2020 Sessions

Keynote: "A Lifetime of Music...Music for a Lifetime"

Keith Hodgson, NAfME Eastern Division President

Why do we teach music?
Join me for a journey of a musical experiences through out a lifetime. From early childhood and school music experiences, through teaching experiences of the novice and veteran music teachers, to the necessity for health and wellness of having music in your life.
All Music for All People… for a Lifetime!

REED Between the Lines

Miles DeCastro & Christine Hoerning

Faculty members from the Crane School of Music will give an overview of often-overlooked clarinet equipment and repair problems, from the perspectives of repair technician and artist-educator. A properly functioning instrument, combined with a proper mouthpiece, ligature, reeds, care equipment, and other accessories will make your clarinet section unstoppable. Don't let disrepair and faulty equipment cause frustration for you or your clarinets!
This clinic will include live repair demonstration and samples of suggested equipment.
-Remove barriers to all aspects of performance
-Rehearse and refine your ensemble effectively and efficiently when the clarinet section has the proper tools to create music
-Present a polished final product to the public with properly functioning clarinets
-Clarinetists will be able to evaluate and improve their musicianship if they understand that their equipment should not be a barrier

Recorder: Status (No) Quo

Steve & Joyana Damon

We have spiced up third grade recorder class. Let us show you what we have done. Third graders (and their teachers) will perform, respond to, and create recorder music.

Promoting Excellence and Leadership Through Tri-M

James Pecsok & Heather Trutor

Student leadership is easy when you have help from a national association.  See how James and Heather have made it happen at both small and large schools in Vermont, and learn how you can take advantage of this opportunity at your school.

Implementing Technology with Ensembles: It's Easier than You Think

James Frankel

The pandemic has left music educators across the nation transitioning their instruction online. The shift in pedagogy has been particularly difficult for ensemble directors who have had to quickly adapt how they teach, assess, and connect with their students. This session will present teaching strategies, accessible technology, project based lessons, and collaborative activities that promote independent musical growth and community within a virtual setting. These strategies are adaptable to classes of varying type, age, and ability levels.

The Maestro's Magic

Keith Hodgson

This hands-on session will focus on the elements, characteristics and techniques needed to be an effective conductor. After a quick refresher of conducting basics we will dive in to 4 contrasting topics to study: Treatment of Fermata; Effective Cueing Gestures; Lyrical Conducting; and Meter Madness! Bring your baton!

Tips of Playing and Teaching Ukulele

Michael Christiansen

Whether you are using ukulele as a segment of a general music class, or you are teaching classroom ukulele, there will be information in this session for you. Not only is the ukulele the ideal accompaniment instrument, it can also be used to teach much more including composition and improvisation. Noted music educator, Mike Christiansen, will present topics including: selecting ukuleles, accompaniment techniques, repertoire, playing single note melodies, and creating and rehearsing ukulele ensembles. Attention will also be given to applying technology and implementing blended learning into your curriculum. Participants are encouraged to bring their own ukuleles.

Ideas for Implementing the "Select" Process Component of the "Perform" and "Respond" Processes of the 2014 National Standards

Dr. Patricia Riley & Timothy Buckingham

At the 2018 VMEA conference a survey was administered that examined Vermont in-service music teacher self-assessment of their understanding and implementation of the NAfME 2014 National Music Standards. The results indicated that the “Select” process component of the “Perform” and “Respond” processes is the least understood component of these processes. The session will provide ideas for implementing the “Select” component and include hands-on activities designed to further understanding.

Yoga and Meditation Techniques for Use in the Choral Rehearsal

Evangelia Leontis

The yoga and meditation traditions offer numerous useful tools for cultivating the body awareness, proprioception, and connection to breath that are essential for singing well. These tools can be utilized in the choral ensemble rehearsal to great effect if one knows how to deploy them properly. These techniques are also extremely effective for dealing with the stress, anxiety, and lack of focus that is more and more prevalent among students in this ever-changing world.
Conscious breathing exercises can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and thereby producing calming effects in the body and mental clarity in the mind. Recent research has shown the conscious breathing exercises known in the yoga world as pranayama produce a plethora of physical and mental benefits in practitioners, including decreased anxiety and depression, improved lung function, improved focus, lowered blood pressure, and decreased insomnia. This session will discuss recent research into the positive effects of a yoga and meditation practice as well as practical ways choral directors can implement these tools into their work with their ensembles. The session will conclude with a hands-on introduction to several techniques that attendees can take away with them into their own instruction.
This sessions connects to the National Core Arts Standards by giving one option for answering the Essential Question: "How do musicians improve the quality of their performance?" under the "Rehearse, Evaluate, Refine" section.

Music Education and Social Emotional Learning

Scott Edgar

Adolescents encounter a great deal of social and emotional challenges affecting their lives personally, academically, and for musicians, musically. These students, seeking support for these challenges, approach music educators regularly. Music educators and their music programs are in a primed position to provide students this support through a socially rich and emotionally sound environment. However, music educators are rarely prepared to offer this support. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a framework written into the state of Illinois’ educational standards and is intended to help students become socially and emotionally competent. The purpose of this session is to introduce the framework of SEL and to highlight explicit connections to music education. Music educators are not counselors; however basic knowledge of how to professionally provide support to students utilizing the tenets of SEL will benefit both teachers and students academically, musically, socially, and emotionally.

Teaching Ensemble Music in a Blended or Online Classroom

Jim Chlebak

This session covers ways to reach all four Arts PBGRs, with specific advice for how to evaluate tools, estimate time requirements (both for prep and for student completion), pace coursework, get the most from Google Suite or Canvas and keep students playing and learning.

Lego, Jenga and D&D: Getting Creative in the Music Classroom

Heidi Walsh

Gain some ideas how to turn something "non-musical" into a teaching tool to engage your students in an "out-of-the-box" way! From Lego to D&D -- you will see how some toys can be used to bring your instruction to the next level!

Opera Workshop: Historic & Modern Connections While Making Beautiful Music

Jessica Della Pepa-Clayton

We will be creating music by learning and performing a short vocal except from an opera (carefully selected to be vocally appropriate for most treble voices), watch, interpret and act out at least one opera scene (from a video recording), compare two variations of an opera aria, talk about how the arts put a focusing lens on the social commentary of the day (and how some of those historic social commentaries are still relevant today!), discuss preconceived notions/ stereotypes about opera, and where opera music is found today in our media- saturated lives.

Alone-Together: Strategies for Musical Growth and Community Building in the Virtual Classroom

Jeremy Wiggins

The pandemic has left music educators across the nation transitioning their instruction online. The shift in pedagogy has been particularly difficult for ensemble directors who have had to quickly adapt how they teach, assess, and connect with their students. This session will present teaching strategies, accessible technology, project based lessons, and collaborative activities that promote independent musical growth and community within a virtual setting. These strategies are adaptable to classes of varying type, age, and ability levels.

Building Your Band & Orchestra Programs: A Practical Guide to Recruitment & Retention

Marcia Neel

Based on "best practices" from highly successful band and orchestra directors, the Music Achievement Council has compiled numerous tools that cover every aspect of recruiting and retaining instrumental music students. Because they cover the fundamentals in comprehensive detail, these resources are great for new teachers, young teachers, experienced teachers and even music education students. The session reviews the Guide which includes ready-to-use forms and correspondence, but also shares fun and innovative retention ideas involving parents and administrators that can be implemented at any stage of the school year.

Conversational Solfege with Orff-Schulwerk: Together in Harmony

Betsy Greene

Conversational Solfege with Orff-Schulwerk: Together in Harmony
Discover the synergistic effect on music learning when Conversational Solfege and Orff-Schulwerk are integrated in the music classroom. Learn practical guidelines for using both in your classroom as well as ready to use integrated activities. Orff-Schulwerk is an approach to teaching music that uses active group music making and creative processes to develop music artistry. Conversational Solfege is a method to teach music literacy or notational learning through active music making and a twelve step learning sequence. A 3D Approach to music education is used when implementing Conversational Solfege.
As described by NAfME, the National Music Standards 2014 are “designed to cultivate the student’s ability to carry out the three Artistic Processes of Creating, Performing and Responding. Both Conversational Solfege and Orff-Schulwerk support teachers in implementing curriculums that develop these Artistic Processes and, in turn, strengthen their ability to meet the National Music Standards

What is Musical Appropriation? Lessons from "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

Christian Giddings

This session first defines "Musical Appropriation" and what it could look like in the classroom. Then how one needs to be cognizant when presenting music from other cultures, and how an inauthentic representation of world music can have an impact on your students. Finally, I provide some ways to help create a more authentic music classroom. Throughout the session, Tim Burton's "The Nightmare before Christmas" serves as a metaphor for aspects of musical appropriation. Afterward, one should gain an understanding of what musical appropriation is, when it could occur, and have practical strategies for its prevention in the classroom.
National Core Arts Standard: MU:Pr4.2.E.HSI & MU:Pr4.3.E.HSI - I can demonstrate the impact of musical elements and culture/history and the ways in which they affect performances.

The Stories We Tell about Music:  Advocacy in our Own Words

Molly Tobin

“Where words fail, music speaks”. While this is a beautiful way to express one of the most powerful things about music, when it comes to music advocacy, the sentiment is not quite enough. We must speak as well, in ways that are effective with a varied cohort of stakeholders- your students, parents, school board members, administrators, the taxpaying community. Fortunately, there are nearly limitless ways to advocate for all of the benefits we know music brings to our students. During this workshop, we will discuss how to create a personal strategy for your own advocacy goals.

Why Should I Practice?

Travis Dobson

This session focuses on re-evaluating how to generate motivation for students (and ourselves) to foster and maintain independent learning, practicing, refining, and performing music, especially during periods of time when ensemble participation is not available to bolster motivation. Techniques for finding music that is inspiring to students on a personal level, applying free, widely available online resources and tools to help students track progress and maintain performance standards, and sharing methods to integrate technical exercises into student-selected music will be integral pieces of this presentation. The heart of this session is to focus on guiding students of all musical disciplines towards consistent, positive, and inspired practice, thereby stoking their creative fire and energy.

Interactive Inspiration

Cathy Houchin

This session will show how your students can use technology to meet National Core Arts Standards. We will use apps that will give students choices on how to be assessed, create and perform. They can create through the use of sound waves, make a sound wave greeting card, or bring a composer to life. These are just a few of the amazing tools we will look at.

Healthy Range Extension & Belting

Daniel Carberg

Performing (dance, music, theatre): Realizing artistic ideas and work through interpretation and presentation. This is achieved through developing solid and healthy vocal technique, which allows the performance to reach its highest standard.

Digital and Blended Learning Strategies

Warren Gramm

This session will identify and demonstrate how teachers can use the most engaging, comprehensive, and interactive music tools found online to reach students of all levels during any time. As a new-found part of today's education, participants will become aware of how to make distance/remote learning beneficial to everyone. Attendees will be able to learn the most efficient and worthwhile tools for delivering virtual instruction and the ways that technology can be seen as a friend, not a foe! Concentration on the Creating strand will satisfy the connection to the NCAS.

Instrumental & Choral Reading Sessions

Various Presenters

These 90 minute reading sessions will run simultaneously and have a mutual 10 minute break/ transition time in the middle of the session. We encourage participants who teach both band and chorus to switch during this time so they can experience both ensemble settings.

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