Thursday, August 25, 2011


Written by author, composer, and music educator, Dr. Scott Watson

On August 16, 2011, broadcast a live webcast with author, composer, and music educator, Dr. Scott Watson, in which he discussed his new book, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity (from Oxford University Press). Watson was joined by fellow Alfred composer/band director, Chris Bernotas.

Watson’s book begins, “It has never been easier or more fun for your students to compose, improvise, arrange, and produce music-related projects. Why?” Watson’s book-length answer to this question is described by reviewer Chad Criswell at (August 2011) as, "a wealth of information, lesson plans, and innovative ideas intended to get music teachers thinking of new and creative ways to use the technology they have at their disposal to increase the creative opportunities that they provide to their students…Scott Watson's innovative spirit and forward thinking attitude toward the use of technology in music education is refreshing and inspiring."

Although the book is aimed at all music educators and has lots of great information and ideas for general and elective music, Watson and Bernotas also discuss many topics of special interest to instrumental music teachers, including: great methods and reasons for digital audio recording in music education, free Web-based music apps (such as Noteflight), creativity-based music learning, using wikis, composer/artist video-conferencing, and more.

Dr. Scott Watson

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Technology Can Augment a Music Education, But it Cannot Replace a Good Teacher

Replace a Good Teacher

by featured guest writer: Natalie Hunter

Studying music can become a lifelong passion for many people. It fosters intellectual curiosity, stimulates creativity and teaches discipline. Music is also an excellent means through which to make connections with others. Studying music can be a lifelong endeavor, whether it is study of a particular instrument or composition. In the past, this was often done in small groups or one-on-one with an experienced teacher. However, with the advent of modern technologies, more and more aspiring musicians are using technology to teach themselves by listening to CDs or even going to online school. But can people really learn music well without a good teacher?

As an example, a person who has always longed to study piano might research many different ways in which they can indulge their interest. They might find books that describe piano technique at the library. Online, they can find tutorials and watch other people play on YouTube. There are even In the videos an instructor is depicted demonstrating and explaining certain ideas and techniques. Diagrams and close-ups may be used to further illustrate various concepts and methods. Usually the student is encouraged to play along and practice diligently in between lessons. The student can progress through the lessons at their own pace, coming back for more complex lessons or replaying previous lessons when necessary.

As the new piano student reads their library book and listens to the recordings of an artist it is entirely possible that their understanding and appreciation of the piano as an instrument will grow. They will also begin to recognize the many years of dedication required to become a proficient pianist. Likewise, as they progress through a series of introductory online piano lessons they may find themselves able to pick out simple melodies on the keyboard. Their knowledge and skills are undoubtedly growing. Yet is this enough?

For some people it is. The mildly curious piano student may discover that further study of the instrument simply is not of interest to them or they may be satisfied with the casual dabbling they have already accomplished. Others will find that their appetite has only been whetted by their previous experiences and they are eager for more. They could seek out more books, recordings, and websites, but they may also have begun to recognize the shortcomings inherent in such methods. In short, reading and listening and studying casually online can only take the student so far. To develop artistry and a deep appreciation for music, formal training is necessary.

Formal training does not have to mean that the student will attend a conservatory or study music diligently on a daily basis. It can still be a fun pastime that the student does not intend to pursue professionally. However, hiring a professional music teacher takes the student beyond the rudimentary knowledge they can gain through books and various forms of technology. The one on one interaction between a teacher and pupil provides the necessary depth of knowledge required to become an accomplished musician. With a qualified teacher to guide them the novice student can develop good habits to last a lifetime.

When music students decide to acquire their training solely through the use of technology or other means without the guidance of a teacher, they must assess the value of the technology or other mode of delivery on their own. The website or book may encourage poor technique that will be difficult to unlearn. For many casual students this is not necessarily detrimental and may not harm their enjoyment of music. But others may find that bad habits make it difficult for them to progress in the way they would like. Teachers can guide these students past these roadblocks so they can realize their dreams. Also, most music education technology is not interactive enough to allow students to seek answers to individualized questions, but a music teacher is always able to clarify the finer points.

