AKA everything I love for…

Teaching music

Scarves: Y’all. Your kids need to move. And the best way is with props. Scarves are the bomb. They are fun, silly, and cheap. Use them to dance, to show melody up and down, to show phrase arches, to keep steady beat, etc.

Game Plan Music Curriculum: If you do not have a curriculum, go buy Game Plan. It is seriously awesome. It goes week by week through the whole year with lesson ideas. And they are sequential. So you may learn a song on the first week of September, and then do a dance to it in October. It is very rigorous too, so students learn rhythm, melody, instruments, and songs. It is pricey, but if you want to try it, you could just buy some grades (I have grades 1, 3, and 5 but you could also go with 1st grade and 4th grade) and tier the lessons up or down accordingly. I do not use it every week, but I pull a lot of material from it. I know other people in my district that use it every week and swear by it. As a new teacher… you need it.

Artie Almeida: If you can buy her books, do it! They are the bomb. Tons of movement ideas, and the Kidsticks curriculum is super fun. Also, she has a ton of free resources available online here. I am particularly fond of the noteman PowerPoint.

My cart: this may seem like an odd addition to the list, but I could not function without this. I use to set things down and forget where they were and I was constantly looking for things. Not anymore. I got this cart from Target, and I put everything on it—pens, pencils, seating charts, sheet music, nurse passes, literally everything. And I can move it if I want to stand somewhere else. But I always know where I put things. It also saved my life when I had to travel to classrooms for two weeks.

Practicing music

Metronome: this is really obvious. If you are a musician without a metronome, you had better get one. If you think your internal rhythm is good enough without one, you are wrong. Just do it.

Tuner: yes, even if you are a vocalist. I will sing with my tuner to help me make sure I really am hitting the right note and I don’t just think that I am. If you play any instrument (except piano) then you need this. Period.

G. Schirmer books: My favorite sheet music is from “The Second Book of Mezzo-Soprano Solos” and “Arias for the Mezzo Soprano”. Honestly, anything by them is fine. I suggest both because you do not want to sing all arias all of the time, and I like the variety of the other book.

Children’s Church

Ministry to children: This is one of my favorite sites. It is AWESOME. It has a ton of (free) lesson ideas, games, crafts, etc. they have links so you can just search for lessons suited to younger students if you teach Kindergarten Sunday School or just older lessons, etc. Check it out here.

The Adventure Bible: This my favorite Bible. It is so easy for kids to understand. It is my preferred Bible to read from when I read the kids stories.