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 2019 Tennessee Arts Academy.



Elementary/Lower Middle Music

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

Cultivating Wildflowers: Music Making with Children

Instructor: Sarah Fairfield

For music educators, it is important to create natural learning environments in which children feel free to develop their knowledge, skills, and understanding of music. In these sessions, participants will examine teaching processes and approaches that use music making experiences to cultivate children’s creative thinking skills, playfulness, and social-emotional growth.

A Vibrant Musical Landscape: Active Approaches to Fostering Musicianship

Instructor: Brent Gault

Finding active ways to engage students in meaningful music learning experiences is crucial to the success of any general music setting. In this session, attendees will explore and participate in learning activities that are designed to use singing and moving to deepen students’ conceptual understanding of music, and to help them develop their musical artistry.

The Art of Possibility

Instructor: David Row

One of the most powerful teaching tools is the capacity to the see potential and possibility in every lesson. In this workshop, participants will take well-known folk songs and look at them from all angles to explore the many ways they could be used to create lessons. The teachers who attend will walk away with songs, games, and lesson ideas that they can immediately put to use in their classrooms, as well as the skills and questions they can use to help them adapt other lessons to fit their needs.


Upper Middle/Secondary Music

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

Rhythmic Development through Drumming and Dance

Instructor: Anthony DeQuattro

Rhythms are usually taught by counting and putting the foundation of the rhythm in the brain. But for a rhythm to be performed accurately, its foundation must be felt in the body. These sessions will provide a hands-on approach to understanding and expressing rhythms with the body. Using drumming and dancing traditions from Brazil, Cuba, and Ghana, Anthony DeQuattro will guide participants through many enjoyable techniques that are designed to teach rhythms through movement.

Nurturing the Master Teacher

Instructor: Timothy J. Holtan

Join Timothy Holtan for a deep dive into the logistics of rehearsal planning, time management, programming concepts, sequencing, student engagement, and maintaining rehearsal energy flow. The sessions will also include two days of conducting workshops with the 129th Army National Guard Band, in which participants will have the chance to rehearse with the ensemble. Because all are welcome to play in the band, participants should bring their personal instruments to the Academy.

Members of the 129th Army Band of the Tennessee Army National Guard will augment the instrumental music track rehearsal sessions to create a true band environment throughout the Academy week. The 129th Army Band has a long and distinguished history serving Tennessee and the United States in peacetime and during armed conflict. The band has performed for presidents, world fairs, and overseas, and was called to active duty during Operation Desert Storm. The group has been the official band for the Tennessee governor’s inaugural since 1937 and is currently led by Chief Warrant Officer Billy Stepp and Commander First Sergeant James Paschal.

Delivering Excellence in the Choral Music Classroom

Instructor: Alan McClung

To create a successful comprehensive choral music classroom, the music educator first needs to define and build a positive learning environment, and then must be willing to continually identify and refine their instructional tools. To that end, these sessions will focus on the following topics: choral program design, emotional intelligence, classroom management, creativity, music selection, group voice instruction, pitch and rhythm sight-singing development, learning assessment, musicality, and conducting gesture.