End-of-the-Year Music Lessons

As I'm writing this, I have one week of school left. This seems a bit crazy to me, as it is only May 13 (and I first taught in Michigan, where we taught until the middle of June!) I recently wrote about surviving the end of the year as a teacher, but today I'm writing specifically about end-of-the-year music lessons.

Ideas for your music classroom lessons at the end of the year!

Here are my thoughts and ideas for your music lessons this time of year!

Review Games
At the end of the year, I like to do review games with my students so I can gauge how well they learned what I taught them during the year. Seventeen years ago, when I first began teaching, I did a "Jeopardy" game with my students. Of course, this was way before SMART boards, so I made a game board with index cards, posterboard, and velcro. Funny to think about now! If you go to the SMART Notebook website, you'll find tons of templates. A few years ago, I put together some summer fun review games for first grade, second grade, third grade, and fourth grade. Each game has summer images hyperlinked to questions for that grade level; it's a great way to review what they've learned during the year! Check out the first grade set below:



Choice Day
I've written before about how I keep points during music class, as suggested in this book. Once students fill up their chart, they can have half of the next music class (since I have 50 minute lessons) to choose whatever they want to do. They vote as a class, then we play the top three. You could also do this just because it's the end of the year! It's a great way to see what they've enjoyed doing most during the year...whether it be a fun singing game like "Ye Toop Doram," iPads, or Freeze Dance!

Playing outside
Better yet, when they choose their singing games, take them outside and play! It is SO fun to play "We are dancing" outside! I have a room with no windows, so I love to take the kids outside at the end of the year to play and enjoy the sunshine!

Prepare or present?
At the end of every year, I have to decide if I am going to continue preparing new concepts, or if I am going to go ahead and present to my students. For example, my second graders were ready enough for half note and re this year, so I went ahead and presented both concepts to them, but my first graders weren't quite ready enough for la, so we just prepared that concept, and I'll present it at the beginning of next year. In my mind, you are going to spend some of the time reviewing at the beginning of next year anyway, so if they are pretty much there, I'll present, then practice at the start of the next year. If they are not quite ready, I will prepare lots then prepare a bit at the start of next year, then present. It depends on the grade level and the year!

Try out new things!
I just read this great blog post about wrapping up the year, and Jodi suggested trying out new things at the end of the year, so you know whether or not you want to try them next year. I've been doing that a bit and will blog with some ideas that I love soon! In my last blog post, I suggested adding a "to try next year" board on Pinterest; you could do this but try out some of those ideas now!

What are your ideas for end-of-the-year music lessons? Feel free to comment below, and enjoy your last few weeks (or your last month!) of school!

Using Pop Songs in your Music Classroom

Today, I'm writing about something somewhat controversial--a topic that five or so years ago, I would have shied away from completely: using pop music in your music classroom.


There are a few reasons I have shied away from using pop music in the past. Even before I began my Kodály training, my thought was that kids hear pop music ALL THE TIME. Why do they have to hear it in my class too? When I began my Kodály training, I heard the same sentiment: we should be teaching them music of the masters, and folk music that is accessible and part of their heritage.

I still believe that it's very important to use folk music and music of the masters. If you stepped in my classroom on any given day, 95% of the time, that's what you'll hear. However, my thinking shifted a bit after some lively discussions with colleagues and some soul searching. Here's why I've used pop music recently in my classroom (and keep reading until the end of the post for some quick ideas to get started!)

Reasons to use pop music
Connections
The most important reason, in my mind, for using pop music at times in the music classroom is to connect music of the past to music of the present. I once had a discussion with my husband about this. He is by no means a fan of typical pop music--he likes all kinds of somewhat obscure bands like Deer Tick and Wilco and My Morning Jacket--but his argument was this: how are they going to connect the music they learn from you to the music they listen to?
I didn't have an answer then, except that they'd have to do it on their own. But why shouldn't I help that connection? Wouldn't it help them see the big idea that the music concepts they learn from me happen in ALL music? And isn't that a powerful big idea?
Many of us were taught that we should only use the best music (a sentiment I completely agree with!)...but why does that mean we shouldn't ever use pop music? I think the elephant in the room is that many people think that all pop music is bad. In my opinion, that's not true. A decent amount of pop music is not the best quality, but there are plenty of good pop songs. You just have to find them!

