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Elementary Music Links



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Cross-curricular Composition

Advanced Elementary Music Pedagogy

Alias AEMP




MUSI 5343



"Music is a category of social meaning" -- Kingsbury


Syllabus     Canvas Help    Assignments     Discussions     Writing     APA


Note:   This is an organic document!  It will change. 

You are responsible for what is on this page, not a copy you made at the beginning of the course.




Week #

Week Dates

Topics for Study



@ Midnight



@ Midnight

1 Aug 20-22Introduction

Discussion 1

Completion grade

Post: Fri Aug 21

Resp.: Sat Aug 22

Assignment 1


Sat Aug 22
2 Aug 23-29The Big Three

Discussion 2

Post: Fri Aug 28

Resp.: Sat Aug 29

Assignment 2


Sat Aug 29
3 Aug 30-Sep 5Other Pedagogies

Discussion 3

Post: Fri Sep 4

Resp.: Sat Sep 5

Assignment 3


Sat Sep 5
4 Sep 6-12Curriculum and Outcomes

Discussion 4

Completion grade

Post: Fri Sep 11

Resp.: Sat Sep 12

Assignment 4


Sat Sep 12
5 Sep 13-19Policy and Advocacy

Discussion 5

Post: Fri Sep 18

Resp.: Sat Sep 19

Assignment 5


Sat Sep 19
6 Sep 20-26Creating

Discussion 6

Completion grade

Post: Fri Sep 25

Resp.: Sat Sep 26

Assignment 6

Approval of song content/no grade

Sat Sep 26
7 Sep 27-Oct 3Final Project

Discussion 7

Composition Critiques

Post: Fri Oct 2

Resp.: Sat Oct 3

Assignment 7

Composition PDF

Sat Oct 3
8 Oct 4-8Final Project

Discussion 8


Post: Fri Oct 7


Assignment 8

Composition recording

Thu Oct 7







Week 1 


Greetings graduate students!  


Welcome to Advanced Elementary Music Pedagogy 


Please follow the link to review the Syllabus which contains grading and policy information.  Let me know if you have any questions.  Unless they refer to personal matters or grading issues, a good place to ask questions is the "Ask Dr. J" section in the Discussion forum in Canvas.  If you need a quick answer to your question, email me at



Please read these instructions about the Discussions

Even if you have read these before, read them again!


On this Course Outline page, you will find links to the lectures for each week, as well as any general announcements to the class.   The animated bullets to the right will designate "action" items, so be sure you accomplish these each week.  There is an overview calendar at the top of this page for quick reference. 


Be aware that this is an organic document.  It WILL change.  You are responsible for what is on this page, not a hard copy that you printed off in the first week of the course.




If you come across mistakes in the web pages in this course or dead links, I would appreciate it if you would let me know!



For those of you taking this course who have never taught at the elementary level, I would say two things:

  1. How fortunate you are to get this glimpse inside the development of music in young humans; and

  2. It would be very beneficial to you to have some extended conversations with someone who does teach at that level.  Those who have been in those trenches will have insight that you don't.  Picking the brain of one of these super heroes (I mean elementary music teachers) will help you on your discussion posts and assignments and generally open your perspective with regard to many issues in this course.



Now, click in to the first lecture, and let's get started!


Lecture:  Introduction to Advanced Elementary Music Pedagogy

Every assignment in this course will be a writing assignment.  Please make yourself VERY familiar with the information on the following page links:


APA Formatting




Make a list of every correction you get on every assignment.

Then use that list to check your next paper. It will save you many points!






Chapter 1:  The Multiple Meanings of Music for Children

Chapter 2:  From Theory to Practice in Teaching Music to Children


Assignment 1

After completing the reading assignment and going over the lecture for this week, please write a one page (seriously, just ONE page) paper that answers this question:


What should all children be able to do, musically, as a result of an elementary music education?

