The World of Music Precis


Willoughby, D. (2007). The World of Music (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill.

In The World of Music (6th Edition) (2007), the author, David Willoughby has developed a textbook that is a great tool for teachers to use as a music listening guide. I found Mr. Willoughby’s textbook to be well thought-out, diverse in examples, and easy for all types of people to understand.

He includes several different large genres of music with multiple sub-types:

  • American Music
    • Folk
    • Religious
    • Pop
    • Jazz
  • World Music
    • Music of the Americas
    • Music beyond the Americas
  • Western Classical Music
    • Music to 1600
    • Baroque
    • Classical
    • Romantic
    • 20th Century
    • American Classical

This textbook would be a great tool for an Introduction to Music class at a university, or even for an advanced music appreciation class in a high school setting. The styles of music that Willoughby utilizes are multi-cultural and also appealing to all different kinds of people.

“Although many people have become sophisticated in their use of music by learning to play instruments and perhaps even read music notation, significant musical experiences can happen with or without formal training. Not everyone creates music or performs it, but we all listen to it.” (pg. 3)


Essential Preparation for Beginning Instrumental Music Instruction Précis

Gordon, Edwin E. Essential Preparation for Beginning Instrumental Music Instruction. Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, 2010. Print.

In Essential Preparation for Beginning Instrumental Music Instruction (2010), the author, Edwin E. Gordon declares that the reason that young students tend to quit band within the first two years are because said students are not naturally equipped with the rediness that it takes to learn a musical instrument.

I found Mr. Gordon’s book to be full of useful information on how to begin to teach a young student how to internalize music as a whole. His work is full of examples that are ready to use in the elementary classroom. He suggests that students need to learn how to improvise and create music without rules and theory before joining band. A few useful key points to remember are:

  • Improvisation is a form of creativity. Let students explore the concept of improvisation over free-time and encourage the creative tendencies.
  • Five important vocabularies in music
    • Listening
    • Singing and Chanting
    • Improvisation
    • Reading
    • Writing
  • EVERYONE has an aptitude for music. It stabilizes at age 7.
  • The individuals who are most musically educated are those who can improvise and audiate.

All of this information is important to keep in mind when teaching not only in the elementary classroom, but also in the first few years of band. Learning “how music works” naturally without learning how to write something like an augmented 6th chord is important for students to succeed. Mr. Gordon’s examples in the book can be tweaked and formatted to fit certain situations.

“If what is to be performed properly is not inside the audition makeup of a student, it should not be expected to come out of an instrument.” (Gordon, pg. 41)

” Common sense and research results put forward the belief that two or more new skills or concepts cannot be learned at the same time. One skill concept is solidified before it may be successfully combined with another. In the case of beginning instrumental music education, guidance in listening, audition, and becoming familiar with music notation should take place years before an actual music instrument is given to a student… Perhaps more importantly, students are free to direct their attention to performing sensitively rather than mechanically.” (Gordon, pg. 109)

Sharing Apps!

I have found a great (new to me) app that is great for any person who loves music. You don’t have to be a teacher or advanced music student to understand the simple aspects of this app, and it’s capable of a couple of great things!

When you search for it, a few options will pop up:



I would just go with the free one (at least at first.) It’s a great way to test out the app and understand it before committing to the paid one. 🙂

When you open the screen, it will look something like the lower picture. Each key is a different color (which will be shown in the following pictures.) The lighter rows (2nd, 4th, and 6th) when pressed, will create major chords, and the darker rows will create minor chords. sp12.png

The buttons that are circled determine how many pitches can be selected at once, which changes the melody and chord structure. The notes are set up like a piano with the bass on the left, and treble on the right.


The hand button allows the notes that you have selected to be sustained so that you can add more pitches!


You can also slide the buttons down to show a piano, which will show your compositions on the keys.


The sounds can also be changed. (Yes, even on the free version!) Fun stuff!


