How music teachers got their groove back

Students today are interacting with media, especially music, in entirely new ways. They carry around thousands of songs on their phones and iPods. They watch and comment on artist videos on YouTube. They play along in Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Read on to find out how some educators are embracing technology as the means to reach a new generation of music education students.

THE Journal

October 1, 2010

How Music Teachers Got Their Groove Back

Carol Broos is on a mission. She is determined to appeal to the estimated 80 percent of students who do not enroll in traditional school music programs—band, orchestra, and choir. “I want to change the way that music courses are taught,” says Broos, who teaches music to students in grades 4 through 8 at Sunset Ridge School in Northfield, IL, about 20 miles north of Chicago. “I want to change music education from a performing art to a creating art.”

The only way to do that, Broos recognizes, is by doing nothing short of reinventing her profession, which means acknowledging and incorporating the way students interact with music today—digitally.

“Music educators need to reexamine themselves,” she says. “Why are we not engaging kids? Why are we not reaching 80 to 90 percent of the student population? Students are listening to more music, creating more music, and playing more music, but we are not involved. It’s happening at home, on their home computers.”

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