Classroom Music

Winter Conference 2019
Rochester, NY  December 5-8, 2019

Headliner: Paul Cribari

Paul Cribari works in the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado where he is an Instructional Facilitator for the K-12 Performing Arts. Paul received his Master of Arts in Orff Schulwerk from the University of St. Thomas, and his Doctorate in Music Education from Boston University. In addition to his work with children Dr. Cribari teaches levels I, II, and III of Orff Schulwerk at Southern Methodist University, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the San Francisco International Orff Schulwerk Course. Dr. Cribari is a regular clinician for local chapters of the AOSA and has presented sessions at state and local conferences as well as numerous National Conferences of the AOSA. Internationally, Dr. Cribari has presented for Orff SIMEOS in Verona, Italy. Dr. Cribari will also present in Hong Kong during the summer of 2018.

Early Childhood/Elementary Classroom Music Sessions

Thursday, December 5, 2019

4:15-5:15 PM  Folk Dancing Tricks from K to 6 (Rachel Grimsby)

Folk dancing is an excellent classroom community builder.  Participants will learn two folk dances, how to make them accessible to all grade levels, and will learn how to choose alternative music to folk dance to  With immediate take-aways for Monday activities, will you come and dance with me?

7:00-8:00 PM  Using Movement and Play to Teach the Standards (Donna Dunn)

Adding a variety of experiences into the music classroom benefits student musicality and comprehension.  Dunn will explore ways to help educators become more comfortable incorporating and modeling movement within lessons to help demonstrate musical concepts, and create a learning environment that fuses play with artistry to teach the standards.

Friday, December 6, 2019

8:15-9:15 AM  Be the Living Music! Dalcroze Activities for the Elementary Music Classroom (Jason Jones)

Come explore Eurhythmics, Rhythmic Solfege, and Plastique Animee! Incorporating these Dalcroze principles into the classroom can become part of your daily routine.  In this session, participants will learn how ideas and activities can jump-start their classrooms.

9:30-10:30 AM Improvisation as a Means for Teaching Beginning Recorder (Paul Cribari)

This session will look at how basic melodic contours can be used to teach beginning recorder, to reinforce literary skills, and to develop artistry from the beginning.  These improvisation activities will then lead to ensemble work that includes traditional melodies and accompaniments suitable for children in grades 3-6

1:15-2:15 PM Storytelling in the Early Elementary (Paul Cribari)

Using a traditional Bavarian folk tale as the starting point, participants will examine the ways in which drama, improvisation, dance and the pentatonic modes combine to create a learning experience that is rich and engaging for all students.

7:00-8:00 PM  Responsive Teaching and Orff-Schulwerk  (Paul Cribari)

In this session participants will look at how we incorporate student ideas to create musical experiences that are unique to the class. These musical experiences will reflect the specific character of the individual and the classroom community.  Through these activities, students will take greater ownership in the process and see themselves as central to the musical experience that reflects their racial, cultural and communal identities.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

8:15-9:15 AM  CORE Integration in the Early Elementary Music Classroom  (Ashley Moss)

As music teachers, we have the unique opportunity to support cross-curricular learning in ways that will not detract from our own curricular goals.  Join us as we explore resources and activities that support language, literacy, and numeracy development in the PreK and Kindergarten music classroom.

9:30-10:30 AM  Teaching Pieces from the Music for Children Volume  (Paul Cribari)

In this session, participants will see multiple approaches to breaking down and teaching pieces from the Orff Schulwerk Volumes.  Along the way, time will be devoted to looking at how teachers might deviate from the original models and incorporate new ideas that honor the intent of the original pieces.

10:45 – 11:45 AM  Uke It Up  (Kris Gilbert)

Participants will learn how to put together a ukulele ensemble, how to choose and rehearse repertoire, how to enhance performances and how to put it all together.  This hands-on session will leave you inspired to start your own ukulele ensemble!  BRING A UKE!

2:30-3:30 PM Puppet Fun in K-5 Music  (Kelly Grace)

Discover the many exciting ways puppets can be used in K-5 music! From singing games, storytelling and assessment to choral conducting and rhythmic improvisation, the possibilities are too many to mention.  What better way to meet the standards than with the help of a few furry friends!

Middle/High School Classroom Music Sessions

Friday, December 6, 2019

8:15 AM  Beyond The Ensemble: The High School General Music Experience (Jen Rafferty)

All students should graduate as knowledgeable producers and consumers of music.  The HS general music class might be the last chance for students who are not in ensembles to participate in music during school.  Come discuss best practices and challenges, including assessments, flipped classroom, rock music and 21st century skills.

10:45-11:45 AM Pickin’ and Grinnin’ With Ukulele (Jill Reese)

Use classic guitar riff from folk, pop and rock tunes to learn finger picking on the ukulele.  Play simple melodic lines and shred riffs with the original artists on the uke.  Simple strategies to scaffold a variety of learners (for you and the students).  Bring a uke or borrow one.

1:15-2:15 PM Fostering Musical Identity in Middle School General Music (Jen Rafferty)

Middle school general music can sometimes be a challenge.  When we are developmentally responsive to the cognitive, social and emotional needs of our adolescent students, we can create a more accessible and relevant experience.  Your students will discover their inner musician and continue on the path of life-long music-making,

7:00-8:00 PM Assessing and Teaching to All Levels in the Music Classroom (Kim Burke)

Classroom music contains students of all ability levels.  Learners range from Life Skills to advanced individuals.  How do you instruct students without losing children to the left and right of the bell curve? I will share some ideas of using unique assessments, including Mastery Learning, to help accomplish that goal.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

9:30-10:30 AM  Hip Hop in the General Music Classroom- Do I Have To?  (Kim Burke)

Keeping your classroom music student engaged can be a challenge.  Listening to music your students like can be daunting and sometimes painful.  This presentation will show you ways to incorporate today’s music and make it work with your curriculum.

1:15-2:15 PM  Get Them Playing: Developing a Successful Ukulele Program (Rachael Sanguinetti)

The ukulele is a fantastic teaching tool for students of all ages.  This session will explore how to develop a thriving ukulele program at your school and how to get students performing their favorite popular songs and creating new compositions within just a few classes.

We welcome session proposal submissions for future conferences!  To download a proposal form, click the link below:

Session Proposal Form

The goals of the CMC are:

  • to promote the importance and value of classroom music in music programs and schools of New York State
  • to serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas and the development of activities
  • to coordinate and support the efforts and activities of classroom music teachers and students
  • to improve the quality, scope and effectiveness of classroom music instruction.

The CMC meets its goals through activities including…

Exemplary classroom music sessions for Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School, and High School music teachers at Winter Conference and Summer Conferences

Statewide series of Regional Workshops and other in-service opportunities for teachers on important classroom music topics;

Classroom Music PEAK Festivals and other opportunities for New York State students;

Collaborative work with the State Education Department on initiatives related to standards, assessment, and resources for classroom music instruction.

For further information and assistance, please contact the Chairperson, Kerry Mero, or a member of the Classroom Music Committee.

Classroom Music Committee

What Resources are Available from the CMC?

Our newest publication, NY Sings! A Song List For and By New Yorkers, was published in the April 2016 issue of the School Music News.  Click here to read more about it!


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