Hi friends!

Great New Ideas for BTS

This is Melissa from Mrs. Stouffer’s Music Room dropping in to give you some great back to school tips!  With the new school year approaching, there are a lot of things I have wanted to try but haven’t done yet.  And I keep saying I’m going to try them and then I don’t get there.

So here is a list of the 6 of best ideas from some of my Music Crew friends,  and ideas that will make you stand out!






1. Goal setting
Goal setting is important in lots of parts of life, but we don’t all do it in our classrooms. This blog post from Kim at Music Teacher Resources is a great reference for why you should set goals in the classroom.
I have my middle school students set SMART goals for their monthly practice logs, but I’ve never tried it as a class.  This year, I’m resolving to do it each month with my students as part of our beginning of the month processes.  I can’t wait to see out it turns out!

Setting Goals

2. World Music
I’m half Filipino, but don’t know anything about my culture.  My grandparents were both from the Philippines but never passed anything on to my dad. One of the things I’ve ALWAYS wanted to learn so I can teach my students is tinikling. So when Elizabeth from Organized Chaos blogged here back in January about going in depth with a particular culture instead of doing a world music unit I was intrigued.

World music is a BIG genre.  And I know the musical sides of my ethnic backgrounds sound and look NOTHING like each other!  When we try to shove it all together, it gets mumble-jumbled.  It would be hard to keep straight all of the sounds and instruments you could talk about, while still barely scratching the surface!

The idea of doing one culture a year seems like a brilliant way to really teach your students about world music without lumping it all together.

I would definitely read the whole post, but I encourage you to think about adapting this.  Imagine the difference in understanding.

3. Beat Buddies
Ok, I had NEVER heard of this until Shelley from Pitch Publications posted this blog on the MusicCrew site.  She uses old Beanie Babies to help cure wiggles, overzealous instrument playing, and as a classroom management tool.  And you know…to keep the beat.   She’s got 2 posts about them, and now I’m dying to find a set of beanie babies to use with my youngest students! The 2nd post can be found here.

BeatBuddies4.  Centers
I know we hear about them a lot, but they are so hard to start.  Trying to imagine them in the music room seems overwhelming, and with multiple grade levels, almost impossible.  Check this post by Jennifer from SingToKids to find out how she approaches them.  I think one of the best tips I’ve heard though, is to start with one grade and build.MusicCenters

5. Growth Mindset ….

is SO big right now.

But how do you do this in the music room?  Linda from Floating Down the River on the Ohio wrote this amazing post about Growth Mind Set anyhow she incorporates it seamlessly into the music room.  And how we already do it. I can see this post definitely helping you show how you are highly effective! Read it here.

Growth Mindset6.  QUICK Tips!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on my blog about  5 new things you can do during the school year to make it go more smoothly FOR YOU.
– Toss It
– Start a “New Kid” folder
– Join a Facebook group
– Map Your Curriculum
– Plan Ahead

Check out the whole post here.
5 Tips BTS
I hope this gives you some great ideas to try this year! I’d love to hear about what you tried!





Melissa with Mrs. Stouffer's Music Room

Melissa Stouffer earned a bachelor of science in psychology and a bachelor of music education from Central Michigan University. I teach preschool-8th grade general music, choir and band. Mrs. Stouffer is Kodály Level Two certified and serves as the president of the Michigan Kodály Educators (MIKE). She is also the MMC Planning Committee representative for MMEA. In 2009 married my college sweetheart, Sam, whom I met in band at CMU. We live in Metro Detroit with our dog, Cindy Lou Who.