Music education always & always looking forward.

Updates Aplenty (of a Personal Variety)


A few things to say here, especially if you are an RSS blog subscriber. This may be my only genuine personal update ever, but there are a lot of professional tie-ins here, too.

June was an absolutely bonkers month. School ended for us on May 31st, and then two days later it was my daughter’s birthday. And there was still work that needed to be done at my school (and…there still is, as of today).

A week & a half later, I traveled to New York City to the Association of Popular Music Education conference at NYU. It was a wonderful, incredible, career-affirming time to be had. Photos below.

I returned home in time for Father’s Day, which coincided with me & my husband’s 10 year dating anniversary. That afternoon, we also hit the road so that I could make it three hours north to my paper signing & background inquiry-pallooza for my new job the next day. Yes — I will be teaching elementary school music starting in August, and I’m pumped. I was less pumped about having to wait for many, many hours for, well, everything regarding pre-hiring on a travel-weary Monday morning.

Before we hit the road that Sunday, I also received news that my beloved grandmother had died. She passed in Connecticut, having lived all but six months of her 90 years on the planet independently, and having lived on Long Island for most of her life. I was a short train ride away when she died and I didn’t know. It was a hard pill to swallow.

In the meantime, my husband & I also sold our home, signed a lease on a new home, and cleaned as though our livelihoods depended on it. And chased around an inexhaustible four-nado of a child, who is now into Legos.

Suffice to say, there has been a bizarre & very unfamiliar mix of emotions surging though my head & heart. Excitement, mourning, nostalgia, hope, disgust (mostly when I read the news), fulfillment, regret, exhaustion — but not a whole lot of down time to be had to process these things. Maybe one day.

I will not be focused on posting entries about specific songs this summer, so please accept my apologies for a lack of discussion on wild modulations or pop songs in 12/8. You can browse what exists so far in the Song Bank portion of the website. Most of these songs are discussed in terms of examples for learning specific concepts. Stay tuned in August for more new features.

There is always a lot to say about the culture of music education and how the world around us affects what we do, so expect more of that content this summer.

I will also be working on a number of other writing projects while in the process of moving & unpacking during the next six weeks, so stay tuned to related social media accounts on Twitter & Instagram for those updates. (Both accounts found @rebelmusicteach.) Also, please follow the happenings of the APME @popmusiced on both of those formats, mostly because I hear someone really cool who wears really cool cardigan sweaters & just bought a new camera manages those accounts, as well.

I had this St. Vincent song in my head during my entire New York trip, and now will forever associate it with my grandmother. We did not discuss music much (it was possibly the only topic I didn’t much discuss with her), and I’m not sure she would appreciate the language in the song, but she indeed helped train me to be a bit of a hellraiser, so who knows. (The video might not be the best thing to play from a work computer, FYI.)

My grandmother was a voracious reader, often staying up all night, plowing through stacks upon stacks of books. To honor her memory, I have been directing folks to donate to libraries. You can donate to your local library, Connetquot Public Library (near where she lived many of the later years of her life), or the Ferguson Public Library, which is a cause I have believed in strongly for years.

If you feel at all compelled to support the work on this site (and help cover the cost of the web domain), you can buy me a coffee.

Be well, and be on the lookout for other updates throughout the summer. As promised, here are some of the photos from the fine folks at APME conference.

Caption contest!

Caption contest!

An outstanding Hip Hop Culture & the School Panel

An outstanding Hip Hop Culture & the School Panel

Me & the outstanding Megan with our Soundtrap swag.

Me & the outstanding Megan with our Soundtrap swag.

Stop Teaching the Controversy. There Is No Controversy.

Leaving Band Directing