Please limit your reference to elementary age, before entering secondary schools. Refer to "do," not what they have learned or know.  Limit your response to the musical result, not ancillary effects. Therefore, address what a 5th grader should be capable of - what he/she would be able to do musically after completing 5th grade.


Now for the details!  Use this template, which sets margins and spacing, and provides a title page according to APA style.  Include a reference page if your writing requires it (if you have used any citations).  After you have written your paper, be sure to review the Writing page and the APA Style page to ensure that you have applied all of these details to your paper.


Note:  I do not ask for a one page paper so it will be short.  I ask for a one page paper so your writing will be concise.  How do you do that?  Write your first draft with as many pages as it takes to answer the question and to make your point.  That might be 2 or 3 pages.  Then go back and take out all unnecessary words and phrases that do not add to meaning.


For example, here is a weak sentence:

It is a matter of the gravest possible importance to the health of anyone with a history of a problem with disease of the heart that he or she should avoid the sort of foods with a high percentage of saturated fats.


Corrected sentence:

Anyone with a history of heart disease should avoid saturated fats.

(Heffernan and Lincoln, 1996, p. 55)


Refer to this link to pare down your sentences after writing the long version:

Writing Concise Sentences

I will be grading you on the quality of your ideas that will fit on one page, so use your words wisely!


Submit this paper in Word document form to "Assignment 1" in Canvas.  Name the file Assignment1_YourName (substituting your name, or course ;-)


Warning:  Before submitting your assignment, go through your paper and take out every reference to what the 5th grader should know or understand at the end of 5th grade.  I only want to know what they should be able to do.

Also, to avoid assuming that the 5th grader is just being prepared for 6th grade band/choir/orchestra, picture a single student who has just finished 5th grade.  She does not plan to be in band/choir/orchestra.  This is the end of her formal music education.  At this point, after having a complete elementary music education, what should she be able to do?  What skills does she have that will allow her to be a life-long musician?

Finally, do not copy the TEKS or the National Standards.  If you refer to those skills, put them into a practical narrative that anyone might understand.

Discussion 1


For the first discussion, introduce yourself to your classmates.  Include the following:

  • Your current position:  Are you teaching?  If so, where?  If not, what are you doing?

  • Give a summary of your undergraduate preparation in elementary music education.  Were you prepared to teach on that level upon graduation?  Whether you teach elementary music now, have done so in the past, or have never had the pleasure, speak to your training in that area, if any. 

  • What advice would you give to a brand new elementary music teacher?

  • Personal information that you would like to share, such as family, hobbies, future plans, or any other interesting facts about you.  Remember, some of you have been around for a while, but some may be taking this as their first course in the program!

This first discussion will be graded only for completion.  I look forward to learning more about you!


Week 2


Did you get all of your feedback from last week's assignment?  Be sure to click on the audio link for a media comment while you follow along with the yellow highlights on your paper.


OK, on to the next topic:


A method or a pedagogy is a way of teaching based upon an underlying philosophy. 

The way those objectives are met will be based upon that philosophy.


Here are 3 different philosophies for three types of schools:


1.  Philosophy:  The most talented students need special training to maximize their gifts

     Objective: To search for the most talented music students and help them achieve their potential

     Method:  ?


2.  Philosophy:  Every child deserves the opportunity to develop musically

     Objective:  To ensure that every student receives a solid music education

     Method:  ?


3.  Philosophy:   Students should choose according to preference

     Objective: To provide music classes to those who want to participate in music

     Method:  ?


In this week's lecture, we will cover three very important and effective pedagogies used in elementary music.


Lecture:  The Big Three







Avoid using we, our, us, etc. 

Do not include your reader as a character in your writing.


Chapter 3:  Methods of Teaching Music to Children


Assignment 2

After you have explored the Kodaly, Orff-Schulwerk, and Jaques-Dalcroze methods in detail, find 3 YouTube (or comparable) videos that demonstrate each of the Big Three (9 videos in all).  Try to find videos that include actual children, rather than training videos using adults.


