For an elementary music educator, summer can mean many things. It could mean that we work another job to support ourselves and/or our families. Summer might also be the time when we go on vacation or visit relatives we rarely see. In addition, this could be the moment when we can catch up on good books. However, this is and very likely the time when we attend summer professional development (PD).
Summer PD Opportunities
Over the summer, there are numerous opportunities for elementary music educators to improve upon their craft. From books to attending workshops to working on a higher ed degree, summer is our time to rejuvenate and return to school with new ideas and approaches.
Summer Book Reading
As I read through many posts from various twitter feeds and Facebook groups, I have compiled a book list of summer reads. I unfortunately, do not have the time to read all of these books. However, it can be apart of my bucket list.
- Neuroteach – Brain Science and the Future of Education by Glenn Whitman and Ian Kelleher – I am reading this one for school and this is truly fascinating. Currently, I am thinking of ideas for bringing out a better growth mindset in my music classroom.
- Learning First, Technology Second – The Educator’s Guide to Designing Authentic Lessons by Liz Kolb – Want to learn how to effectively integrate technology into your classroom, this book is a wonderful start!
- #FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment With Technology (Corwin Teaching Essentials) 1st Edition by Monica Burns – Monica gives great tips and ideas for utilizing technology as an effective formative assessment tool.
- Responsive Classroom for Music, Art, PE, and Other Special Areas from Responsive Classroom – This book and the next one on the list have both come highly recommended by elementary music educators to increase your knowledge on classroom teaching and management.
- Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers by Michael Linsin
- Feierabend Fundamentals by Dr. John Feierabend and Dr. Missy Strong. This book debuted at the Feierabend Association for Music for Music Education (FAME) this past weekend. You can now order it online today.
Summer Courses and Workshops
Many Universities offer summer courses and workshops in a variety of approaches from Orff-Schulwerk, Kodály, Feierabend, Gordon, Dalcroze, and more. I have taken numerous workshops throughout many summers at Central Connecticut State University, NYU, and others. These courses are incredibly valuable. You leave the course with new activities, new lessons, and so much more.
PD in your PJs
During the summer, it is not easy to get away. We have a variety of responsibilities from family to work, that trying to get away for a few days of PD seems unlikely. Thank goodness for webinars! Though you will not get the hands on experiences that you would with the workshops, online PD can still be a very valuable experience. For music technology, there are some amazing webinars out there that give you the tools to begin utilizing and experimenting with technology. Here are a few:
- edWeb – edWeb has weekly webinars for educators. Since of their sponsors is Music Together, you will find numerous Music Together webinars and how to utilize it in the early childhood classroom.
- Midnight Music – Katie Wardrobe, a music technology expert, has numerous online workshops that assist music educators in learning and utilizing technology into their classrooms. Many times, she gives one hour workshops for free.
- Amy M. Burns – Please check out my free webinars. I have taught elementary general music for over 20 years and written three books on the topic of technology integration in the elementary music classroom. On my webinar page, you will find webinars about iPads, Chromebooks, and more.
What is/was your summer PD? Were there books that you recommend and why? What workshops, webinars, or conferences did you attend?
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com