Nice news!

Hi everyone – I hope you all had a very merry holiday! I just got a nice surprise – a great review from the Midwest Book Review! Most preschool teachers have musical instruments in their classrooms, but may not realize they can use them for science explorations. Science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) these […]

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A Creativity “Cheat Sheet” for Music Class

There’s nothing mysterious about coming up with new ideas. As a matter of fact, there are no new ideas, only new combinations of existing ideas. Being creative is all about changing around different variables in different ways. When children seem stuck for ideas, suggesting one or two new variables can start their brains zooming along […]

The Top 10 Greatest Things About Lists (to Generate Creative Thinking)

This article, adapted from a chapter in my book “Teaching Creativity: Supporting, Valuing and Inspiring Young Children’s Creative Thinking,” shows how list-making can be a springboard for students to generate creative ideas. What could be more mundane and uncreative than writing a list? Lists are for grocery shopping, weekend chores, or what to pack in […]

E. Paul Torrance’s Creative Manifesto

In 1983, E. Paul Torrance wrote these remarkable words: Manifesto for Children Don’t be afraid to fall in love with something & pursue it with intensity. Know, understand, take pride in, practice, develop, exploit, & enjoy your greatest strengths. Learn to free yourself from the expectations of others and to walk away from the games […]

Wait For It… A Fun Way to Nurture Curiosity

If your teaching style were a movie genre (don’t worry, this isn’t a Buzzfeed quiz), what would it be? Maybe Comedy? I once knew a trigonometry teacher who somehow combined math with an ongoing stand-up routine – every year he’d dust off his headdress and be Chief Socatowa (Something about sines and cosines? Luckily I […]

Surprises at See-Level

What’s on the wall next to the door of your classroom? I mean at a level where your students can see? If the answer is “nothing,” you might want to consider adding some intriguing pictures – artwork or photos of animals, space, plants, other cultures, – anything they may not have seen before that’s beautiful […]

Please Don’t Ask Children to Listen

“Listening” is a very special word to me. When I think about “listening,” I think about being transported by music, by the soft crash of ocean waves, by leaves rustling in the wind. “Listening” also makes me think of caring and concern: people accepting and understanding others, parents listening to their child’s hopes and fears, […]

“I Have an Idea!” – Creating Music and Dance for Young Children

From the way young children react when they see me enter their classroom for a music enrichment class, you’d think I was driving an ice cream truck with Dora the Explorer. They’re running up to hug me, yelling my name, and jumping and down – often all three at the same time! Why all the […]

STEAM Lessons: Sandpaper

Young children can discover so much from exploring the sounds and texture of sandpaper, it’s really a gold mine of learning. Well, not a GOLD mine… more like bauxite mine. More on that later. As a music teacher working with young children, I often use sand blocks, those small (but heavy, if you’re carrying around […]

What Can They Really Understand?

I’ve always wondered about doing science “experiments,” like the good old homemade volcano, with young children, Pre-K’s and kindergartners. After a week or two (let alone a few months) how much will they remember? Will they even be able to tell you about baking soda and vinegar?  If these activities include plenty of time for […]