Use this template and write 1 or 2 pages on each method that demonstrates your knowledge of the pedagogy and your understanding of how the method is actualized in the videos.  Use examples from the videos to explain the success or lack thereof (depends on the video!) of the method in meeting the objective of the children you are observing.  However, don't fill your paper with a play-by-play of the entire video.  The basis of your paper should be the process of the pedagogy, using examples from the videos when appropriate.  If you find that a video is not a good example of one of the pedagogies, choose another one.


Please include all 9 web links in your paper.  You can just list 3 after each section (no need to use a formal reference page).


Note:  The title of your paper could be

Kodaly, Orff-Schulwerk, and Jaques-Dalcroze: The Big Three

The shortened title in the running head could be


Use headings for each individual pedagogy.  Those are centered and bold (see your APA manual).  Include an introduction and conclusion in your paper.


Before submitting Assignment 2 in Canvas, submit the paper to Turnitin

Class ID 17053178

Enrollment key TSUMM


Please review this Turnitin link before submitting.

Please look at your report. I

Discussion 2


After reading the scenario on p. 68 and this week's lecture, support one of the following statements:

[If you have the 3rd edition of the textbook, here is the p. 68 scenario]

  1. In order to be an effective elementary music teacher, one must be sufficiently trained in one of the proven music pedagogies.

  2. It is possible, and even preferable to have a personal pedagogy, deriving elements from more than one or several pedagogical systems without having formal training beyond a college degree in any one.

  3. Elementary music as it is taught today is old-fashioned and out of step with the culture that the students live in.  Music pedagogy should reflect that.

Note:  When I say "support," that means with outside reading, research results, experts' writing, etc. - not just with your opinion.  Consider this more of a formal debate than a casual conversation.  If you were a prosecutor or a defense attorney, you would not get very far on just your opinion.  You would produce documentation and expert witnesses.  Let your "support" be of that type.


See the rubric in the Discussion section for point values.  The sooner you post your original answer, the more points you get.  The deadline for all responses is Saturday at midnight.


Answer the question by Friday (midnight) and post responses to your peers by Saturday (midnight). Refer to the Discussion rubric and remember that you receive more points for posting earlier than Friday.


Please review all instructions about the Discussions before posting.






Week 3



Lecture: Other Methods





Heads up!:
Your final project in this course will be to write a children's song.  There will be more info on this later, but here is the link to the specifics so you can begin thinking about it and being inspired! 

However, don't start working on it until you get your topic approved.  You can do that at any time by sending me an email at The completed song will be due at the end of Week 7.

Composition Assignment





Always have a concluding paragraph or section.


State your position

Why does this matter?

Leave your reader with closure of your purpose


This week's lecture identifies other pedagogies used in elementary music education.  On the TSU library page use the "Discovery @Tarleton" search blank and do some research on each one.  You will get plenty of results!  Read until you have a good understanding of each of these methods.


Assignment 3

After reading about the other methods in the lecture and learning more about them from the TSU library page, use this template and write a paper that addresses these points:


  • Explain briefly the premise of each method.

  • Give your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses (advantages and disadvantages) of each of the "other methods" that are listed on this week's lecture page.

  • Support your view with specifics and examples related to elementary music, not just your opinion of what you like and don't like.  If a music educator were to choose a method based upon your review, would they be able to make an informed choice?


Before submitting Assignment 3 in Canvas, submit the paper to Turnitin


Discussion 3

Considering the fact that a large majority of students receive little or no musical education past elementary school, which of the methods from this week's study would be the most useful toward giving the students the tools to become lifelong musicians?  Be specific in your support of the pedagogies from this week's lecture list and back it up with the reading you have done.


Answer the question by Friday (midnight) and post responses to your peers by Saturday (midnight). Refer to the Discussion rubric and remember that you receive more points for posting earlier than Friday.


