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Abby Butler


It’s hard to believe that this issue of the Michigan Music Educator is our last for the 2015-2016 academic year. Nonetheless, it’s mid- April and spring has sprung, at least according to the calendar if not the weather, attended by assorted holidays, annual concerts, festivals, and a very welcome spring break. Recharged, we return to our classrooms ready to wrap up a productive and rewarding academic year. It’s also that time of year when thoughts of summer start to percolate and we begin to make notes to ourselves about “next year”. As you do so, take the opportunity to read through the articles prof- fered in this issue of the MME.


There is something for everyone. Rather than a “prix fixe” menu of articles on a single topic, you’ll find a veritable smorgasbord of “dishes”. Our “a la carte” menu presents a variety of offerings for your intellectual consumption. I be- lieve you’ll find in this issue a healthy, balanced “diet” filled with nourishing and fulfilling “food for thought”. If it’s true that we are what we eat, you can look forward to a good read that both stimulates and refreshes.


This issue contains column articles written specifically for early childhood, choral, and instrumental music educators. Yet the content readily applies across our specialized areas. For example, Jennifer Bailey poses the ques- tion: “What if we gave our youngest students the opportunity to listen and audiate (thinking and understanding musical sounds) in music class before we expected them to make musical sounds”? Her article, Building Young Children’s Music “Vocabulary” through Audiation, cor- relates the acquisition of audiation with that of language learning. Emphasizing sound before sight is just as important for older students as it is for younger ones.


Dorothy McDonald, in her article The Art of Musical Gesturing, addresses stage deportment and other unspoken traditions practiced by mu- sicians in various performance venues around the world. She urges teachers to introduce these practices early on. Doing so provides a way of enculturating a new generation of perform- ers into our field. While McDonald’s article is featured in the instrumental column, it most certainly applies to all musicians. Likewise, Chuck Norris’s article, Revisiting the Aesthetic End of Music Education, while written for the choral column offers take aways for all music educators. Norris writes about the importance


of providing our students with opportunities for developing “feelingful” or “emotive” responses to the music performed in class or on stage. In today’s educational climate engendering such responses from our students are more important than ever.


Music educator and researcher Edwin Gordon holds a special place in the hearts of Michigan teachers. In our feature article MSU professor Cynthia Crump-Taggart pays homage to Dr. Gordon and his inestimable contributions to the profession. A student, colleague, and close friend of Gordon’s, Crump-Taggart’s tribute is eloquent, personal and heartfelt. My personal acquaintance with Dr. Gordon’s work has been limited to articles and books by him and about him. Yet, Crump-Taggart’s words kindled an understanding of and appreciation for this giant among men. Edwin E. Gordon: September 27, 1927-December 2, 2015 by Cynthia Crump- Taggart is a must read for every Michigan music teacher.


Charlotte Anderson reflects on the challenges (and rewards) of teaching general music in rural New Mexico. Many Michigan music teachers will relate to Anderson’s experience as de- scribed in her article, Reflections on Teaching Music in a Rural School. In fact, Anderson’s article serves as a companion piece to Christine Dodge’s article, It Takes a Village: Band Life in a Small Town, published in the Fall 2015 issue of the MME. Although James Borst’s article is featured in the Collegiate Column, his advice applies to all music teachers. In Strategies for effective teaching: What does it mean to be a leader in music class? Borst proffers a “menu” of leadership traits. Whether reading about these qualities for the first time or revisiting them as experienced music teachers Borst’s suggestions provide “food for thought” intended to inspire.


I hope you will partake of our “smorgasbord” and remind you that previous issues of the Michigan Music Educator are readily acces- sible through our website: http://www.mmeam- ichigan.org/. Your colleagues have generously shared their insights and experiences on music teaching and learning and I encourage you to catch up on your reading as time permits. I wish you a restful summer with time to pursue all those things that bring you joy.


Abby Butler Editor, Michigan Music Educator


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From the Editor


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