Happy New Year!! As our year gets under way, I want to take a moment and share some ideas for making it run a little smoother. We all get ridiculously busy, so I was brainstorming about how to get it all done and still enjoy my life ……and not be caught off guard when I look at the calendar and the concert is only a month away!! (because that has never happened to me)

1. Speaking of which ~ Decide all concerts for the year and brainstorm ideas
I am looking forward to our “Spring Share”. I want to collaborate with the art teacher and create an event around Modest Mussorgsky’s “Paintings at an Exhibition”. I am envisioning an art show/ auction and a concert where my students compose music inspired by their art work. I haven’t figured out all of the details yet but stay tuned!!!

2. Go through 1 bin or paper pile a day ….or week ….depending on how busy life gets!!
This is a “do a little each day” kind of thing. Theoretically, by the end of the year, your classroom (or home) will be completely organized! …theoretically….

3. Check in with your classroom teachers ~ what units are being covered
For those of you that remember, I had a lot of fun working with second graders on comparing and composing music based on “The Three Little Pigs” and “The True Story of the Three Little Pigs”. This all came about because they were going to be using those stories in their study of fairy tales. It worked out beautifully! Click HERE for the lesson!

4. Check in with students
It’s a new year. I want to take any opportunity I can to connect with students ~ particularly those that have a hard time ~ and see if we can find common ground. This isn’t to say that a new year suddenly = perfect behavior, but letting the student know that he/ she is on your radar is always a good idea.
You can also check in with parents ~ is there something that is working at home?

5. Put in systems wherever you can
I spoke about this a bit in my eBook “How to Teach Music Basics and Beat the Clock!”. Systems are key to making our lives easier! For school, kids always know the basic schedule and the procedures for putting away things like scarves and shakers.
For home life, I love the app “Mealime” where you can choose meals to make for the week and it generates a shopping list that allows you to add items. It cuts down on dinner issues a great deal!

6. Find ways to stay inspired
Sometimes we forget that we need to feed our own minds and souls, as well as our students’. Going to concerts or bringing in your favorite music for kids to move to are just a couple of ideas. ….please list your favorite inspirations below! We all need new ideas!!
Have a great rest of your week and I look forward to hearing from you!