Teacher Interviews

Mrs. Matzen

-Elementary music teacher at a private school in Savannah, GA

-Incorporating Reading and Writing

=Word chains with rhythm

=Programs based on books

=Put words on the board, but take some words away

=Relate form to poetry

=Rhymes in songs

=Sometimes uses textbooks for 1st and 5th grade, but not often

-Assessment: All informal

=Listening and review games

=Students' grades are based on behavior and participation

-Other Advice

=Have lesson plans prepared at least one week in advance

=Type good lesson plans

=Always have a seating chart

=Beginning and ending routines are very important

=Observe and go to workshops now

Mr. Barclift

-Middle school band teacher at a public school in New Port, North Carolina

-Incorporating Reading and Writing

=Teaching students to read music is similar to teaching reading- Uses similar vocabulary and techniques

=Sometimes has students write in journals at the beginning of class while listening to music

=Method books are his textbooks

-Assessment: Formal and Informal

=Written and playing tests

=Informal- Listening and constantly sampling individuals and small groups for comprehension and improvement


= Mr. Barclift believes reading and writing can definitely be taught in a music classroom, as long as the administration allows it to happen within the confines of the music curriculum. He does not believe it is beneficial to force assignments that do not relate directly to music curriculum, because it diminishes the importance of music.

Other Teachers

-Elementary music teachers



=Composer reports

+Teaches process of researching and formal writing

+Does not engage students


In general, music teachers seem to struggle with incorporating reading and writing into their classrooms. They know it is important (and required) but they struggle with the execution. It seems to be easier in an elementary setting when there is not so much focus and emphasis on performance.