Please review all instructions about the Discussions before posting.


Week 4



This may be a bit backwards, but let's talk about what to teach

after we have studied how to teach:



Lecture: Curriculum and Outcomes







Always consult the literature (scholarly papers) before writing a paper.  Unless the discussion or assignment prompt is "What is your opinion?", the objective is to study the topic first and then synthesize that learning into an informed result. This does not mean Googling. Go to the library link and search there.




Chapter 12:  Curriculum Design

Chapter 14:  Music in an Integrated Curriculum

Chapter 15:  Music, Children, and Cultural Diversity


Assignment 4

In 2014, a committee from the College Music Society filed a report entitled "Transforming Music Study from its Foundations:  A Manifesto for Progressive Change in the Undergraduate Preparation of Music Majors."  If implemented, their ideas could have significant impact on elementary music education.  After all, what our music majors are taught will have a direct impact on the way they teach in the field.


Read this document and use this template  to answer the following questions?


1.  If implemented, how would music education for music education majors change?

2.  If implemented, how would music education for elementary music students change?


Before submitting Assignment 4 in Canvas, submit the paper to Turnitin


Discussion 4


Name 20 songs that all children should know.  This is a tough one!  There are definitely many different cultural and pedagogical considerations, but if you could only teach 20 songs to every child in America, what would they be.  List your 20 and support your choices.  (Use only songs the children would learn to sing, not instrumental pieces.)


This discussion will be graded only for completion, but I expect you to put some thought into it!



Week 5


Maybe we should have started here?


Lecture:  Policy and Advocacy


Remember that you can get a head start on your final project by choosing a title and two content areas.  Check out the Composition Assignment  for details and send me an email at to get approval for your topic before beginning. The completed song will be due at the end of Week 7.





Avoid referring to yourself as "the author" or "this author."  Use "I" when it is appropriate.  Otherwise, revise your sentence. When is it appropriate?  In research, when you are describing the steps you took in the process, or in the conclusion/discussion section of your paper, when your opinion or judgment is relevant.  If you're not sure, revise your sentence.





Chapter 13:  Assessment and Evaluation

Assignment 5

Use this template and write a paper about this scenario.


It is September.  You are an elementary music teacher and see your students for 30 minutes twice a week.  You would like to see your students at least every other day.  At the end of the school year in May, you plan to propose to your principal a new schedule of music classes.  Your principal is a "bottom line" sort of person.  You have always informally assessed your students for competency and understanding, but during this school year, you intend to quantify their progress.  You want to make a case at the end of the year that your students need more music time.  What quantifiable assessments can you implement from September through May that will show your students' progress and make your case for adding more music time?  Be very specific.  Remember, your principal respects facts, and not particularly your opinion or passion.  I will score this assignment based on whether I believe that your principal might be convinced at the end of your assessments in May. Outline your plan of what specifically will be assessed, how it will be assessed, and why it will matter to the principal. You will need to do some reading to prepare, and not just in the textbook.


Note: To clarify, this is a plan for assessment. I suggest you use National/state standards. You will not propose more time to your principal until you have completed your assessment "next May." How will you gather quantitative data during the coming school year that will prove to your principal (next May) that you cannot meet standards without more time?


Before submitting Assignment 5 in Canvas, submit the paper to Turnitin

Discussion 5

Standardized testing (for all its bad press) has also forced teachers and administrators to get very serious about each child's progress in elementary school.  What would it be like if standardized tests for music were mandated?  Would it help or hurt music education at the elementary level.  Discuss the potential positive and negative consequences.  Your answer will be incomplete if you pursue only one side of the issue. Support your answers and be specific. Again, do not just give your opinion. Support it with data and facts.


Answer the question by Friday (midnight) and post responses to your peers by Saturday (midnight). Refer to the Discussion rubric and remember that you receive more points for posting earlier than Friday.


Please review all instructions about the Discussions before posting.



Week 6

Lecture: Creating


Now it's time for you to create!


