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Daily Disney - Disneyland (Explored)
Image by Express Monorail via Flickr

Like every other music teacher in the world I am always looking for a great fundraiser idea. My idea of a great fundraiser is anything that makes me 100% profit. Well here are some links to amusement parks that offer tickets to schools that they can auction off for fundraisers.
I have currently only done the Disneyland one but it worked like a charm I have been told to expect them in the mail any day now.
Let me know if you have any luck with these as well.
Disneyland:
Universal Studios:
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HELP! Band Directors I need your best Easy Jr. High/Advanced Elementary Band Piece.

It’s no secret that I am first a choir director by choice and a band teacher by necessity. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy band it’s just not my strong suit so I am coming to you for help. I have a band of 7th and 8th graders who have played for between 2 and 3 years.

They are definitely beginners but eager to learn and will work hard for me but here comes the hard part.

There are only 10 of them. I have 4 trumpets, 1 Sax, 2 Clarinets, 1 Flute and 2 Drummers.

Help I need good literature that will keep them learning and yet still feeling successful.

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Composer Morten Lauridsen receiving the Nation...
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I love that I can hear the music of Morten Lauridsen and other great choral masters on Pandora Radio.

When I was in college my professor Dr. Glenn Bennett always told me that to really get how to direct a great choir you have to listen to great choirs.

The problem with this was CD‘s are not cheap and to tack that on top of college books it just didn’t happen as much as it should have. But now with Pandora Radio I can type in a composer or choir and listen to great choir music all day if I want.

Then I can even share what it is I am listening to, if it really strikes me, with others like this .

https://twitter.com/kgard/status/8328690517

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A street in Brampton after a 2-day 10-15cm → 1...
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Why do we love snow days so much? In my district the school plans a day towards the end of the year that if we haven’t yet taken a bad weather day then we get the later date off.

I love it! We are guaranteed a day off whether we have bad weather or not. 🙂

But today as its snowing I look out and wish for a snow day. I would think I would rather have the day when its warmer and being able to plan for it but today  I am longing for a snow day.

Maybe I just love surprises like waking up to find out there is no school I don’t know.

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I have been a firm believer in using solfegio for choirs since I was taught to use it and it improved my ability immensely. But at the beginning of this year I had the idea to start using it with my 5th grade band and see if they could pick it up at that age and also because in my school the only music they get at that age is band if they choose. This meant I wanted to get them singing early on as well so when they get to the upper graves maybe they won’t be afraid of choir.

Well something that I probably should have predicted happened. Their playing improved as well. And as far as I can tell this class is progressing faster than my other classes did at the same age.

This could be because I am a little more experienced now and so surely my classroom management has improved but other than that I have not changed my teaching style or resources, besides adding solfege.

Before every song we play now we sing it on the sofege. This especially helps for brand new songs but it is also great for songs they have been playing for a while because it gets the tune back in their heads. I have had many teachers tell me if you can’t sing it you can’t play it. I don’t know how true that is but the more I do this the more I am convinced they were on to something. We just never used solfege.

I don’t know exactly this could be implemented into the upper levels of music I’m not ready to try that just yet but it is perfect for beginning band where everyone plays the same thing.

So this last week I also decided to go ahead and add the hand signs and the kids are loving it. When I try and get my older kids to learn these things they just whine and complain about how hard it is and that they arent used to it. But the younger kids are eating it up. I love it I feel like I am becoming a better teacher.

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The Lion King at the New Amsterdam Theatre, 2003
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How did I not think of this idea earlier. In fact I was given the idea in college but didn’t try it myself until this year.

I am hooked this will become a yearly tradition. Our First Concert will be a Broadway/Pops Concert.

I found that the kids get more excited over this style of music. I can still have them work on solos or even small groups and contrary to some peoples beliefs their is some really quality literature in this genre.

If nothing else the kids seem to buy into the program a lot faster this way and are willing to work hard because they get to have input. Later through the year I have added in different styles of music but the kids are hooked now so they jump right into it as well.

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