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 […]

Great Ways to Explore Timbre With String

(Like young children, cats are enthusiastic and relentless scientists.) For years I’ve used strings (mostly ukulele strings and rubber bands) to help young children explore and understand how pitch (the highness and lowness of sounds) works. I plan to write more on this later, and I’ve shared several of these activities in my latest book, “Exploring […]

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 […]

One Instrument, Many Timbres

Recently, a music teacher named Elisabeth Kirby (@JeffersonSings) tweeted that the song “Ghostbusters” uses 3/4 of the vocal timbres: sing, speak and call! (The fourth is whisper.) I admired Ms. Kirby’s observation, and also felt kind of jealous because I’d never noticed this. Also, it somehow makes it seem more “educational” to use “Ghostbusters” in […]

“Stir Up” Some Musical Soup for Fall

Seems like the chilly fall weather is settling in, and that means children are eating more soup. I love to use songs that reflect what children are actually doing in their daily life – not that I have anything against tuffets or four-and-twenty blackbirds, but it’s nice not to have to explain what the song […]