Tag Archives: music

#SOL20: Tempo

Music Theory. Ear Training.  As a band member I was so interested in processes. Real world action? Study music. Learn the basic language. 64 scales later. Each labeled. Technical adequacy?  Fun? Boring? What has “stuck” decades later?

The vocabulary . . .

The choices . . .

The freedom . . .



To Do List

Daily reading and writing

Zoom meetings

Savoring Slice of Life posts

Ten minute calendar warning

Clocks with the dreaded “PF”


A leisurely walk

Rereading text before a chat

Browsing for an entertaining read

Music surrounding

Background noise . . . white noise

Savoring morning coffee

Burning my tongue while gulping “too hot” coffee

What is your tempo?


Screenshot 2020-07-14 at 7.01.05 AM


Screenshot 2020-07-14 at 7.01.40 AM

When does it vary?  

What impacts your tempo? 

What connections can you make to your life?

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#SOL17: Fall Favorites

Now that we are in double digit October, what are your favorite signs of fall?

The changing color of leaves?

Soybeans ready to be harvested?

Field corn turning brown as the stalks dry out?

The clamor on the high school gridiron on Friday nights?

The collegiate gridiron contests?

The crunch of leaves underfoot as you walk on tree-lined paths?

The pumpkins, scarecrows, and characters that decorate the lawns?

What is my personal favorite?

Decades of participating, watching, supporting . . .

Marching Band def


Marching Band was one of my favorites that has endured the test of time.  I love to watch the band at football games and in parades.  Within 28 hours this weekend I had the opportunity to see high school and collegiate marching bands and here are a few of the highlights (including some links).

mb flags

Friday Night’s Homecoming Parade – U of I Hawkeye Alumni Band

mb game alumni.PNG

Saturday Homecoming (vs. Illinois) – Alumni Band Pregame Show

mb iowa pregame.PNG

U of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band – Pregame (Fight Song)

And then High School Marching Band Competition in Muscatine, Iowa . . . a rainbow en route guaranteed this auspicious trip would be highly enjoyable!

mb HS program.PNG

Class 3A:  Central DeWitt Program

mb hs band.PNG

Central DeWitt Marching Sabers – 10.08.17 (2016 performance)

What are your fall favorites?  

How many years have you enjoyed those favorite traditions?

And the best part of this weekend?

Celebrating Fall with my sister (Iowa alumni flag), my nephew (Director of Bands at Central DeWitt), and all of the other relatives over the weekend!

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                                          slice of life 2016


#CelebrateLu: Reprise

The sun is shining. The temp is in the 60’s and rising. What a fabulous weather report that takes me back to my farming roots! It’s spring and I’m thinking of home (after a writing workshop last Saturday)!

And yet . . .

Spring is a time to celebrate . . .

rebirth  as plants nudge their way through the ground cover

life as baby animals appear with their families

longer days of leaving home in the daylight and still having daylight on the return at the end of the day

end of the year activities . . . concerts, track events, music contests

And all those dreaded LASTS . . .

The last time the seniors . . .  before they graduate

The last time the juniors . . . before they move to the senior world

And so on . . .

But today I celebrate last Sunday’s reprise . . .

All seven of us who went to Rome . . .

Together . . . plus a few more!!!

“We set off on a journey to Rome, yes a religious trip, but also a trip to the heart of civilization.  This is a city of 300 churches with 200 more in the suburbs.  It’s a city of many diverse nationalities and personalities.  It was a pleasure to be in a group of seven . . .







within a community of 52 pilgrims from an Iowa sponsored tour (plus folks from IL, WI, MO, and FL).”   “SOL16:  Travel Trivia”

Other posts about Rome are here, here, here, here, and here with this one quick photo from O’Hare before our international departure.


and here we were again . . .

But this time in Iowa

A band concert

Taking advantage of time together

Eight months later to gather for a celebratory meal (Leo & Shirley’s upcoming 9th anniversary)

And a high school band concert directed by a son / grandson / nephew/ husband / father   . . .

Central DeWitt:  Sunday, April 30, 2017

Copy of 20170430_190022.jpg

band program

band zero

band one

band three

band four

And always, one of the fans in the seats!


Home can be family.

Home may not be one specific physical place.

Where do you celebrate and call home?


Check out for celebrations at the link with Ruth!

#SOL14: Commencement


Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 


Verizon Foundation on 06.01.14 tweeted this link to the 25 Most Promising Graduation Speeches of the Year and I was immediately intrigued to think about “HOW” that rating would be determined.  After all, Commencement for me is all about the music.  It’s hard to imagine a graduation ceremony without Pomp and Circumstance played as the processional tune at graduation.  Majestic, inspiring, regal, stately!  That is my view as a “listener”!




Pomp and Circumstance totally sets the tone for graduation ceremonies.

What does a musician need to know?

He or she would need to understand the sound symbol relationships in musical notations including:  time signature, “allegro con molto fuoco”, “poco allargando”,  treble clef, bass clef, notes, sharps, rests, crescendos, codas, etc. Could you pick this music up and play it expertly right now?  If yes, how many years have you been playing the piano?  If no, what would you need to learn in order to play this piece?  What knowledge gaps do you have?  Would you need to begin at the beginning?  Or with a little refresher or review of some basic skills and a piano to practice on, could you play one of the lines reasonably accurately?  Do you REALLY know Italian or do you just know some of the musical phrases?  And then what about the intricacies involved when multiple instruments have their own parts in the band or orchestra?  How does it all come together at that graduation ceremony?

Listen to a bit of Pomp and Circumstance:  Pomp and Circumstance for graduation

Expecting a novice musician to play this score well is like expecting a novice reader to read and understand the nuances of the Preamble to the Constitution.  Instruction is needed.  Appropriateness of the text is also a consideration.  Background knowledge and motivation come into play.  Depending on the age and experiences, some scaffolding may be necessary.  And then deeper understanding to be able to compose or improvise something similar involves understanding the mathematics involved in scales in terms of  the progressions in scales and the relationships between the black and white ivory keys.  Many, many, many layers of knowledge similar to reading a text . . .

What other connections to life can you make?

I can appreciate the beauty of this music without being able to play it all personally myself.  But if my passion is reading and writing music and reading and writing words, will I have to somehow learn the notation system in order to put it altogether?  When and how will this happen?

How many different “reading systems” are there in my life?
How did I learn them all?

How many systems will the kindergarten students need to learn in their lifetimes?

My Zorro Circle

it is what it is

Steph Scrap Quilts

"Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads..."


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Tim's Teaching Thoughts

Ideas and Reflections on Teaching

Hands Down, Speak Out

Listening and Talking Across Literacy and Math

Teachers | Books | Readers

Literacy Leaders Connecting Students and Books

Dr. Carla Michelle Brown * Speaker * author * Educator

We have the perfect words. Write when you need them. www.carlambrown.com

Curriculum Coffee

A Written Shot of Espresso

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.


Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers


adventures in multiple tenses

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together


Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools