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Category Archives: Teacher Trainer Corner

The Singing Band

by Guest Contributor Carol Swinchoski Old Mill School, Wall Township, NJ In the last installment, I described the basic steps used to get musicians to create their first sounds and discover how to take their known folk songs and express them through their new instruments. We can now follow their progress over the next ten...

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Judas Maccabee Finger Play, by John Crever

Judas Maccabee Finger Play Lyrics Mattathias bold [Flex both arms, showing strength]  Five great sons had he, [show 5 fingers of one hand]  Elieazar, oldest son, [show 1 thumb] Simon, John and Jonathan, [show fingers #2, 3, and 4] And Judas Maccabe, Judas Maccabe [hammer fists together]   This finger play was shared with me...

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CS Beginning Band – Ready, Set, Go!

by Guest Contributor Carol Swinchoski Old Mill School, Wall Township, NJ It is the first week of October and Beginning Band has their first rehearsal with instruments today! As you might imagine, the preparation for this important and exciting first day actually began a while ago. The beginning band model I describe in this article...

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Efficiently Incorporating FS & CS Into Your Curriculum

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In this presentation given at a gathering of FAME of the Mid-Atlantic in Fall of 2017, Endorsed Teacher Trainer Chris Anne Powers talks about how the teachers in her district successfully present tonal and rhythm units concurrently as well as how they layer activities throughout the First Steps years that will come back in Conversational...

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Tree Dance

by Lindsay Jackson A few months ago, I attended a workshop at Wisdom of the Earth that had elements of medicinal aromatherapy, meditation, and mindfulness. WOTE’s Education Director, Cynthia Olivera, led us through a fantastic movement activity where we started as seeds and slowly (over 30 minutes) grew into trees that danced around the room....

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Book Review: Feierabend Fundamentals

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by Andrew Himelick Elementary Music Teacher Towne Meadow Elementary School, Carmel, IN FAME Endorsed Teacher Trainer for First Steps in Music and Conversational Solfege There is an exciting and inspiring new resource available for music educators wanting to learn more about the programs and philosophy of Dr. John Feierabend. But first, a little history. For...

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Decoding Dilemmas with Older Beginners

Decoding Dilemmas with Older Beginners: Points to ponder as you build your program. Last week I had two breakthroughs in my classes. My 1st graders tried the game “Oh Dear, What Can the Meter Be?” for the first time, and to my surprise, they got every single musical example correct! Historically, this has not been the...

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Pyramid of Musical Greatness

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Dr. Strong’s Pyramid of Musical Greatness (PoMG) Designed by Adam Brittain                     As I so often do, one day I found myself searching for a quick analogy or metaphor that would help my students focus on the task at hand. Suddenly it came to me, “It’s...

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Alt-Write Techniques for Conversational Solfege

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Before Pencil and Paper Try Some Alt-Write Techniques: Writing Steps in Conversational Solfege John Crever, FAME Endorsed Teacher Trainer In Conversational Solfege (CS) the recommended amount of time spent in the Writing Steps (9-12) is significantly less than that spent developing conversational skills at Steps 2-5 (Conversational Solfege.)  After mastering the Reading Steps in a...

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“I Have…Who Has?” Cards

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by Chris Powers   Looking for a fun, engaging activity that is perfect for individual assessment at Steps 7 and 8 of Conversational Solfege? Consider using these “I Have…Who Has? Cards” created by Chris Anne Powers.    The cards correlate with all Units in Book 1 of Conversational Solfege by Dr. John Feierabend. AND for...

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