I’m in a place where my lesson plans are not given to me that I have the freedom to create things as I see fit for my kids. But on the flip side of that, it’s, it’s hard when you have so many resources and you just don’t know where to start. And so I just needed some extra guidance from somebody who had the same experience as me.

Kristen Sotero

Today on the podcast, I’m talking about my signature program, The Sequencing Solution, and it’s exactly what you need in your music teacher life right now. Yes, even though the world is bananas, even though there are tons of things that we don’t know and are out of our control, the absolute most important thing for us to do is focus on what we can control and concentrate on music making experiences first and foremost.

Here’s what’s happening on this week’s episode:

Why now is the most important time to focus on your teaching practice, even though there are so many unknowns.

A conversation with Kristen Sotero, a member of my signature program. She shares her story about how it really and truly transformed her music teacher life.

A special opportunity for you to join The Sequencing Solution, before the doors close on Sunday, May 31st.

There’s a lot going on in our world right now. There’s a lot of unknown and a lot of speculation about what music teaching and our music classrooms are going to look like in the coming weeks, months, and even years. And there’s a lot of fear.

There’s a lot of what ifs, and oh noes, and we can’t possibly do that. And all of these feelings and worries are coming out of things that we first of all, don’t know for sure yet, and second of all have absolutely no control over.

The thing we do have control over? The focus of our lessons. The focus of our classroom, digital or on a cart, or otherwise. We can control what we choose to focus on as music teachers, as teacher-musicians, and we can choose intentional teaching. Just like my friend, Kristin Sotero.

I’ve just come off an amazing weekend of music teacher workshops. I absolutely love doing these Free webinars because it totally lights me up to share with other music teachers and being in community with one another. This was a super special series because it was all about lesson planning, and as I’ve mentioned before, lesson planning is the absolutely, #1 question I get asked about in all of Anacrusic-land.

And right now, the second most popular question I get asked about is anything and everything pertaining to COVID-19 and all of the adjustments that we might have to make as music teachers, and all of that good stuff. And I want to be very, very kind and caring, and sensitive to all of the struggles and all of the stresses and all of the just unknown that all of us are going through right now.

And my attitude is very much that we can only control what we can control. And for me, I can control the type of teaching environment I want to bring to my students, the type of music making I want to bring to my students, the type of musical experiences I want to bring to my students.

And what I teach is music, right? And so, particularly when it comes to like digital and distance learning conversations, my attitude has been, I am a music teacher teaching digitally, not at Digital teacher teaching music. And I really, really do think that there’s a difference and where the emphasis lies and those two different sort of titles, if you will.

So, I’m just going to be very transparent with you. My workshops this weekend and the resources I’m sharing with music teachers right now, including my signature course The Sequencing Solution is not about how to adapt your classroom for distance learning. It’s not about how to adapt your classroom for COVID-19. Because that just happens to be a situation that we’re in right now. And someday, we won’t be in it anymore, hopefully, right Fingers crossed.

I mean, things will change. I understand that I’m not naive to that things will change. Our classrooms will have different probably for forever, but there’s no way for us to control what they look like. There’s no way for us to know, and there’s a lot of speculation and a lot of panic going on right now. And I am not wanting to buy into that because like I said, there’s only so much that I can control. And what I’m going to control is being a really intentional music teacher and making sure that that is at the core of what I’m teaching.

So today, we’re chatting with a member of The Sequencing Solution, Kristen, and as you listen to her, and as you’re looking more into the program, you’re going to see that it’s all in the spirit of making music with kids, predominantly in a classroom the way we know and love it. And then some of the questions I’m sure you’ll have, and that as a community inside of the Sequencing Solution we’ll have, is how to adapt it as needed.

But the core of what we’re talking about, our total intention is going to stay the same no matter how we’re being asked to teach. And the way that I think about it is twofold. Number one, your teaching situation could change tomorrow, even if this wasn’t going on in our world, you could have your school under construction and have to be on a card, you could be in a portable, you could have your schedule completely changed and only see your kids once a week, you could only see half your kids one year and the other half the next year. There’s a million different things that are just totally totally, totally out of your control. And number two, if we keep meaningful musical experiences at the core of what we want to bring to children, if we focus on good teaching and good sequencing and having a system and a formula for what we do in the music room, it’s going to be way easier to adapt and innovate and differentiate, no matter what challenges are coming our way.

I just wanted to be really transparent with everybody, because I know that there’s a ton of professional development out in the world right now online, that’s being very, very focused toward like, distance learning and COVID-19. Like I said, and this is not specific to that challenge. This is specific to music teaching. And then we can take the information about being a really intentional music teacher, and then adapt that as needed. In whatever situation we might be asked to teach.


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