Relevance
Yes, we can argue that pop music is like junk food and they get enough on the radio or on their iPods, but to be relevant, shouldn't we have them listen to a little pop music? And I don't mean the Beatles (although they are probably my favorite band of all time!) I recently had my students figure out how to play the first measure of "Best Day of My Life" by the American Authors (which I'll write about later in this post) and although my kids were SUPER excited about it, I had a student mention that the song was two years old, and couldn't we do something more recent? So if the American Authors, after two years, have lost a teeny bit of relevance, the Beatles don't have very much relevance at all!
Of course, I'm not advocating for no Beatles lessons, because like I said, I LOVE the Beatles. I'm just saying that to be relevant to the students' environment and experiences, we should be searching for music that they know and love. I've heard a few people say that pop music is like the folk music of today (but that's a whole other blog post, and probably one that's even more controversial!)

Joy
When I have used pop music, the excitement in the room is palpable. Students are jumping up and down with glee. Not that they never jump up and down with glee for other music we do, but seriously, they get pretty excited. My number one goal for my classroom is that it is joyful, so this is a pretty good reason to try it!

Reasons using pop music can be difficult
So after thinking about how to include pop music in my lessons (since my training didn't include it at all), I realized the reason it can be so hard to do is that pop music keeps changing. The #1 hit that everyone loves in 2016 will surely not be #1 in 2017, and in five years it may be somewhat obsolete. So this means we have to change our pop music lessons, at least every few years, so that they remain relevant.
Then, of course, there is the issue of appropriateness. SO many pop songs are just not appropriate. Maybe kids don't realize the true meaning of the song--as was so often the case with music I listened to growing up--but still, there are songs we just can't do, no matter how much the kids love them.

Ideas for using pop music
After considering the reasons why I wanted to include pop music more, and why creating lessons using pop music is tricky, I have come up with a few ideas over the last couple of years that have worked for me and my students. I am truly at the beginning of this journey, so will blog more as more ideas come to me! Here are a few ideas to get started on your journey:

Keeping the beat
If you can find a pop song that has a steady beat, you could play a game called "Follow me." Simply do the same motion for 8 beats and have students mirror you. Then when you change to a different motion, they do too! Halfway through the song, you could have student volunteers lead the beat! This works even better if the students have done this same activity with Beethoven or Brahms or Miles Davis...they they try it with pop music! "On top of the world" by Imagine Dragons is great for this activity!

Playing a song on instruments
I have recently found a couple songs with Orff accompaniment on Pinterest. Here are arrangements to check out:

"Best Day of my Life" by American Authors
"Happy" by Pharrell Williams
"Ho Hey" by the Lumineers

My fifth graders recently learned tika-ti (2 sixteenths/eighth) and they already knew syncopa (eighth/quarter/eighth) so "Best Day of my Life" was PERFECT! I had each kid pair up on a barred instrument with a friend, wrote the first measure on the board with rhythm and note letters, and had them figure out how to play it! So fun!

Pulling rhythm or melody from a song
Just like we might use "Sammy Sackett" for half note or "I got a letter" for low la, so we can figure out which pop songs lend themselves well to which rhythmic or melodic concepts! I haven't done a ton of work with this, but Christopher Roberts has found a couple Taylor Swift songs to use for concepts; read about it in this blog post on our collaborative blog, the Kodály Corner!

Using songs by Lessia at I am Bullyproof Music
After lamenting to myself about how many songs I just couldn't use because of appropriateness, I started listening to music by my friend Lessia at I am Bullyproof Music...and I had a big a-ha moment, that I should be using her music to help make connections! In Lessia's words, she wrote her songs "with kids beside me telling me what they wanted me to express for them - so they could sing that mature wisdom over and over again." The songs have a great message, they are accessible, they are appropriate...and best of all, the kids love them!
So far, I have tried the songs "Miracle" (I kind of HAD to try that one!), "Monkey," "Einstein," and "Gift in this Present," and each has been a big hit with my kids (3rd grade and up.) I even used "Gift in this Present" for my 3rd grade program (read about that here) and "Einstein" for my 4th grade program (read about that here.) I've also used the songs to practice concepts (like 3/4 for "Gift in this Present") and to discuss lyrics and parts of a song, such as verse, chorus, and bridge.
Whether she's writing and singing about fighting self-doubt, or stopping to enjoy the present, Lessia's lyrics are very meaningful...and her music is super catchy! My fourth graders even begged to play Musical Chairs with Einstein on their reward day! If you want to hear more of Lessia's music, I suggest checking out her store and/or her blog. I've also been collaborating with her; we've created sets to help teach "Einstein" and "Gift in this Present," and I also included "Monkey" in my Poetry set. You can see more of each set below:

           


The resources above, as well as my entire store, will be 20% off tomorrow, May 3, and Wednesday, May 4, as part of Teacher Appreciation Week! You can get an extra 8% off by using the promo code "Celebrate."


