Blog

  • Lean Forward!

    Just a quick post from me today (am in the middle of writing the 2nd Edition of the Level 3 books, CDs etc ready for 2017!) I came across this action song when my daughter sang it ALL the way home in the car (it’s an hour drive!!!) I can’t find the source or where […]


  • Practicing Transcriptions

    It’s not as easy as you think! When we do a transcription exercise with our students in class that is exactly what we are practicing – the process of TRANSCRIPTION! Yes of course we do have to learn and practice that process but it is learning and practicing the content of the transcription exercise that […]


  • My Tasmanian Adventure

      A couple of weeks ago I was one of the key note presenters at the ASME (Tasmanian branch or “TASME” as it’s affectionately known) conference, held at Scotch College Oakburn in Launceston. Having never been a key note speaker before and having never visited Launceston either I was VERY excited (and just a tad […]


  • A Few of my Favourite ….. Interval Activities

    A Few of my Favourite ….. Interval Activities I was recently struck by how many activities we need to keep our students interested and engaged in our music classes. If we teach something to our 4 year old students (e.g. “beat”) then we need to have sufficient practice activities to challenge our students enough to […]


  • Tone Ladders (What are they & how do I use them?)

    What are Tone Ladders? Tone Ladders are a great way of visually representing pitch in an intervallically accurate way – that is so long as the intervals between the notes are represented accurately on the tone ladder.               For example, if a tone ladder looks like this:  or this:  it […]


  • The Three “Ps” (Preparation, Present, Practice) Kodály Fundamentals

    What ARE the Three “Ps” One of the first things an aspiring Kodály teacher is taught when embarking upon any Kodály course are the Three Ps – Prepare, Present and Practice. These three things form the basis of the process we use to teach ANY and EVERY element of music. Our belief is that students […]


  • FAVOURITE QUOTES ABOUT MUSIC and MUSIC EDUCATION

    Often, when asked to speak at various conferences or workshops on a particular topic, I like to find a quote that reinforces what I am talking about.   Over the years I have put together quite a list which I thought I would share with you. Of course there are many more great quotes out […]


  • Videos Galore!

    Since the beginning of this year I have been VERY busy creating teaching videos based on lessons and concepts taught in my Musicianship & Aural Training for the Secondary School series of books and CDs.  Music educators know that being a Kodály /music literacy teacher can be a tough gig – all the planning, preparation, thinking, learning that […]


  • It’s no big deal – Improvising & Composing in the Everyday Music Lesson

    Improvising and Composing are NOT Scary! As a teacher I often avoid the things that I think I am not good at e.g. improvising and composing. Of course I CAN improvise and compose but I am not comfortable improvising and composing. Does this mean I shouldn’t teach my students how to improvise and compose? Of course not! […]


  • Post with a Difference!

    Hi and welcome to the “Post with a Difference”. This week’s post takes the form of a video I came up with to show teachers the HUGE number of resources that are available on the DSMusic website. In particular, this video focuses on the Level 1 Digital Resources (Lower Secondary/High School – Years 7 & 8) […]


  • Movement Activities for Older Students

    I frequently teach older students (17 and 18 year olds) for long periods of time at a stretch. I want to break up these sessions to keep their concentration levels up, but don’t want to let them take a real break as they tend to take twice as long as I allow (“I had to […]


  • Musical Games and Movement Activities for Instrumental Groups

    “We should see the child as the musician and the instrument as the expression of the inner musician”. The use of musical games and movement activities in instrumental programs of any kind enhances our students’ enjoyment of music and fosters a positive attitude within the classroom. It can be an introduction to singing for students […]


  • Music Analysis: Listening Beyond Hearing by Jenny Gillan

    Quick off the starting blocks! Welcome to our second guest post, written by my wonderful, talented colleague: Jenny Gillan. Jenny has just completed the eBook: Music Analysis: Listening Beyond Hearing 2nd Edition – an amazing resources for anyone wanting to really “listen” to music. Thanks Jenn! I’ve observed when my students hear music for analysis that many waste […]


  • do re mi songs that are NOT Hot Cross Buns

      Tired of the same old do re mi songs?  Me too. So here are four you may not know for your song collection.                                                                   […]


  • Why Teach Music?

    We are being bombarded by articles in the press, on the internet and everywhere in between, about why music is such a valuable subject to teach our children. There are reasons both musical and non musical for including music as a core subject in our very crowded curriculum. Plato said “I would teach children music, […]


  • How to Extend Your Most Musical Students

    Something I love about teaching music literacy, musicianship, aural and theory using the Kodály method is how easy it is to create activities suitable for the HUGE range of student abilities within our classes. As any music teacher who has taught the first year of high school will know, our student’s abilities can range from […]


  • Teaching Key Signatures by Jeremy Howard

                    Sound before symbol!  Welcome to our very first guest post, kindly written and shared by Jeremy Howard. Jeremy is a Kodály teacher in Kentucky, USA. You can follow Jeremy’s fantastic Kentucky Kodály Classroom blog here. Thanks so much Jeremy! Teaching key signatures can be difficult since there is no […]


  • Great TED talks for music educators (and students)

      As we head into our school holidays I thought it might be a great opportunity to enjoy some inspirational speaking via some amazing TED talks by musicians and music educators. Here’s what I consider to be the pick of the bunch. Enjoy! PS Do you have a favorite TED talk? Share if you do!   […]


  • Jumbala Lyala – a new game for 3 metre

    Have you noticed that, in Western cultures, we don’t sing a lot of songs in 3 metre? This means our students find it hard to use 3 metre for composing, improvising and transcribing as it is not part of their regular music language. I originally created these actions to highlight the accents in 3 metre songs (I […]


  • Report Comments

      For many teachers throughout Australia this time of year means one thing: REPORTS!!!! I can’t reinforce what Denise Gagne from Music Play says (http://www.musicplay.ca): “Report cards are not anyone’s favorite job, but it’s important to communicate how the students have progressed in music.  If we don’t assess, evaluate and report on what we’ve taught, it’s […]


  • Taba Naba – traditional song, new game!

    It’s usually around this time of the year that I start getting bored with the games I am using with my Year 7 & 8 classes. (Note that I say “I get bored – not THEY get bored? We get tired of things much faster than our students do. Still it’s nice for us to […]


  • Chord Canons

    Two things I don’t cover enough in my classes are harmony/chord work and composition. Here’s an activity that covers BOTH and your older students will LOVE it! Once your students have learned the primary triads in a Major key and can sing these triads in various ways try this activity to practice these chords but also to show how INCREDIBLY easy it is to […]


  • “If you cannot teach me to fly…..

    Teach me to Sing!” JM Barrie – author of Peter Pan. One thing I am often asked is why do I use Tonic or Movable do solfa to teach? I believe that one of the most important goals for a music teacher is to teach true music literacy. This is the ability to see what […]


  • Some other great music blogs for you to watch out for

    Mrs Miracle’s Music Room Love this blog! Mainly junior school Kodaly teaching ideas but easily transferred to secondary school if required. British Kodály Academy The British Kodály Academy promotes the advancement of British music education, following the teachings of Zoltán Kodály. Kodály Corner – Collaborative Blog A whole lot of Kodály teachers sharing great ideas etc. Emily’s Music […]


  • Latest newsletter now available

    See the first ever edition (Term 4, 2102) of the Deborah Smith Music Newsletter here!


Deborah Smith Music is closed from December 15th 2017, until January 2nd 2018. Dismiss