Remember the "Heads Up" from Week 3?

Now is the time to get started on that. 


This week as Assignment 6, you will  submit your topic information and start working on the composition.

Next week, as Discussion 7, you will post your song (Tues - Fri) as your original Discussion post.


For your responses, your classmates will critique your songs and offer suggestions for revision.


Make your revisions as you see fit and then

Next week, as Assignment 7, submit your completely revised song by Saturday midnight.


Here are the Composition requirements!


Check out this link for more useful tips:




Note:  If you have written a song in the past, you are not allowed to use it for this assignment.  You are on your honor to produce an original assignment.





Chapter 10:  The Creating Child

Assignment 6


Submit your song title, and both content areas in the submission box for Assignment 6.  If you have already gotten your song approved earlier, just state that in the submission box so I will know that you have completed the assignment. Start working on your cross-curriculum composition as soon as your topic is approved. 


You will not turn it in this week.  However, your discussion assignment next week will be to post your composition for your classmates to critique.  You will post your song sometime between Tues and Fri (extra credit for posting early!)  Your classmates will critique your song and you will have until Saturday to revise it before submitting it as Assignment #7 next week.  Clear as mud?  (Just read it again ;-)


Discussion 6

For your original post, submit:

  1. The title of your composition (Example:  "The Flea")

  2. The musical concept you will emphasize (Example:  an octave leap)

  3. The cross-curricular subject area you will write about (Example: Biology - facts about a flea)

Read the Composition requirements. Respond to your classmates with comments and suggestions.  What advice can you give?  Do you foresee difficulties with the content or concepts?  This assignment will be graded for completion only.








Week 7



No lecture this week!


Time to create some




  1. Your song should be complete and posted as a PDF in the Discussion forum as early as possible (by Tuesday).

  2. Critique your assigned classmates' songs as early as possible (by Friday).



You will all have time to revise your songs before turning them in before midnight on Saturday.





  1.  Haley Wicks    
  2.  Juliana Barnett    
  3.  Ken Sarmiento    
  4.  Jessica Kundert    
  5.  Carissa Cromer    
  6.  Devin Davis    
  7.  Derim Ademoglu    
  8.  Max Bednarchik    
  9.  Nathan Hamilton    
10.  Matthew Asebedo    
11.  Michael Lehew    
12.  Travis Campbell    






Assignment 7

Submit your completely revised Cross-curriculum Composition.  You may use any notation program (nothing hand-written), but when you are finished, save your composition as a PDF file.  Name your file Yourname_Composition.pdf

If you have questions about converting your file, call the help desk for assistance.


Please review the Composition requirements before submitting this assignment. I will grade this assignment and Assignment 8 at the same time, so don't worry if you don't see a grade in the gradebook right away.


Discussion 7

Attach a PDF file of your Cross-curriculum Composition as your original post.  You may use any notation program (nothing hand-written), but when you are finished, save your composition as a PDF file.  (If you don't, your fellow classmates may not be able to open it).  Name your file Yourname_Composition.pdf  If you have questions about converting your file, call the help desk for assistance.


For your responses, critique the compositions of the three classmates whose names follow yours (see list to the left).  If one of the names on your list has not posted by Friday midnight, feel free to drop down to the next name.  Three is the minimum, but feel free to offer comments to as many as you like.  It would be beneficial to your own compositional process to view as many of these as possible. I will not score your original post, but will give you the same rating on both original and responses based on the critique of the responses.


Refer to the Composition requirements before offering your critique.  Your critiques should include comments regarding usability, teachability, and even formatting!


See the rubric in the Discussion section for point values.  The sooner you post your original answer, the more points you get.  The deadline for all responses is Saturday at midnight.


Note:  These critiques are time sensitive if they are to be of any use to your classmates.  If all critiques could be posted by Friday midnight, all of you would have time to revise accordingly before the deadline to turn in your composition!