If you go into the settings, there is also a record option so that your compositions never get lost.


The record button will pop up and automatically begin recording.


And then you have several options to share and listen to your music!


Even after only playing with this app for a short amount of time, it seems like it is going to be a great tool for creative minds! Honestly, if the free version of Sound Prism is this cool, I think it would be a great investment to buy the full package version.

Happy music making!


Other great apps to try out:

  • Tonal Energy Tuner
  • iReal Pro
  • Music Theory Helper


Excel : Data Organization

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 9.46.33 PMI am an avid lover of list-making. I always have been, and I don’t see that ending any time soon. That is definitely a reason why this particular post is one of my favorites, but also because an organized life is a better life. Learning to use Excel for data organization is a vital skill to an educator, especially a music educator. Since we tend to have a much larger number of students, information can be difficult to always keep track of. Excel allows a teacher to easily organize and sort information however he/she would like, and it is a great skill for us to be learning in college. I’ve seen my high school band directors use Excel countless times for every list and student demographic files. It’s simple and fairly straightforward, and has more options than one would know what to do with. Here, I have my information on trombone students sorted by folder number, but I could easily sort by name or chair order, also. Let the list-lover out and make a spreadsheet, it’s a great addiction to have!

Video Chat and Lessons 2&3

Lesson 2

Lesson 3 

 Nathan and I tested out FaceTime for our video chat. We found that it tended to lag, which would be unfortunate if one was trying to practice or rehearse over video chat. (Though, this could have been due to Witherspoon’s wifi…) I think the wifi connection is the biggest factor in a great response from video chatting. I am an avid user of FaceTime though, as it is the most easily accessible. 

Healthy? Vibrant? Best time of my life? What?


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College is supposed to be fun, right? This is the time to be healthy, vibrant, and excited about life. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, but there are so many things to be thankful for in these college years. The last few days have only emphasized those things: great weather (rare in Arkansas, which makes it even more special), great friends all in close proximity, and feelings of accomplishment all around. Even when plans don’t always go the way one may want, there are so many tasks to accomplish while in college, and they have to be taken hold of. I am beyond thankful for the great things I get to experience here at Arkansas Tech University.


These pictures were taken with an iPhone 5S.

App Review

Coach’s Eye


Coach’s Eye is a great app that can be used in the band room or on the marching field. It’s best applied for outside activities as marching band is a more visually complicated activity. Recording practices and performances can be a major benefit to teachers and students because of the ability to slow down footage. This allows time to assess more mistakes and find better courses of action. The teacher can then record over the video at hand and discuss issues if he/she wanted to send it to the students rather than take up rehearsal time to do so.

Inside the classroom, as long as the sound quality holds up, one could use this app (specifically the slow-down feature) to analyze rehearsals. Wrong notes, rhythms, and breaths could be found using this type of technology. It could also be beneficial for heavy percussion pieces or even percussion ensemble where the visual is highly important.


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TonalEnergy is one of my personal favorites. I was introduced to it in high school, and continue to use it now as a college student. It can be used by students and teachers alike. While it is an app that is paid for ($3.99), it is beyond worth it. TonalEnergy has a tuner, metronome, just/equal tuning, overtone frequency graphs, and drones. There is a fantastic feature of this app that I feel is overlooked, which is the recording and analysis tool. One can record themselves playing, save it, and play it back, all while watching a graph that displays articulation and air support for each note. This part of TonalEnergy is my personal favorite, because each recorded passage also shows where each note is on the tuner by showing +/- cents for each one.

NinGenius Music

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NinGenius is an app that tests instruments in a fun ninja game. It has 3 different versions: Student ($2.99), Studio ($9.99), and School ($17.99). Each edition can be used for different needs. Students can download a version for themselves, or teachers can utilize the multiplayer functions of the Studio and School edition for their classrooms. Teachers can use it in the beginning band classroom for troubled students, as a reward, or even as a group competition.