Performances
Compare Claudio Abbado conducting Beethoven's 5th Symphony (recorded in 2001) to young guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen playing the 5th Symphony of Ludwig van Beethoven in 1985. Ludwig Von Beethoven wrote Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 between 1804 and 1808.

What is the instrumentation of each version? Why would Yngwie want to perform this piece on the electric guitar?
Do you think that authenticity is important when performing music? Do you think Beethoven would appreciate the guitar version?
Here is a link to Dr. Robert M. Seiler's (University of Calgary) article "Writing About Music". Another nice idea base!

This project might address PA Arts and Humanities Standards 9.1A, B, C, D, E, F, H, I

Why Teach the Arts in Our Schools?

"We can see the future of our students by examining our own lives. The things we value as adults will eventually become the things valued by our youth. Therefore I question schools which omit, or minimalize, the importance of the arts in all forms (music, art, theater, and dance). The essence of all art is creativity. In order to be creative students must practice imagination, focus, determination, improvisation, flexibility, constructive reasoning, and many other very important human attributes. Again, examine your adult life; how often have you had to use these skills to overcome important situations? Now, reevaluate the importance of the arts in our schools."

Posted by Rick Auvil at Edutopia in response to:

Sage Advice: Deciding What Students Learn - What factors should drive the curriculum we teach?
Pop over and post your own answer!

Taiko Drumming

Kodō (鼓童, Kodō?) is an elite taiko drumming troupe. Based on Sado Island, Japan, they have been a major force in the post-World War II revitalization of taiko drumming, both in Japan and abroad. They regularly tour Japan, Europe, and the United States.

Although the main focus of the performance is taiko drumming, other traditional Japanese musical instruments such as fue and shamisen make an appearance on stage as do traditional dance and vocal performance. Kodo's performance include pieces based on the traditional rhythms of regional Japan, pieces composed for Kodo by contemporary songwriters, and pieces written by Kodo members themselves. The numbers that Kodo perform can change from concert to concert.

Kodo's performance normally lasts for about one hour and forty minutes.

(from text on youtube)

A critique of this performance might address PA Arts and Humanities Standards 9.2A, G and D

Teaching History Through Music! Links To Make Them Think!

American Historical Association article concerning using music to teach history.

Civil War Poetry - Poetry and music from the Civil War
Civil War Songs- This page has some great information on music from the Civil War
Great Depression/1930s - Manufacturing Memory: American Popular Music in the 1930s
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - teaching history with music - over 50 lesson plans
Women Guitarists Lady guitarist Del Rey's webpage about women and guitar. There's not much here, but it's a great starting point for interested girls!
Teaching History Through Song - This website is filled with interesting information, links to videos, part of the Educational Cyber Playground web ring!
Educational CyberPlayGround, Inc.â„¢ K-12 founded by Karen Ellis Biography Publisher Educator Author
Educational CyberPlayGround, Inc.â„¢ K-12 founded by Karen Ellis Biography Publisher Educator Author