Looking back, this was a great season for the Pass the Baton podcast! Since August 2021, we’ve interviewed 18 amazing music educators from all over the world. While they all have unique teaching situations, they have one thing in common: they’ve found creative ways to put students at the center so they can take ownership of their learning and music making. 

Summer break is a great time to catch up on missed episodes of the Pass the Baton podcast! Here are the top five most listened to episodes from this past season. 

Top Five Episodes from the Pass the Baton Podcast

#5 – Project Based Learning in Music Classes with Dianne Nelson

In episode 12, Kathryn and Theresa talked to Dianne Nelson, a choral teacher at Talmadge Middle School in Independence, Oregon. Dianne has experience in a variety of settings, including degrees in biology and music education, teaching experience in early childhood and Waldorf settings, and a current position teaching music pedagogy at Western Oregon University. One of Dianne’s passions in education is project based learning, which she shared about in this interview. Continue Reading

In PBL, the unit is the vehicle for learning, not the end cap to show what you've learned.

#4 – Empowerment in the Standards with Scott Sheehan

In episode 23, Kathryn and Theresa had the pleasure of interviewing NAfME president-elect, Scott Sheehan! In addition to his NAfME responsibilities, Scott is the high school band director and K-12 music department chair in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. He is involved with PMEA, working with their Leadership Academy and the Model Curriculum Framework project. Scott is also a Conn-Selmer educational clinician. Along with his varied roles and teaching experiences, Scott is very knowledgeable about the national music standards launched in 2014. He even worked on one of the revision teams, providing feedback on the performance track before they officially released the standards. Continue Reading

Take a look at one standard, look at the verbs, and ask yourself, what are the students doing? How can I empower them to take charge of this action? It's that easy.

#3 – Student Ownership Through Active Thinking with Dr. Brian Weidner

In episode 26, Kathryn and Theresa talked to Dr. Brian Weidner, an assistant professor of music education at Butler University, in Indianapolis, Indiana. Brian spent twelve years teaching high school band prior to earning a PhD from Northwestern University. Much of his work now spawned from the various questions he asked during his time teaching public school music. Continue Reading

How do we build classrooms that emphasize musical independence? How do we create spaces that our students can engage in life-long and life-wide musicianship?

#2 – The Value of Creativity in Young Ensembles with Matt Clauhs

Episode 22 features Matt Clauhs, an associate professor of Music Education at Ithaca College. Matt’s background includes degrees from Penn State University (B.S.), the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (M.M.) and Temple University (Ph.D.), as well as experience teaching band students at both the elementary and high school levels. As a jazz saxophone player, Matt has always been interested in incorporating creativity and improvisation in all areas of music education, not just jazz studies. Not only is it a positive and rewarding experience for students, creativity and artistic literacy are part of our national music standards. Continue Reading

Get students in that mindset of creating something that's not written on the page, so they learn to be creative as well as re-creative musicians.

#1 – The Connection Between SEL and Student Empowerment with Dr. Scott Edgar 

Episode 27 was a real treat, as Kathryn and Theresa spoke with Dr. Scott Edgar about a very important topic: social emotional learning (SEL). Scott is an associate professor of music at Lake Forest College and also the department chair. He began his career teaching K-12 music in Dayton, Ohio before earning a PhD from the University of Michigan. It was there he developed an interest in SEL. Besides teaching at Lake Forest, Scott is also Director of Practice and Research for the Center for Arts Education and Social Emotional LearningContinue Reading

The most powerful question that we can ask is, what do you know about your students? Beyond, what do you know, we ask ourselves, what don't we know and how are we going to find out?

Definitely check out these episodes in the next few weeks, and remember, we’ll be back at the beginning of the school year with even more amazing interviews with equally amazing educators. 

Enjoy your summer! 

-Kathryn & Theresa

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