Please review all instructions about the Discussions before posting.


Since these are all original compositions with no copyrights, it is traditional to share these compositions among music educators, so unless there are objections, you may find some excellent cross-curricular compositions that you can use in your own teaching or share with your elementary music specialist colleagues, so take the opportunity to view them all!


Week 8


According to Scott Shuler:

Independent music literacy can be defined as the ability to carry out the three artistic processes in music. These three, Shuler says, are:


  1. composing and improvising—the two standards least addressed in music education because so few music educators have ever been engaged in them themselves;

  2. performing existing (and practically always notated) music with interpretation (the kind of music we overwhelmingly favor); and

  3. responding to music with understanding, as an informed consumer or audience member.




No reading this week.  I hope you will take the time at some point to look over the chapters we did not cover in your textbook.  There is some very practical information in there!

Assignment 8

Record your song.  If you have a child (children) or currently teach children, it would be particularly appropriate to record them singing your song.  If you don't have access to children, feel free to sing the song yourself.  I prefer you do not delegate that to someone else.  You're a musician, right?  Be sure to include your accompaniment in your recording. Upload your song to SoundCloud (instructions are on the Composition page).  Paste the link in the Assignment 8 submission space. Please also upload the pdf of your completed composition. Also paste the link in the discussion forum after your course reflection.


Discussion 8

Please take this opportunity to share with me and your classmates your reflections regarding this semesters' coursework, the master's program in general, and anything we can do to improve your learning experience as you continue in the program.


Don't forget to paste your SoundCloud link at the end of your discussion post!


This discussion will not be graded, but your participation will be of value to the faculty to continue to improve our program.  Specifics are appreciated.  Thank you for your feedback!



Remember that I have to post grades on Friday, so this week's assignment deadline is Thursday, Oct. 7 at midnight!!! 






Computer Configuration


Be sure and configure your computer BEFORE you need to submit an assignment.  If you have trouble submitting, call tech support. 


For tech problems and questions, call 254/968-1960.  Toll free number is 1-866-744-8900 (Option 3).

Your student fees pay for this service, so CALL THEM!  Post the number by your computer and utilize these experts.  They can remote into your  computer if need be.  Don't be frustrated.  Call them.


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Monday - Thursday8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday2:00 pm - 10:00 pm


If you need help with Canvas, a representative is available to assist you 24/7!

Assignment Submission


Submit assignments as  specified in the Course Outline.  Sometimes assignments will be requested as Word documents (to be uploaded as attachments) and other times to be submitted directly into the submission blank.  Do not try to submit any document without saving it first.  Be sure and save it to a folder where you can retrieve it later.  Sometimes resubmissions are necessary.


Save the document as Assignment1_YourName.doc (substituting the correct week and correct assignment number and using your own name :-)


Use APA style on every assignment.  This refers to all formatting.  Use the templates for assignments when included.


Occasionally your assignments may be returned to you for a redo or for revisions.  Make your corrections and resubmit through the Assignment section as before.


1.       Frere Jacque (10)

2.       Star Spangled Banner (8)

3.       Row, Row, Row Your Boat (8)

4.       Head and Shoulder, Knees, and Toes (7)

5.       If You’re Happy and You Know It (7)

6.       The ABC Song (6)

7.       The Itsy Bitsy Spider (6)

8.       Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (5)

9.       Mary Had a Little Lamb (5)

10.   Old McDonald (5)

11.   Sakura (5)

12.   The Hokey Pokey (4)

13.   My Country ‘Tis of Thee (4)

14.   America the Beautiful (4)

15.   Simple Gifts (4)

16.   Kookaburra (3)

17.   Amazing Grace (3)

18.   Dona Nobis Pacem (3)

19.   Hickory Dickory Dock (3)

20.   The Wheels on the Bus (3)

21.   Happy Birthday (3)

22.   BINGO (3)

23.   Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (3)

24.   Texas, Our Texas (3)


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Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson


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