When the final bell for the school year rings, I am good and ready for a break. I usually take about a week or two to let my brain clear out the cobwebs and reflect on the past year. Then, I'm ready for professional development and planning for the following school year.
A large portion of my summer has always been dedicated to graduate courses and/or music education workshops. This year is a little bit different, as I am both attending an Orff-Schulwerk masterclass, and teaching pedagogy at The American Kodály Institute. In addition to all the face-time I plan to spend with my mentors and colleagues, I am so excited to finally sit down with a few books on my "to-read" shelf. Some of these I've read in full, some I have gotten into a few chapters, and one or two I haven't creased a page. Here's what I'm reading this summer!
(psst! Click on the title for the link to buy.)
This gem is actually out of print, so I was beyond thrilled when my Amazon stalking efforts paid off and I found a reasonably priced copy. As a Kodály inspired teacher (among other approaches), this is a must-have. Although I've read a few of these writings here or there, I am so ready to sit down and finally sift through my very own copy.
This book was published after I completed my Orff-Schulwerk training, but I personally think it is one of the most concise and accessible books on the Orff approach out there. Jane Frazee is an extraordinary pedagog and explains the approach and practical applications beautifully. If you aren't familiar with Orff-Schulwerk and are looking for a great starting point, I highly recommend this book! (Among others--but that is a completely different post!)
I was first introduced to Laban during my first level of Orff-Schulwerk, and in the same summer during a Dalcroze workshop. I have had this book on my shelf for forever and am really excited to finally dive in! Movement is my jam, and my presenting partner in crime, Kristin, and I are presenting a few movement workshops this year. It's one of those subjects I feel like the more I know, the more I realize I don't know--so it's time to keep absorbing.
This was required reading for one of my graduate courses, and it is an absolutely amazing resource. These three ladies are absolutely amazing educators and have put together a comprehensive resource that covers every area of singing with young children you can think of. If you want more information, check out Aileen Miracle's review on her blog!
I, admittedly, have only fully read two chapters of this book so far. One, by one of the editors Brent Gault, on The Kodály Approach (which will be required reading for pedagogy students at AKI!) and the other on Music Learning Theory by Cynthia Taggart during a GIML course I took last summer. With those two pedagogs alone in the table of contents you should be sold. But trust me when I tell you that this book is a must have. Each and every approach and thought regarding general music teaching and learning is touched upon in this book.
What has struck me so far about the authors and editors of this text is the care and respect they give to the many different approaches, issues, and viewpoints that exist in the elementary music world. These chapters explore approaches in an accessible, welcoming, and open-minded fashion, recognizing that there is more than one way to be a music teacher. As someone who identifies with a variety of different "camps" on the elementary music spectrum, this text is incredibly refreshing. I can't wait to read more!
Anything that is fun for YOU!
It's easy to get caught up in what we "should" be doing over the summer months. Completing clock hours, prepping for the following academic year, and professional development are high on the list for all of us type A music educators. But take a couple weeks and read something for fun, that you enjoy, and that doesn't require highlighters or notes in the margins.
Admittedly, taking a break is incredibly difficult for me, but I do have a couple of pink covers and an adirondack chair with my name on it for those couple weeks of pure summer.
What are you reading this summer? Did any of these make your list?