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.

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?



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