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Elementary Music

DART Meetings 2022-23

Elementary Band and Orchestra Teachers:

May 22, 2020

The NFHS, NAfME, and the NAMM Foundation Have recommended guidelines for handling musical instruments during the COVID-19 school shutdown period. These guidelines are designed for use by music educators and educators may use these guidelines when teaching students and parents how to clean instruments. They may be found at

May 19, 2020

During the last couple of months, education has already undergone a significant transformation. Many wonder about the efficacy of using videos as instructional resources. This video featuring Salman Khan is very thought-provoking:

May 15, 2020

The Covid-19 Memory Project is designed for K-12 students to share their experiences during this unique time in our history. Student responses will become part of a permanent historical collection retained by Utah Division of State History that will help future generations learn about what life was like during the Covid-19 pandemic in Utah. Students can download and complete the form along with the release agreement with their parent or guardian and email to


May 13, 2020

Are you familiar with Chrome Music Lab? Chrome Music Lab is a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments. Many teachers have been using Chrome Music Lab as a tool in their classrooms to explore music and its connections to sciencemathart, and more.

Chrome Music Lab:

  • Go to
  • Use the Song Maker to have the students create a simple song with a guided meter and scale (use the settings to tell them how to do this). This is a good time to make a screen recording to show them how to use the settings, to example the activity, and how to share it with you.
  • Use Melody Maker to decode a simple melody that they have sung in class.
  • Use the Spectrogram (picture of sounds) to have the students test various sounds and write comparisons about them.
  • There are more ways to use this fabulous site. Click here to see more ideas.
  • Early Elementary: Ask the parents or caregivers to use Song Maker to create a song together or to recreate a song that their child sings in class.

May 8, 2020

The Rhythm Trainer is a free, Flash-based program for learning and practicing rhythm. There are two types of exercises: A Mode, where you click in the rhythm you hear, or B Mode, where you see a rhythm and choose the sound that matches. At the end of your session, students can email their results to anyone (for example, their teacher) who can then see how they are doing.

The Rhythm Trainer

May 7, 2020

Lori Nickerson, a teacher at Westland Elementary, asked her students to write about what they were missing about school. One of her students wrote, "I miss my music teacher, Mrs. Rowley. She is an awesome music teacher. She just kept on making new songs. I miss singing new songs and learning them. I liked the way that she taught us. The last thing I miss is art. When I did art, it was so fun, like super fun. It was fun because we got to paint with pastel crayons! I am so sad that I cannot do art right now." I'm certain that this student is expressing the sentiments of many, if not all, of the students with whom you work!

Teachers, the work you are doing in bringing the arts into the lives of our students is important!

May 6, 2020

Flipgrid is a video platform that allows students to quickly and easily record a video response to a question or topic that you pose. Several of you have used Flipgrid with great results! Flipgrid is totally free to use and works on any device. A post about using Flipgrid was provided last month, but I'd like to share this article that is designated for music educators:

20 Ways to Use Flipgrid in Music Education

May 5, 2020

Utah's Plan B Theatre Company challenged four Utah playwrights, four directors, four actors, and four sound designers to produce new radio plays for students ages 12+ in the space of only two weeks.  Each creative team rehearsed virtually and recorded in isolation. The resulting four 10-minute plays are online now and will be airing on 99.9 FM KUAA May 5-8.

Given the current physical closure of schools, Plan B is encouraging the creation of radio dramas at home as an effective, innovative, isolation-friendly and boredom-fighting way to approach and explore any subject. They've created a "How To" guide for students in grades 6-12 to create their own, original radio plays at home! They will be selecting student-produced radio plays to host on their website, so please encourage your students to send in their creations.

If your students would like to create their own versions of our RADIO SLAM plays, Plan B is happy to send  copies of these and/or other scripts. Please visit their website that includes a number of wonderful educational meetings at

April 29, 2020

There has been a lot of interest in creating group videos. I found this video to be very helpful!

