Music Sessions

The music component encompasses the broad spectrum of choral, instrumental and general music.  Clinicians from around the country use their expertise to help participants enhance their skills and renew their enthusiasm for teaching.  In addition to the music sessions, all participants attend performances, musings, special events and other activities.

Please check back regularly for updates and information about the 2017 Tennessee Arts Academy.



Elementary/Lower Middle Music

Every day, participants will attend each of the classes listed below.

Fostering Music Learning, Creativity, and Empathy in the Multicultural Music Classroom

Instructor: Sandra Adorno

The United States is a country rich in diversity, and students come to school with various backgrounds, perspectives, and values. Music educators have the power to embrace and celebrate differences in and beyond their classrooms without compromising the music curriculum. This session will introduce world music pedagogy through a series of listening, singing, playing, moving, improvising, and composing experiences. The sessions will also provide strategies for selecting authentic materials, contextualizing the music of others, and connecting the lives of students to the world around them.

Developing Choral Skills in Elementary Musicians

Instructor: Georgia Newlin

Successfully teaching a choral octavo takes more than teaching students to perform the tune from beginning to end by rote. It is necessary to help singers acquire the ability to sustain a given voice part in a multi-part context and to also understand musical relationships within each octavo. These sessions will examine how to sequentially develop part-singing skills in singers of elementary school age. Participants will also explore multiple rehearsal techniques that can be used to teach octavos with mixed meters, interesting rhythms, or unusual scales and modes.

Read, Sing, Play, and Dance: Exploring Children’s Literature

Instructor: Patrick Ware

Everyone loves a good story, and every child has a story to tell. This session will explore how educators can use storytelling and picture books with their students to create magical music in the classroom. Participants will leave knowing how to use age-appropriate literature in ways that will simultaneously improve their students’ reading comprehension skills and enhance their overall musicality.


Upper Middle/Secondary Music

Participants will follow either the vocal or instrumental track and attend two of the three classes listed below each day.

Front Loading: Constructing your Rehearsal for Success

Instructor: Christine Bass

What is a conductor’s most important role? Are you tired of trying to polish and add musical ideas at the last second with little success? How can you build in all the elements for the performance of a piece from the first rehearsal? What techniques can you use to prepare your singers to execute the repertoire you’ve chosen with beauty, excellence, and passion? What elements, and in what order, will bring the results you want? The initial approach to a piece makes a huge difference in the final results. Participants in this session will learn to use specific repertoire and techniques to help ensure success from the very start of the rehearsal process. The repertoire will include exceptional selections from major publishers.

Christine Bass’s faculty position has been generously donated by Bobby Jean Frost, in memory of Donna Frost; the Lingner Gift Fund; and Lee Stites, in memory of Marilee Kester Stites.

Teaching and Conducting: Making Ourselves Dispensable

Instructor: Dennis Glocke

“Allowing students to be creative,” “giving students the opportunity to express themselves,” and “providing students with the tools necessary to be lifelong makers and consumers of music” are frequently cited justifications for including music in our school curricula. However, many large ensemble rehearsals are actually the antithesis of this, with the conductor serving as the sole source of information and the student musicians simply doing as they are told. Too often, directors run rehearsals that make the teacher and conductor indispensable. In this session, participants will explore techniques they can use in their schools to empower music students, make them independent and creative thinkers and doers, and help them to not NEED a director.

The Best Class I Never Had: Project-based Learning in Secondary General Music

Instructor: Katy Strand

This session is for educators who either feel like they are merely “surviving” their secondary general music classes or are afraid to teach them because they don’t know what to include. In this session, participants will discover how to change the task of teaching secondary general music from one of “chore and bore” to one of “navigate and explore.” Educators will learn how to ask essential questions and how to use project-based learning, field-tested activities, and curriculum reimagining to develop music classes that their middle school and senior high students will say are the best they have ever taken.