I have to give a big thank you to my friends Donna Gallo, Frank Gallo, and Lessia Bonn, who were huge influences in opening up my eyes on why and how to use pop music in my classroom.

I'd love to hear your thoughts! What are your favorite songs to use, and why? Are you still struggling with using pop music? Feel free to comment below, and have a great day!

Surviving the End of the School Year

I know it seems a bit crazy that I'm writing about the end of the school year on April 24, but my last day with students is May 20! (Disclaimer: I started school the second week of August, so don't be too mad at me!) Because of this, I am having to think about the end of the school year now. Here are my suggestions for surviving the end of the school year so you can have a relaxing summer, and so that you can come back at the start of school year refreshed and organized!

How to survive the end of the school year


#1: Plan out the rest of the year
Since I only have four weeks left, I recently sat down and figured out exactly what I needed to do with each grade level by the end of the year. You can simply make a table in Word or use Excel, and list each lesson by week, which assessments you're doing, which concepts you're presenting or practicing, etc. This was super helpful! I have year plans for every grade level (you can learn more about year plans with this video), but these 4-week plans have exactly what I know I can get to and aren't necessarily as detailed as year plans. In my district, we've moved to standards-based grading, so I have to give grades by categories of standards instead of just one music grade. Figuring out which assessments I was doing for the remainder of the school year was very helpful to make sure I had all my categories/ standards covered!

#2: Find out about field trips, parties, assemblies, etc.
The end of the year can be crazy...so many field trips, Field Days, assemblies, etc. I just sent out an email last week to find out about when students might not be coming to music, because then I truly know how many more lessons I have with each class...and in some cases, there are only two lessons left! Ack! I know I should be excited about summer, and I am, but I feel like I still have so much to teach them and so little time! Along those lines...

#3: Decide what you HAVE to teach...and what you can teach next year
Don't feel guilty. You didn't get to everything. None of us do. So decide what you really still HAVE to teach, and what you can wait until the start of next year to teach. We are really lucky that in a K-5 or K-6 setting, we typically have the students from year to year, so we know exactly where we left off and where we can begin! I thought I'd get to "la" with 1st grade, because I thought I had four more lessons with them. But then when I looked at all the field trips, assemblies, etc., I realized that a few of the classes I only had two more lessons with, and they won't be ready for la at that point. So I'll have to present it in second grade. It's okay. No guilt! (Well, maybe a little...but that's okay!)

#4: Organize your stuff now!
I have a confession. I may seem super organized, but as my husband can attest to, I'm not. I am pretty organized when it comes to lessons and digital files, but when it comes to stuff I can pick up with my hands, um....not so much. In second grade, I got a "N" in desk cleanliness, because, well, my desk needed improvement! My first instinct to seeing a mess of things is to just shove things in and close the lid/ drawer. It's not a good instinct! At the start of this year, I thought I'd organize everything, but truly, I just had too much to do. And my things remained pretty disorganized. I had these tubs to organize my daily lesson materials, which helped, and I put labels on all of my drawers (because otherwise, I really wouldn't know where anything was!), and I kept things looking like they were organized on the outside, but still, my room, my manipulatives, my books...they were all secretly a bit of a mess. The entire year.
So a few weeks ago, I decided that every day, I would organize a little bit. It's too overwhelming to think about cleaning everything at once, so I've taken a drawer a day and have worked at it. And I'm super excited about leaving the room in an organized state, because at the start of next school year, I'll open a drawer and know where everything is. Hooray! (Now if only I could be that organized at home...)

#5: Think about next year
I know it seems way too early to think about next school year, but by thinking about it now, you can save yourself so much time and stress later! I recently found a few things on Pinterest that I decided I HAD to do next year, like gluing pom-poms to the end of dry erase markers like this (click the picture to see the full article):



And I'd like to try having students write their names on plates when they go to the use the restroom:


So I started a secret board on Pinterest called "To try next year," so I'd remember everything I want to try.  Jodi at Clutter-Free Classroom suggests to try out some of the ideas you find NOW so you can figure out if they are ideas you want to keep for all of next year (check out this blog post with her advice; I found the post as I was writing this one!)

If you do a classroom theme, think about how you might want to decorate next year. I did a jungle theme this year, and am thinking of a monster theme for next year. Here is a Pinterest board I created with a bunch of monster ideas...I plan on making a set specific to the music classroom!


Because I am doing the research now, it'll be so much easier for me to try making some of these crafts over the summer! If you're looking for themes, Jodi at the Clutter-Free Classroom has a great guide for inspiration here.

What are your strategies for surviving the end of the year? Feel free to comment below, and good luck!


Five Favorite Pins of April

Hi everyone! It is time for my five favorite pins of April! (Thanks to Jessica Weible for the chalkboard frame, Dancing Crayon Designs for the music note clip art, and Kimberly Geswein and Hello Literacy for the fonts.)


If you are a teacher blogger, feel free to join the party! Directions are at the end of the post. Here are my five favorite pins this month. To see the pin, click each picture.

#1: Kids' Books That Teach Important Life Lessons

This looks like a great list of picture books. Next year, my school's theme is "Bee Yourself," so I'm thinking I could take some of these books and create programs around them! (For more ideas about programs based off of children's literature, see these blog posts.)

#2: Tissue box rhythms

I've seen this blog post by Amy Abbott before, but this pin was a great reminder to actually try it out! I think this could be an AWESOME way to reinforce rhythmic concepts for students who are kinesthetic learners (and think it might be cool to try putting two tissue boxes together to make a half note!) I hope I remember to try making these this summer!

#3: How to do Boom Snap Clap


I've seen my oldest daughter do this, and thought it was really awesome...but I hadn't thought about teaching it to my students! I will have to have her teach me again (or read this article) so I can use it with my upper elementary students.

#4: All around the brickyard


I've done this song before, but it's been many years. I loved watching this video to refresh my memory and be inspired to use it again!

#5: 37 Classroom Decor Teacher Hacks

This article has TONS of great ideas for classroom decor! One of my favorite ideas is the paint sticks between books to keep them organized! I'm definitely going to have to revisit this post when I'm decorating before the start of next school year.

There are my five pins! If you'd like to see more pins like this, make sure to follow me on Pinterest by clicking the button below:


If you'd like to share your five favorite pins, here are the directions:
  • Save the "Five Favorite Pins of April" graphic to your computer, and include it in your blog with a link to this blog entry.
  • Blog about your five favorite pins. Include pictures with links when possible.
  • Submit your information by clicking on the button below.



Music Teacher First Year Flashback

Today, I'm linking up with Shelley at Pitch Publications to write about my first year of teaching. Click the picture below to read Shelley's post, as well as posts of other music bloggers!


This is my seventeenth year teaching (how did that happen??) so it was fun to think back on that first year. Here goes!

What subject/age and where were you teaching?
I was hired to teach in the district I graduated from, and taught K-6 general music. I saw the students for 40 minutes, once a week.

What was your first classroom like?
I had two classrooms, at two buildings. Both were on the stage, with a movable wall between the stage/music room and the gym (so it was quite noisy at times!) Both rooms were long but narrow, with just a bit of storage.

Were you given supplies and materials?
If I remember correctly, I had a few barred instruments at each school, and none were in great condition. I had some other non-pitched percussion. I don't remember having a whole lot of resources, other than textbooks, which I never opened up.

What do you remember about your first day?
I remember having the same, fidgety Kindergarten class...twice..in the same day, for forty minutes both times! NOT the best situation! I also had a MD class that came with no aide (they had an aide, but she decided I would do just fine without her...) They were really sweet kids, but I really wasn't sure what I was doing. I remember driving home, thinking, "Is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life?"
Thankfully, that was the only time in my career that question crossed my mind. It got much better after that! It took a while to get better, but it did!

What was the hardest part of your first year?
I lost my voice every single weekend. I wasn't using it properly to speak OR sing, and was headed on a journey to get vocal nodes. I truly didn't understand how much I would use my voice as an elementary music teacher! Thankfully, a few years into my career, I took voice lessons, which helped greatly! (See this blog post with strategies for saving your voice.)

What was the best part of your first year?
I was able to meet with the other music teachers every single week...during the school day! Every Wednesday, we had time in our schedule to meet and collaborate instead of teach. Doesn't that sound like a dream? Unfortunately, I don't think they do it in that district anymore, but it was nice while it lasted! So helpful for a first year teacher!
I also had great students, who were enthusiastic about what we were doing and would try what I asked of them. It was really hard to say goodbye to them at the end of the year, since I ended up being at two completely different schools the year after that!

What did you discover your first year that you didn’t learn in college or student teaching? 
I learned that I didn't know much about lesson planning, and that I didn't know where I was going with the students. I didn't get those answers in the first year, but I knew I needed a plan. I started my Kodály training the summer after my first year, and I'm so glad I did!

Where did you draw most of your lesson plan inspiration from?
I did get lots of great material during my student teaching, so I used a lot of songs and activities from my experience. At that point in my career, I didn't really know about any of the great resources that I now use all the time, so I just went off of my memory!

Is there anything you taught your first year that you still teach now?
A few things! I still do the bunny game and "Mr. Stingy Man" (a fun song tale) with my Kindergarteners and first graders. I also still use "Come back home my little chicks" (a fun singing game) with first grade.
But that's pretty much it!

What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew then?
Everything!
OK, seriously, two big things...I wish I knew how to put on a program, because I had no clue. My coordinating teacher didn't believe in performances, and I had never heard any music teacher or professor talk about performances, so I was clueless. My first program was bad. Like really, really bad. I decided after that I needed to learn how to put on a successful program and gradually got much better! (See these blog posts with ideas on how to successfully put on a program!)

And as I said before, I wish I knew how to lesson plan. My lesson planning at that point consisted of filling out a tiny box in my lesson plan box with the activities I was planning. No procedures. No materials. No objectives. I shudder when I think about it now! But with my Kodály training, I learned SO much and knew so much more about what I was doing each day AND where I was going with them throughout the year! (Yay for year plans!)

Thanks to Shelley for hosting the party! Make sure to read her original post, to read how other music teachers handled their first year!

Third Grade Performance {The Gratitude Tree}

Today, I am writing about a program I created for my third graders, based off the book "The Gratitude Tree" by my friend Stacey Peters (known as Expressive Monkey on TpT.) You can view this book by clicking the image below.



The book is a really cute and inspiring story about a tree who thinks he's ordinary, until he realizes that every time he feels gratitude, his leaves change color! It's a great way to talk about gratitude, kindness, appreciation, etc. with your students. This blog post will include a summary of songs and dances I used for the program, as well as scenery ideas!



I did this program with third grade, but it could easily be adapted for second or fourth. I split the text up between 22 narrators, and I also had one student who was a tree and another who was a bird. (I bought the tree costume and the bird costume on Amazon...if you are crafty, you could make them yourself!) 

For the performance, I had Stacey's book projected onto the screen on our stage, so that parents could see the book as it was being performed. The first three narrators came up, reading the first lines from the book, and the third narrator read, "Sadly, no one paid attention to the ordinary tree." At this point, students sang "Apple Tree" while one of the classes accompanied on Orff instruments.

Next, another narrator came up and read the line that ends with "built a nest in its branches." Since that line is about a bird, I had students sing "Kookaburra," along with this accompaniment track by The Wild Colonial Boys. Students sang the first two verses in unison, the third verse in a 4-part round, and the fourth verse in unison, which fits perfectly with the accompaniment!

After that, a narrator, the bird, and the tree, all come up and read the next part, which ends with "I am very grateful for that." At this point, the students sang "Hasuka ma yafa," which is an Israeli song of thanks. You can learn the song with this video:


I used this book, also by Robert Amchin (the teacher in this video), for the Orff accompaniment.

Then two narrators and the tree came up, and read until, "I'm a pretty lucky tree to be selected as the home of new baby birds." At this point, students sang "Here comes a bluebird"; you can find notation and game directions for here. Then I had another class perform the dance for "Bluebird" with recorded music; the dance with directions can be found in this Sanna Longden resource.

Then I had another student come up and read the next part until "green lines." Since that line is about leaves changing colors, I had students sing "Fly, Fly, Fly." Here is a video of Libana singing the song; you can find the CD here.



Three more narrators came up; after "keeping him company," a class came up in two circles and sang "Boots of Shining Leather" in a round. Here is an example of my students singing this in a round:




Three more narrators came up. I had all of the students say, "Have you figured it out yet?" at one time. The third narrator ended with, "beautiful colors," and then the students sang "De Colores." I used accompaniment from my textbook series, and had them sing in English, then in Spanish, then in English again. I did have cards to help with the lyrics, as especially with the Spanish, it can be tricky!

Then I had a group of five narrators come up and read from "The next day" to "This was the secret to happiness!"

Then I had one class perform the dance, "Soldier's Joy," which can be found in this amazing resource (it's a bit pricey, but TOTALLY worth the money! I use mine ALL the time!)


