A Thought for Thursday: Tips for Teaching Toddlers

 I LOVE teaching toddlers music! And I’ve been teaching them for about twenty years. I’ve even written a book, “The Musical Toddler,” with loads of great ideas for music activities with toddlers. Today I’d like to share a few tips for making sure every toddler in your group has positive, successful music experiences. 1. Slow it down. Yes, most […]

A Thought for Thursday: Is Music the Universal Language?

Many grownups (particularly music educators) like to say that music is the universal language. I’m not so sure. Just about everyone enjoys some kind of music, true. But do we all get the same meaning from a piece of music? Do we all understand and appreciate it the same way? Not so much. This is […]

A Thought for Thursday: To Halloween or Not to Halloween?

It’s that time of year. The young children I teach are already bursting to tell me all about their costumes for Halloween. There seem to be a lot of Elsas and Annas this year, along with the usual princesses, ghosts, ninjas, skeletons, and superheroes. I have nothing against Halloween – but I don’t do any […]

A Thought for Thursday: The Best Way to Teach Listening Skills

As an early-childhood music teacher, I believe that what I do is very important in developing young children’s listening skills. Singing, playing rhythm instruments, moving to music – all these involve auditory cues for children to focus on in a fun and age-appropriate way. There’s generally an  enjoyable consequence of careful listening in a musical […]

A Thought for Thursday: Children Need to Know We Value Their Ideas

This article of mine originally appeared in Creativity Portal in November 2010. Children Need to Know We Value Their Ideas By Abby Connors It’s wonderful to stimulate and inspire creative thinking in the classroom, but we also need to show children how much we value their creative efforts. When a child, or anyone, feels that […]

A Thought for Thursday: Talking About Tambourines

Talking About Tambourines This week I’ve been using tambourines in my music  enrichment classes (I rotate among several different rhythm instruments) and my experiences in the  various classes have reminded me of why I both love and hate tambourines. Okay, I don’t like to use the word “hate” – let’s say “Have problems with.” Tambourines […]

A Thought for Thursday: Creative Arts & Creative Thinking Are Not the Same Thing!

This article of mine originally appeared in Creativity Portal (creativity-portal.com) in December 2010. Creative Arts and Creative Thinking Are Not the Same Thing! By Abby Connors Earlier this year, I presented a workshop at a unique international conference, “Educating the Creative Mind,” held at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. The conference was tremendously stimulating, […]

A Thought for Thursday: Think Outside the Catalog

This article is excerpted from my book “Teaching Creativity” and also appeared on the “Creativity Portal” site (creativity-portal.com). Think Outside the Catalog When I look through school-supply catalogs, I shake my head at the amount of money some people are apparently willing to pay for little fuzzy pompoms, foam paper, feathers, sequins, stamps, stickers, and […]

A Thought for Thursday: How Should We Teach Creative Thinking? Ask a Four-Year-Old

The following article of mine originally appeared in Teacher’s Net Gazette in November 2011. How Should We Teach Creative Thinking? Ask a Four-Year-Old  By Abigail Flesch Connors Young children are the “experts” when it comes to creative thinking. Here are some tips I’ve learned from the young children I’ve taught to foster creative thinking in students […]

A Thought for Thursday: The Sound of Creativity

This article of mine originally appeared in “Teaching Music,” a publication of the National Association for Music Education, in 2010. The Sound of Creativity: Helping Children Develop Creative Thinking Skills Using Rhythm Instrument Activities Abigail Connors Today more than ever, our fast-changing world depends on creative thinking. Yet teaching creative thinking is not a priority […]