Archive for the ‘Music’ Category


NEI Course Opportunity

February 12, 2016

EDPO 540: Refining Assessment in the Music Classroom
You may be grappling with the following questions:

  • How do I reach every student in my music classes?
  • How is it possible to assess every student in my ensemble?
  • What kind of assessments should I be using?
  • What does a proficiency-based music class look like?
  • How do I convert from grades to a rubric?

You can get answers to these and other questions in an ONLINE course by the New England Institute for Teacher Education and taught by Maine music educator, Jake Sturtevant.  You can take this course for 3 graduate credits or 4.5 Continuing Education Units.

Jacob-at-piano-007emRefining Assessment in the Music Classroom, K-12, March 4 through June 10, 2016

“You may already know Jake Sturtevant, music educator at Bonny Eagle High School.  Jake is an excellent educator, and is a teacher leader for the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative.  The New England Institute has hired Jake because of his excellent knowledge, leadership and expertise.  Jake has now taught graduate level courses to music educators in elementary, middle and high school and to pre-service teachers.  He has helped so many educators navigate the often confusing and tedious process of moving toward proficiency based learning in the music class. And, because every school district handles it differently, he tailors the course to meet your individual needs.”  Catherine Ring, Ex. Director, NEI

Please join Jake and other colleagues in this ONLINE course.  CLICK HERE to register.


Football or Music?

February 8, 2016

Super Bowl 50 is history

The Sunday football game is over and once again the commercials and the music were powerful components of the event. The highlight for me? Seeing the young people from the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, the ensemble founded and directed by Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel, performing alongside Coldplay.

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Coldplay practicing with the students for the Super Bowl half time performance.

Youth Orchestra Los Angeles was founded in 2007 and now serves more than 700 students in the Los Angeles area. Kids between the ages of 6 and 18 take lessons, participate in orchestral ensembles and receive mentoring and academic tutoring at sites in South Los Angeles, the Rampart District and East Los Angeles. The program also supplies free instruments to students who participate. How cool that they had a chance to be part of Super Bowl 50!

Along with the excitement of student musicians in this blog post I also want to share an article that was in Education Week online in June 2015. It is called Football or Music? What’s the Best K-12 Investment? and was written by John R. Gerdy. He looked closely at the use of funds for football and music in schools. His conclusions are based on his own experiences. He is the founder and executive director of Music For Everyone, a non-profit dedicated to cultivating the power of music as an educational and community building tool. He was the son of a high school football coach and was an all-state basketball player and went on to play professional basketball. His conclusions are based on his experiences and research.

The reality of communities and school boards having to make tough decisions about spending is nothing new. About 5 years ago I asked a superintendent, that I had been working with for several years, how he made his decisions when it came to cutting funding in creating the school budget. His response was that it was equal between sports and the arts. I was shocked and said: “Why would you look at a program that is outside of the school day up against courses that are taught during the school day?” My shock turned around when he said: “I never thought about that.”

Mr. Gerdy points out in the article that very few people go on after high school and play football yet many continue with music. Please read the article to learn what Mr. Gerdy has to say on the topic.



January 30, 2016

High School rock off

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 7.17.44 PMThe Maine Academy of Modern Music is excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2016 MAMM SLAM – Maine’s High School Rock Off! Click here to learn more and register:

For more details or to register, visit (until March 4th). The preliminary round will be held on April 9th at Bayside Bowl and the finals will be held on May 14th at the Portland House of Music & Events.

The competition is open to both solo performers and full bands.  The winners have a crack at $1000, sponsored by the Rusty Rocket Music Fund, along with coveted recording time, radio appearances, plum gigs, a tour of Gateway Mastering, and college scholarships to the Maine College of Art (MECA) of up to $16,000 per year to each member of the winning band.  Awesome, right?

The MAMM SLAM is generously sponsored by, Coffee By Design,, State Theatre, Crooked Cove, Gateway Mastering, Rusty Rocket Music Fund, Bayside Bowl, and Portland House of Music & Events, with support from WCYY, WBLM, Maine Magazine and WPXT-TV.