April 28, 2020

We want to make you aware that your colleagues in the fine arts departments of the middle and high schools have been preparing their students for the annual JSD Art Show. The following announcement was featured on the District website. Please view and comment on the students' art at and



April 27, 2020

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra has a wonderful page for students.  It is full of resources for not only students but teachers as well. Take a few minutes to see if any of their resources will be useful for you:

April 24, 2020

This one's just for fun! Enjoy and have a wonderful weekend:

April 23, 2020

I have recently become aware of a great app called Appcompanist.  Voice teachers, singers, and coaches are raving about this revolutionary new app! Appcompanist gives subscribers full control of the world’s best piano accompaniment recordings - including key, tempo, melody, fermata, and more. Check it out here:


April 21, 2020 Update

Many of you have done outstanding work in finding creative ways to connect with your students at this time, including providing readings of stories. I've been impressed with all of those that I've seen. Clin Eaton is an award-winning drama teacher at Riverton High School who has recorded a story for students and is going to be doing more in the future. He indicated that his videos may be used and shared freely. Enjoy!:



April 20, 2020 Update

As you know, elementary band and orchestra teachers have generally concluded instruction for the school year around the end of April or the beginning part of May. However, under the unique circumstances we now have, if you feel that you are continuing to have meaningful instructional interactions with your students, please feel free to continue as you see fit through May. Please email me and let me know if you will continue providing online instructional activities in May.

April 16, 2020 Update

Even though you are not meeting with your music students in person, I still felt that the information presented on these two websites will be very helpful, if not now, when our students are back in the classroom:

COVID-19 and Cleaning Your Brass Instruments

COVID-19 and Instrument Hygiene for Musicians

April 14, 2020

The State Office (USBE) has produced a very helpful and informative video about FERPA (student privacy laws) and virtual learning. I strongly recommend taking a look at this. I learned a lot!

April 13, 2020

Welcome back! I hope you had a wonderful Spring Break! We know that you have been overwhelmed with resources and emails, so we are always striving to be very selective with the resources that we share with you here. I have recently become aware of an amazing resource called Breakout EDU that is being provided to educators free of charge for now. Breakout EDU is an immersive learning games platform that brings the challenges of an escape room the classroom. The Digital Game builder on the Breakout EDU platform allows users to create digital games to play with students. The new version of the platform gives teachers the opportunity to create classes, share games and review games submitted by students. To sign up for a free account, visit

April 3, 2020 Update:

Teachers, you have made it to Spring Recess and you deserve to take a break! I appreciate your wonderful work! And for a good laugh, please enjoy Gerry Brooks' YouTube video!

April 2, 2020 Update: 

We have had many questions about sharing copyrighted music in your online lessons. Laura Hathaway from USBE has distributed the following guidance:

The following stipulations have been approved by USBE attorneys regarding sharing copyrighted music in your online lessons:

1) the music is to be distributed only to the students assigned in the class, and,

2) the original hardcopies in the same numbers as the distribution are held at the school, and

3) the students are instructed about copyright law.

In addition, the music publishing industry is responding to the situation with new guidelines for this period:

April 1, 2020 Update:

Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create "grids" to facilitate video discussions. Each grid is like a message board where teachers can pose questions, called "topics," and their students can post video responses that appear in a tiled grid display. During our online conference last week, several of you mentioned that you are using it to provide instruction to your music students. Here's the link for a great video that provides the basics!:

March 30, 2020 Update: 

Utah Symphony and Utah Opera have provided new, online music activities you can assign students, including:

  • virtual opera assemblies, both elementary and secondary, with follow-up, self-quizzes
  • symphony bingo, elements of music activity sheets, and listening music scavenger hunts
  • "Ask a Singer" and "Ask a Musician" boxes - our professional musicians will respond!
  • orchestra instrument library and opera voice type videos
  • teacher support request/suggestion box
  • coming soon:  Learn a Song in Italian in 3 weeks - and short operas for online viewing

Lastly, the Musicians of the Utah Symphony have expressed interest in leading online group lessons via Zoom for students for whom private lessons are out-of-reach. As a teacher, if you have a student or students who fit this description, please fill out our form here: .

Click the links below to access all of our resources:

March 27, 2020 Update:

During our online meeting the other day, several of you mentioned that you have been using Zoom to communicate with and provide instruction to your students. For those that haven't yet and are curious to try, here's a brief video that may be helpful:

March 24, 2020 Update: 

It was wonderful to gather today in our online meetings!  Over the next few days, I will be sharing some of the innovative things that you are all doing here!

March 23, 2020 Update: 

Thanks so much for the wonderful work you are doing during this unusual time! Although we are facing many challenges, all of you are rising to them and doing so many creative things to continue instruction for your students. On a regular basis I will be posting updates here so that we can all keep in touch. For now, I want to place a link to Bonnie Heaton's YouTube Channel.

I also wish to invite the orchestra teachers to a "Google Meet" on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. and the band teachers at 1:00 p.m.  I'm hoping this will be a good way to connect with each other. We will share teaching ideas, discuss recording hours in Skyward (and on timesheets where appropriate), and answer any questions you may have.

See you online on Tuesday!


Utah Fine Arts Core

BYU Partnership Lesson Plans

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BYU Partnership