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Music Educators Toolbox: Inside the Classroom with Kristine Hart

We recently had a chance to interview Kristine Hart, an elementary music teacher at Memorial Elementary in Paramus, New Jersey, who shared her experience with the Music Educators Toolbox and gave us a peek into her classroom as she explores expressive qualities with her first-grade students.

What Toolbox resources and activities did you find particularly useful for planning your lessons?

Kristine Hart: In my lesson, I used the Toolbox teaching videos as well as the Grade 1: Expressive Qualities (Tempo) activity as a guide for my planning. The children loved this lesson because it included movement, technology, as well as singing a familiar song. The Toolbox gave me the insight to create a great lesson while incorporating my own style, as well.


How do you incorporate the Toolbox into your yearlong curriculum?

Kristine Hart: For many teachers, assessments are difficult in music. I think the Toolbox really helps to guide teachers in the right direction of how to assess music students in grades K–5. I especially like the K–1 assessments, because they are simple to use and very effective. In terms of my yearlong curriculum, it gives me great formative and summative assessments.

How does the Toolbox help with lesson planning?

Kristine Hart: The Toolbox makes my planning easier and more focused. I find the teaching videos to be quite helpful when studying lesson ideas. I usually incorporate rhythm and melody concepts in all lessons throughout the year, so I like to browse the activities for creative ideas. Also, the children really seem to enjoy the lesson structures that explore expressive qualities, such as loud and soft, fast and slow, and legato and staccato.

The Music Educators Toolbox is a set of free online resources for music teachers, including lesson plans and activities, summative and formative assessments, video examples, and documented best practices. Learn more