Madawaska Middle/High School

January 27, 2016

Music students create blog

The following blog post was written by Elizabeth Theriault who is a GT Music student at Madawaska Middle/High School and is one of the Gifted and Talented students at the high school. Elizabeth plans to study journalism.

Elizabeth Theriault

Elizabeth Theriault

We are the advocates, we are the voices, we are the supporters. We are the Gifted and Talented Music students of Madawaska Middle/High School.

Our blog represents all of which we want to accomplish, being students of the arts. It is focused, but not limited to promoting music and music education in our school and community. Madawaska Middle/High School has seen a serious decline in their arts programs, leaving those who are interested and/ or talented in those areas with no outlet to explore and learn. Therefore, it is our goal to try to promote the arts, including music, to build back the support it once had. It is a big job, but taking small steps, like making a blog to promote the arts of students, can add up over time.

The students behind this blog are the students that will be the voice for all painters, musicians, photographers, artists and more that want to be heard. We plan on using those voices to stir up as much support as we can. To show that the arts are important, the arts do matter, and the arts will play an important role in students lives.

Currently, our blog has numerous articles written by students themselves all about their own personal experiences with music. These articles illustrate how much music means to all of us, and we hope it inspires others so it means something to them as well.

So, our blog may be small, but we have dreams for it to grow into something that will make a difference in our lives as students today, and for many more students to come.

If you want to help us make that difference, come check out our blog at and spread the word on the importance of music and the arts in education.

This group of students work with Madawaska Middle/High School music educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Josh Bosse.


Collins Center for the Arts

January 17, 2016

UMaine Orono

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Astonishing! The Songs and Stories of Broadway’s Best at the Collins Center for the Arts on January 30th, 7:30PM.  Tickets are available here:


Bangor Symphony Orchestra

January 14, 2016

Opportunity for music

The Bangor Symphony Orchestra is excited to continue the celebration of its 120th season on Sunday, January 24 at 3 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Arts in Orono! A pre-concert talk begins at 2 p.m.

The Know Your Orchestra! voucher program encourages students to become acquainted with classical music and their home orchestra. Each voucher admits up to four children 18-and-under for just $3 each when accompanied by at least one adult. Up to two accompanying adults can receive the discounted ticket price of $13. Prices include all processing fees! The attached voucher may be used for any of the 2015-16 season Masterworks concerts. We encourage voucher holders to reserve their tickets before the concert by calling the CCA Box Office at 207.581.1755 or 1.800.622.TIXX Monday thru Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“Huge” is an understatement when describing the BSO’s January 2016 Masterworks concert. Mahler’s sprawling, thrilling Symphony No. 1 anchors a program that also includes the premiere of a new work by Lucas Richman, the Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin, and Hummel’s famous Concerto for Trumpet, featuring Pittsburgh Symphony principal trumpet George Vosburgh.

For more information about this concert, and the rest of the season, please visit our website

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Happy New Year

January 1, 2016

Impact of the Arts

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.28.07 PMPerhaps you were fortunate enough to see the annual Kennedy Center Honors earlier this week. The recipients, selected by the Center’s Board of Trustees, singer-songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa and actress and Broadway star Cicely Tyson were recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts. The primary criterion in the selection process is excellence.

“The Kennedy Center Honors recognizes the extraordinary and unparalleled talents of individuals whose impact and genius have left an indelible mark on civilization,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.48.31 PMEach of the five recipients were saluted by great performers. Aretha Franklin honored her colleague Carole King by playing the piano and singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” in an incredible performance that brought tears to President Obama and absolutely thrilled Carole King.

If you didn’t have a chance to see the show you can take a look at the video below. Listening to Aretha Franklin and watching Carole King’s excitement reminded me of the power of the Arts to touch our hearts. What a wonderful video to help ring in the new year and remind us why we are in the field of Arts education. My best wishes to you for a happy and healthy 2016!


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