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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

First Impression


I teach at a middle school where students are rotating through classes for the first time.  Our school hosts a '6th grade day' where students attend each of their classes for 5 minutes to help them practice their schedules.  This is the first 5 minutes I get with my beginners.  It can be difficult to choose what to cover in such a short amount of time.  I decided the most important thing to is create a good impression that leaves students excited for my class.   In previous years, I did a presentation about how orchestra is your 'ticket' to many amazing opportunities.  It always went really well, but I've been doing the same thing for so long...I decided to change it up.  

This year, I'm using a presentation I made at to show students their 'future fortune' in belonging to orchestra.  At the end, each student will receive a fortune cookie eraser with a custom fortune.  (I take out the fortunes that come in the eraser and create my own orchestra fortunes.)  You are use my canva template for free HERE.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Orchestra Student Binders


I decided to make binders to keep on every music stand in my classroom.  I got this idea from some awesome teachers in Georgia - shout out to Amy Clement and Sarah Ball!  

Every minute counts in an orchestra rehearsal.  By placing materials in binders, every student will have what they need.  No more hunting down music for that kid who was absent, or making a new copy of our warm-ups because somebody left theirs at home.  I'm still going to give each student a folder and music they can take home for practice, but binders will stay at school on the music stands.  

Just filled my binders today and I'm excited to use them!

Here's what I'm putting in my binders:

1. I designed a fun cover for each instrument:

2.  File tabs to separate each section:  

Part 1:  From Rote to Note - this a resource I created and my current fav. to use to get beginners started.

 Part 2:  Bornoff Primer - this is my first year using Bornoff and I'm excited to use this with my beginning and intermediate groups as warm-ups.  Available at

 Part 3: Rounds for Warm-ups - this is a resource I created and will use these for ensemble skills and warm-ups

Part 4: Fingerpattern drills - this is a resource I created for students to practice fingerpatterns on every string by key signature.

 Part 5 and 6  This is where I'll put the concert music for my beginning and intermediate classes.  (I haven't chosen music, it's empty)