Workshops/Conference Presentations

Music-ade offers a range of presentations on the Feierabend philosophies, pedagogy, and curricula that can speak to a wide range of teaching levels and areas of Music Education.

Method Overview Talks

First Steps in Music Overview           

Music and Movement in the Early Years Part 1 – Singing  (60-180 min)

All people are born with musical potential, but can lose their intuitions for thinking tunes and responding to the expressiveness in music. For 40 years, Dr. John Feierabend has worked to develop children’s musical intuition and artfulness through regular musical workouts utilizing a rich repertoire of traditional songs, rhymes and movement. This session will highlight building tuneful independence with pitch exploration, singing song fragments, simple solo songs, and vocal improvisation.

Music and Movement in the Early Years, Part 2 – Moving (60-180 min)

Based on an extensive forty-year survey of research on pre-literacy beat development in infants through adolescents, John Feierabend believes that beatfulness and musical expressivity are best developed with regular experiences of movement warm-ups, movement with form and expression and beat keeping activities. Join endorsed teacher trainer John Crever for an informative and interactive overview of the Feierabend approach to early elementary movement for learners age three to nine, and beyond.

Conversational Solfege, Level 1 & 2 Overviews 

An Ear-First Approach to Classroom Music Reading Part 1 – Rhythm  (60-180 min)

Kodaly believed teaching music reading is done with authentic repertoire, solfege and careful planning for each notational element over time. John Feierabend’s life’s work, Conversational Solfege, utilizes substantial research to validate Kodaly’s method. This session unpacks Feierabend’s 12-step approach to teaching music reading based on a western tone set. Using traditional repertoire to set up an informed pedagogical sequence of musical experiences modeling conversational language acquisition through listening and responding, improvising, reading, dictation and composition all by an “ear-first” approach.

An Ear-First Approach to Classroom Music Reading Part 2 – Tonal  (60-180 min)   

Inspired by Kodaly’s belief of teaching music reading using authentic repertoire, solfege and cumulatively over time, John Feierabend’s work, Conversational Solfege, utilizes an extensive survey of research and pedagogy and traditional repertoire to teach tonal music reading. This session will demonstrate his 12-step approach to set up an informed sequence of musical experiences utilizing solfege, songs and interactive games to model musical language acquisition conversationally through listening and responding, improvisation, reading, dictation and composition all with an “ear-first” approach. 

Topic Specific Sessions
First Steps in Music

Develop a Movement Vocabulary in the Music Classroom: A Deep Dive into the Book of Creative Movement. (1-6 hours)

Singers warm up their voices before they sing, and dancers warm up their bodies before they move. John Feierabend’s book of Creative Movement, co-authored with Minneapolis Public Schools dance teacher Jane Kahan, is one of the most challenging parts of the curriculum to teacher because it is so unlike anything else music teachers do in their classroom, and yet, once teachers “get it” they won’t let it go.  Join teacher trainer John Crever for a thorough unpacking of the book and the topic. 

Improvise Every day: Arioso techniques and timeline for growing the ability to jam vocally. (1-3 hours)

When people improvise music, they are thinking musical thoughts and expressing them.  Children are natural-born improvisers and with thoughtfully placed stepping stones, teachers can propel that “child-like” freedom to create and make up tunes all through the school years from KG through 12.  Join Feierabend teacher trainer John Crever for an informative session on growing in your student

First Steps with Upper Elementary
Repurposing the First Steps Workout for Upper Elementary. (60-180 min)

Ever hear your upper elementary students say “we want to do that” when seeing a kinder class playing a circle game or silly action song?  John Feierabend believes that First Steps in Music and Beyond, is a curriculum not just for KG, but anytime when students are in need of Tuneful, Beatful and Artful development. Join teacher trainer John Crever to explore the idea of First Steps for Upper Elementary.

Make Your Move It! (3 – 6 Hours)

Connecting to the “Art Part”, to what’s below the surface in the music, is the reason for creating a Move It! and sharing it with others.  By using movement to connect what lies below the surface in the music and in you, we create the opportunity to experience art together as a community. Have you ever made your own Move It!? Maybe you have a piece of music that you imagine would make a good Move It!, and it’s still sitting in your pile of things to do?  While the gestures are always simple and the form obvious, matching gestures to expressive intention can be more challenging than first anticipated. In this session we’ll explore picking a recording for a Move It!, steps for developing gestures that connect to the expressive intentions of the music, practicing and refining the transitions between sections and then sharing it with others. Participants may bring a piece they might like to develop as a Move It! for their community.  We’ll work together in small groups to develop new Move It!s.

Music with Infants and Toddlers for the Childcare Professional:
Interacting Musically right from the beginning.  (60-180 min). Presented to the Oregon AEYC

Music has always been part of the care for the young  since the beginning of time. With societal shifts over time, child care professional have relied less on playing musically in early childhood care settings.  Join teacher trainer John Crever for a balanced diet of moving and singing with infants through age 3. 

Music with Preschoolers for the Childcare Professional:
Interacting musically once they’re verbal and moving.  (60-180 min) presented to the Oregon AEYC

Music has always been part of the care for the young since the beginning of time. With societal shifts over time, child care professional have relied less on playing musically in the pre-school classroom.  Join teacher trainer John Crever for a jump-start on ideas for singing and moving musically in the preschool setting.

Unpacking the New 2020 Edition of First Steps in Music©️

Plan and cumulatively grow Tuneful, Beatful and Artful students with the new edition of the FSM teacher manual.
In 2020, GIA, the Publisher First Steps in Music, released a revised edition of the FSM teacher manual.  Join teacher trainer John Crever for a tour of the new material and activities in the book. 

Early Childhood Online in the Vocal Classroom Setting:
Join Feierabend Association teacher trainer John Crever for tricks and tips, from First Steps in Music©️

Topic Specific Sessions
Conversational Solfege

Music Thinking and Reading Games for the Music Classroom: Building a repertoire of games to keep the students engaged. 
Part 1: Lower Elementary (90-180 min)
Part 2: Upper Elementary (90-180 min)

Keeping literacy growth at the forefront of student engagement in Conversational Solfege™️ can be a breeze with the right activity for where the students are at that moment in the 12-step sequence.  Join teacher trainer John Crever for a play packed time full of games that will challenge and grow student music literacy.

Next Steps into Harmony, From Echo Songs to Canons:
A logical Pathway toward singing in polyphony with an upper elementary classroom. (60-180 min)

With school cultures and schedules constantly changing, growing young singers from early-elementary TBA activities to upper-elementary choir can easily be derailed by high student matriculation.  By repurposing known repertoire and an algorithm found in the First Steps teacher manual, teachers can easily continue to use an established classroom singing time to grow the musical independence necessary to sing in harmony with the upper elementary vocal classroom chorus.  This session will identify challenges effecting readiness to sing in harmony with upper elementary students, identify a pathway of benchmarks to bring each class to an understanding of the skills needed to sing in harmony alone and with others, and recommend curated sequences of songs, repurposed from the Feierabend collections, that grow students who sing in harmony effortlessly.

Off the Wall With the Words We Use:  
Techniques for using the Word Wall in the “About Music” Part of the Lesson. (60-90 min) 

Teachers often wonder what to teach about in music classes without resorting to teaching music history or theory in the “about” part of their lessons.  John Feierabend believes that we need look no further than our word wall and the more than 500 uniques words that musicians use every day to think and talk about music.  Join Feierabend teacher trainer John Crever to get those words off the wall and into students working vocabularies in every class.

Doing the Conversational Shuffle:  
Planning, leading and assessing the 12-Steps of CS to keep the curriculum moving. (60-90 min) 

Streamline your Conversational Solfege literacy component of your lesson so that it moves more efficiently.  The Conversational Shuffle is what Teacher Trainer John Crever calls the tips and tricks that help tighten up the flow between steps and saves time on the admin work of planning and assessment.  Learn how to take impromptu statistical checks on the fly and confirm whether to continue with the activity, move on, or go back.  Learn how to front load future units and make the most of the scaffolding for the present learning objectives in a unit.  Did you know that there are short-cuts for planning and learning repertoire, as well as a short-cut to validate a unit at the close so that students see and affirm what they’ve learned? Doing the Conversational Shuffle will make moving through the twelve steps of CS like cutting a rug on the dance floor. 

An Ear-First Approach to Teaching Harmony and Improvisation in HS/MS Ensembles (1-6 hours)

John Feierabend’s 2018 reissued book Conversational Solfege Level 3 (a.k.a. “Upper Levels” or just “CSUL”), is the same Ear-First Approach to thinking musical thoughts that sets Conversational Solfege apart, and it’s geared towards MS/HS performing ensembles. CSUL picks up the sequence where Level 2 left off, guiding students to think, read and write in most keys, meters, and regions of the staff. CSUL also offers a curriculum to teach musicians a Conversational knowledge of major and minor diatonic harmony, and its application to teaching improvisation and composition in the performing ensemble classroom. Building on the conversational skill of “discovering the baseline” to create a harmony, introduced in Lev. 2, this curriculum leads students to use a bass line to inform tonal analysis to reveal the corresponding diatonic chord tones, and the many melodic counter-puntal possibilities that weave harmony together. Come prepared to sing.

Adaptions to Sight-Reading Curriculum for Online Instruction:
Join Feierabend Association teacher trainer John Crever for tips and resources to progress students from conversationally making music to writing original tunes they imagine while in online learning.

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