Then I had two last narrators come up with the bird. We ended with "You might change their whole day too!" Then I had students sing the song "Gift in this Present," by my friend Lessia Bonn at I am Bullyproof Music. The song is about being grateful for friends, and for the present--a message that really resounded with my students! I just collaborated with Lessia to create a set with materials to teach the song; you can view it by clicking below:


As I said in this blog post, in the past, I've shied away from using pop music, partly because I believe folk music is so important to a child's music education, and partly because so many pop songs have inappropriate lyrics, but this song sounds contemporary yet has a touching message.

During the musical, each time the story speaks about leaves changing color, I had students put gratitude leaves on trees on the wall, to represent the leaves, and the tree feeling gratitude. Stacey includes several templates of leaves as well as directions for the gratitude leaves in her set. Here is a picture of some of the leaves, which I had students put on trees from Carson Dellosa:


And here is a close-up of a couple of the leaves...

I had any students who were interested fill out gratitude leaves before the performance, detailing something for which they were grateful. After the performance, the audience was invited to come up and read the gratitude leaves! 

The third graders and the audience really enjoyed this performance, and I was very pleased with what they did musically, from singing, to dancing, to playing instruments! Hopefully I've explained everything so that you could recreate it or adapt it for your own students.

If you're looking for more programs that are accessible and easy to use with your students, check these out:

     

      

You can also read about another fifth grade performance, based on "On the Day You Were Born," here, a fifth grade performance, based on "Wangari's Trees of Peace," here, and a fourth grade performance, based on the book "Olivia's Birds," here.

Which programs have worked for you? Let me know, and feel free to send me any questions. Good luck, and have fun!

My Favorite Music Education Blogs

Of course, I love writing music education blog posts...but I also love to read them! When I first started my blog in 2010, there were very few other music education blogs out there, and now there are SO MANY. Which is great, honestly, because so many people are sharing their ideas about the music classroom so openly!


Here are my three go-to music education blogs, as well as a list of other great blogs, and a few ways to easily read blogs!

#1: Kodály Corner


This is a blog I created with several other music education bloggers, and I get so excited when other bloggers post so I can read their amazing ideas! Whether Christopher Roberts is blogging about using pop music in the Kodály-inspired classroom, or Jamie Parker is writing about using Socrative in the music classroom, or Tanya LeJeune is writing about teaching the 12-bar blues, there are wonderful takeaways in every blog post! I love how every blog post is so varied yet so useful, not only in the Kodály-inspired classroom, but any music classroom!

#2: O for Tuna Orff



Aimee at O For Tuna has a wonderful Orff-inspired blog. Whether she's talking about assessment with stretchy bands or sharing hand clapping chants and songs, her blog is FULL of great ideas! (She also has a really wonderful book full of hand clapping games for sale on her blog!)


#3: Make Moments Matter


David at Make Moments Matter has a wonderful blog with lots of great, practical ideas for the music classroom! He has lots of great posts about classroom organization, as well as some wonderful posts about manipulatives...and on top of that, I've met him in person, and he is SUCH a nice guy!

Here are some other great blogs you should check out:



...and like I said, there are SO many others!


Now onto a few ways to read these blogs!

Music Education Blogs: 


I created this website as a way to easily read music education blogs! There are pages for elementary, middle school, band, choir, etc., but the easiest way to read blog posts is simply to go to the home page, scroll down, then look at the feed, which shows the most recent post from each person who is part of the blog, like shown below:



Keep in mind that if you are on your phone, you'll have to go to "view web version" in order to see the feed (and if you are a blogger who would like your blog listed, see the directions on the front page.) Also, if you follow our Facebook page and turn on notifications, you can get a notification every time a blogger posts about a blog post!

Bloglovin'
I have my blog on Bloglovin', and have used the emails I receive to read posts here or there. But recently, I discovered the Bloglovin' app, which is really awesome! You can sign up to follow other people's blogs, but my favorite part is that when you click on a blog, if you go to "find similar blogs," you can find a bunch you didn't know existed! Then you can open up the app and read to your heart's delight!


Music Education Blog Carnival
I have hosted one of the carnivals on my blog; each month, it is hosted by another music education blogger. The idea is that the host collects music education blogs from the month and gives a summary of each in a blog post! For more information, see this page.


Feedly
You can also use the Feedly app or website to read blogs, but there are some blogs you might not be able to follow with this app, so I find using a combination of the four to be a great way to catch them all!What is your favorite music education blog? How do you read blogs? Feel free to comment below, and happy reading!