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 2018 Tennessee Arts Academy.



Elementary/Lower Middle Music

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

Sing, Move, Play, Evaluate!

Instructor: Sheila Donahue

When music classes are large and class rotations infrequent, allocating precious instructional minutes for assessing essential skills can be challenging. In this session, participants will learn new songs and games that are both pedagogically sound as well as a lot of fun for both teachers and students. They will also leave the session knowing how to use these new songs and games to develop assessment tools.

Matters of Diversity and Equity in Music Education

Instructor: Karen Howard

There is simultaneously a growing desire as well as confusion among music teachers who look for music and pedagogical strategies that engage with the numerous heritages of their students and the larger global community. In this session, participants will explore a variety of world music cultures as well as pedagogical considerations. Attention will be given to topics sitting at the crossroads of music education and ethnomusicology including performance practices, authenticity, and context. Additionally, strategies for creating equity in the music classroom will be presented.

Improvisation: Carpe Diem!

Instructor: Julie Scott

Carl Orff wrote “It is not the playing from notation but the free making of music in improvisation that is meant and demanded, for which the printed examples give information and stimulus.” In these hands-on sessions, participants will learn pieces for singing, body percussion, unpitched percussion, and Orff instruments—all of which will serve as models for improvisation. Materials will be presented in order of difficulty and will include folk songs and selections by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Participants should arrive prepared to imagine, create, and improvise!


Upper Middle/Secondary Music

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

Awaken the Choral Artistry

Instructor: Michael Culloton

So a music educator is a choral music teacher and a choral artist? Yes, absolutely! By awakening their artistic selves, teachers end up encouraging their students to do the same. This inevitably makes the rehearsal and performance process more meaningful and enjoyable. In these sessions, participants will work together to fine-tune the artistic side of the teaching equation by exploring ideas about relevant programming, conducting reminders and refinements, and discovering ways to improve intonation with creative and enjoyable exercises. There will be a focus on how to musically empower young singers, as well as many other interesting and important topics.

Methods, Strategies, and Materials for Creating Successful Middle and High School Band Programs

Instructor: Quincy Hilliard

The information provided in this workshop is designed to give middle and high school band directors a framework that will guide them through the successful development of middle and high school band programs. Topics will include classroom management, breathing, tone production, intonation, embouchure development, balance, and technique. These topics will aid in producing strong individual musicians as well as an outstanding sounding band.

Popular Music Pedagogy for the Traditional Music Educator

Instructor: Chad West

Does the thought of teaching popular music cause anxiety? These sessions are designed for the “non-rockers” who are curious about teaching popular music. Participants will learn simple techniques for teaching guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, and appropriate vocal styles, and will acquire the resources needed to immediately begin leading a popular music ensemble.