Technology is not a detriment to music education. In fact, many innovations like the Internet and various types of data storage can help students practice their technique. However, technology used for music education should be utilized judiciously and sources should be examined critically before being accepted. It is only through the guidance of a well qualified music educator that students can truly begin to master technique and artistry, furthering their skills and deepening their appreciation for the art form.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Introducing AMP, The National ASSOCIATION of MUSIC PARENTS

This post submission by: Scott Mccormick

Introducing AMP, The National ASSOCIATION of MUSIC PARENTS who’s mission is to build a grassroots national movement that brings together ALL STAKEHOLDERS of Music Education to defend the interests of our students and ensure that music and the arts remain an integral discipline within the core education system in America.

Led by Scott McCormick, the former President and CEO of both Music for All and Bands of America, AMP will serve as a powerful voice to amplify the difference that music and the other arts provide in the total development of our young people and on society by building the most comprehensive, robust, social networking music parent website on the internet.

Why do we need AMP? “The one thing that I have learned during my career is that none of our programs are safe forever. While we may believe that the budget concerns couldn’t possibly affect us, just when we get comfortable, they do affect us and by then, if we are not prepared, it could be too late,” Scott McCormick. Teachers are over committed and stressed, often times, one of the areas that falls off is good communication with those who can help the most - the parents.

AMP is targeting parents of beginning music students, existing parent organizations, newly formed parent organizations, as well as any concerned citizen who believes the facts about what music does for the young person.

In the growing global marketplace, students will need to excel in both math and science to compete internationally as engineers, scientists, physicians, and creative entrepreneurs. Yet, in an assessment by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, 15-year-olds in the U.S. placed 25th out of 30 countries in math performance and 21st in science performance. Why is it that the top three countries (Korea, Finland and China) in each category of math and science performance each have a requirement of Music and other arts in their curriculums in order to graduate from high school and much of America does not?

AMP strives to provide parents with excellent and timely resources to support their child’s musical endeavors. There is a repository of information to immerse themselves in and share with others the valuable impact music is making in their child’s life. As a member, they will be able to view impactful videos, learn useful advocacy techniques, read thought provoking, poignant and hilarious blogs, pore over critical music facts, ask and answer questions, participate in webinars and conferences, view and download all documents in the resource section, and receive discounts on store purchases. They will also be able to network with like minded parents from organizations across the country.

Additionally for the parent who has a new 4th, 5th or 6th grade beginner at home or about to, there is so much information they need to know, which in most cases they are not hearing. This site and organization is for them. Parents need to know the power they hold in the education system of their children. In our public and private schools, it is the taxpayer or tuition payer who ultimately gets to make the decisions about their child’s education system. We elect the school board who hires the superintendents and down the line. When you trace back where the power lies, it lies with us the taxpayer. They need to know what an incredible difference participation in music and the other arts, all the way through their child’s high school years, will provide them in their later years. Just ask one of the Fortune 1000 CEO’s in the corporate world what music did for them. 73%, nearly 3 out of 4 of them were involved in their school music programs.

AMP is also teaming with teachers, music manufacturers and retailers who understand the value and support the cause. We are proud to announce that Music and Arts, the nations largest chain of school music stores, along with Yamaha and Vandoren have joined us as Charter Sponsors. Additionally a number of like minded businesses are in the pipeline to join us soon.

Visit us at to witness this exciting launch and join as a member to support the cause. Spread the word amongst your influence group, like us on facebook, and watch this movement as it catches on across the country!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Top 40 Music related Job Sites!

From Heather Clark, featured writer for

Be sure to check out her website at:

If you are a music educator who is seeking a job, you can find music-specific job sites, music careers listed in larger job sites such as Monster, and music jobs listed by state. Music educator jobs often hide under the label of “director” or “administrator,” and voice and instrument teacher jobs abound across the nation. This list of the top 40 job sites for music educators lists all those jobs and other possibilities.

Music Studio

Music-Specific Job Sites

  1. American Music Therapy Association: Use this site to learn more about education and music for students who need this work as therapy. Jobs are reserved for AMTA members.
  2. Careers in Music: This is complete list of music jobs that includes alternate titles, descriptions and salary information. There are also links to get detailed information for each job.
  3. Church Music Jobs: Most of these jobs consist of directorships and worship leaders, both which involve educational practices in voice and in instruments.
  4. Creative Jobs Central: Music jobs at this site often focus on performers; however, some music educator and administration jobs are listed here as well.
  5. Entertainment Careers: While this site does not focus specifically on music education jobs, they are listed here…along with many other jobs in the music industry.
  6. Jobs in Music: Take a swing at searching for any musical job possible across the U.S. with this search engine.
  7. Media Web Source Music Careers List and Music Job Openings: Scroll down this page to find the list of music educator jobs.
  8. MENC Career Center: The National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, offers a way for music teachers to find jobs.
  9. Music Jobs: This site carries all types of music jobs, including teachers, instructors and educators.
  10. Music Jobs and Employers/Services Database: Musicians Page offers a database filled with jobs across the country. Some jobs are educational, some are focused on performance-related positions.
  11. Drum Instructor

  12. My Music Job: This site breaks down the music jobs and employment by over 40 different categories that cover the entire music industry.
  13. Rhinegold Publishing: This UK publishing company focuses on music publications, and offers music teaching job searches as a bonus.
  14. TakeLessons Music Teacher Jobs: TakeLessons is accepting applications for teachers to provide music and voice instruction to our TakeLessons students in cities across the U.S.
  15. The College Music Society: This link leads to the career development initiative provided by this organization. CMS members are welcome to use these services.

State-Specific Music Education Job Sites

  1. CTReap Music Teachers: Part of a larger Reap site, this page offers jobs to music educators across the state of Connecticut.
  2. IMEA Job Bank: This page showcases music positions currently open in ths State of Iowa.
  3. Iowa Music Education Job Openings: These openings are compiled from,, and
  4. Music Education Job Opportunities: These music education job opportunities are located in California.
  5. Music Teacher Jobs: This site allows music educators to find jobs by category, by location and by company.
  6. Piano Teacher

  7. Ohio Music Education Association: This search engine leads to music education jobs within Ohio.
  8. Rhode Island Music Teacher Jobs: Flipdog offers jobs by state and by profession. This page focuses on music education throughout Rhode Island.
  9. Texas Music Educators Association: TMEA is an organization of over 10,000 school music educators dedicated to promoting excellence in music education.
  10. USReap Music Teachers: This site provides services to public schools across Missouri.

Larger Job Site Opportunities

  1. Careerbuilder Music Education: View job as varied as music therapy to media marketing under the “music education” search at this site.
  2. Employment Crossing Music Teacher Jobs: This site offers a few jobs for music educators from across the country.
  3. Find Music Educator Jobs: These listings are from across the nation, and are offered by AOL Jobs.
  4. Glassdoor Music Director Jobs: As with any large job site, you can use the search engine to find other music education jobs here.
  5. HigherEd Jobs Music: This site is for music jobs in colleges across the nation. Search by date posted, institution, location, priority, job title and category.
  6. Job-Hunt Music Teacher Jobs: Use the search engine to refine or expand these job listings. The jobs are from across the nation.
  7. Flute Instructor

  8. JobRapido Voice Teacher Jobs: Like other large job sites, you can refine your search for jobs across the nation by job and location.
  9. Jobs for Sports Fans: Don’t let the title throw you off. This page includes jobs for band and vocal music instructors, voice teachers and more.
  10. JuJu Elementary Music Teacher Jobs: Although this search is for elementary music teachers, you can use the search engine to find other positions within the music field.
  11. Monster Music Educator Jobs: Find a variety of music education jobs at this large job site. You can refine your search by job, skills and location.
  12. Music Jobs in Arts, Entertainment & Gaming: This broad title include specific jobs as music directors, producers and editors at the JobSearch site.
  13. Simply Hired Voice Teacher: Although this page points specifically to voice teachers nationwide, you can expand or narrow that search by job and location at this site.
  14. Teacher Job Bank: You can find teaching jobs and other education employment opportunities at this site. This page specifically looks at music teaching jobs.
  15. Teachers.Net: This page provides various searches for teaching positions, including those educated in music instruction.
  16. The Chronicle of Higher Education Jobs: Search for jobs in music education located in colleges and universities throughout the country.
  17. The Education Job Music Teacher Jobs: The Education Job is the international job board listing jobs in the education and training industry, and offers music teacher jobs by state.
  18. Top USA Jobs Music Teacher: The jobs listed here are from across the country. Use the search engine to narrow or broaden your search.