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The Music Ed Mentor Podcast

The Music Ed Mentor Podcast, hosted by Elisa Jones, is a podcast about the challenges -- and solutions -- that music teachers encounter in their every day lives. Episodes feature a variety of guest educators who offer tips to fellow teachers. The Music Ed Mentor Podcast is sponsored by SmartMusic.

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Episode 042: The Orff Approach

Joining me this episode to help me talk about the Orff Approach, is Aimee Pfitzner, author of the O Fortuna Orff blog.


22 Feb 2019

Rank #1

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Episode 63: Comparanoia, Imposter Syndrome, and Faking It

This episode is about something that I feel, and I”m sure YOU feel, quite poignantly this time of year: inadequacy. For this episode I brought in the man trademarked the term “Comparanoia”, Davide DiGiorgio. Davide is fresh of a wildly popular TEDx talk where he shares how to be Unapologetic about just being YOU.


13 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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Episode 11: Classroom Management Secrets

This podcast is all about improving the lives of music teachers, and that means talking about classroom management. In his episode, I'm joined by Michael Linsin to talk about classroom management tips you can use in your very next class.


9 Nov 2017

Rank #3

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Episode 5: 10 Ways to Make Your Administrator Love You (part 1)

As educators, we can (and should) take the initiative to improve, nurture, and maintain great relationships with our administrators. In this episode of the podcast I talk with Bruce Rockwell about the ten most important things you can do to make your administrators love you.


11 Aug 2017

Rank #4

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Episode 053: Becoming A Minimalist Music Teacher

Can we practice some of the same concepts that minimalist gurus teach, both in our classrooms and in our lives? If we can, how could our practice as educators improve? What areas should look at first for minimizing? To help, I asked my friend Paige Bell (host of the Simple Music Teaching blog) to chat with me about becoming a minimalist music teacher, which is a passion we share.


25 Jul 2019

Rank #5

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Episode 64: Encouraging At-Home Practice

I know exactly how busy you are right now with the holiday season upon us. Which is why this episode is short, sweet, and to the point. We’re going to talk about some top tips for encouraging your students to practice over the holiday breaks. SmartMusic is one great tool, and to help me come up with even more ideas for how to encourage students to have fun practicing over the break, I turned to two resources: Lou Ann Pope, education specialist for Tonara, and some of our band director friends from Facebook.


18 Dec 2019

Rank #6

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Episode 044: As Women In Music Education

Today we are continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month. My guest is Adriana Linares, a professional violist, music educator, entrepreneur, and mother. A member of the incredible Dalí Quartet, she’s also one of the most positive and encouraging people I’ve ever met. Together we'll talk about life as women in music education.


21 Mar 2019

Rank #7

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Episode 054: Mastering Classroom Management

This week Dale Duncan shares successful classroom management strategies he has discovered over more than 20 years of experience as a choral director. You may know Dale as “Mr. D” from “In the Middle with Mr. D.” He is also a 2018 Top 25 GRAMMY Music Educator Award finalist and the creator of the S-Cubed sight-singing program.

1hr 7mins

1 Aug 2019

Rank #8

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Episode 037: Zen In The Music Classroom

My guest is Dan Tricarico, author of "The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom." Our discussion will give you some more ideas for staying happy and healthy. It’s up to you whether you implement them during this busy season, or wait to use them to help you start the year anew in January.


13 Dec 2018

Rank #9

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Episode 31: Entrepreneurship And Second Careers

In our previous podcast, April Vargo and I talked about side hustles: ways to make additional income outside of your regular job. In this episode April and I will continue the discussion, talking about side-hustles that could even become a second, or follow-up career to teaching in the classroom. We discuss the possibility of leaving music education for a different music-related career. Maybe you just want to have a regular job, or something with less-regulated hours. How can you even get started? Whether you’re part-time, full-time, all-the-time, or “about to be done with this teaching thing” time, there’s something in this episode for you.


11 Sep 2018

Rank #10

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Episode 060: Taking Your Group Global

My guest this week is Gavin Tabone, an elementary music teacher who has created an after-school choir that has received world-wide acclaim. All of our groups, choir or otherwise, could benefit from a little bit of this kind of magic, right? As your group gets more attention, you are establishing your own advocacy platform. Everyone loves being on the winning team that gets all the love. And in this episode, Gavin is going to tell us how to get it.


31 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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Episode 051: Creating And Recreating Music Using Technology

Barbara Freedman is here to help us navigate the tech that teaches music and creates composers and musicians and performers alike. This may just be the way you reach the other 80% of the students in your school, those students who aren’t in band, orchestra, or choir.


25 Jun 2019

Rank #12

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Episode 18: Motivation Tips from a GRAMMY-Winning Educator

In this very special episode of the Music Ed Mentor Podcast we welcome our first GRAMMY winning guest! I’m excited to share my conversation with Melissa Salguero, who just became the GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year. Melissa and I became Facebook friends after the NAfME conference, and when I realized she won a GRAMMY, I knew I wanted to share her story with all of you. In this episode, Melissa describes how she got involved with music, why she became a teacher, and how she stays motivated.


23 Feb 2018

Rank #13

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Episode 32: Battling Burnout With Best Practices

Today's discussion is all about self-care, holistic wellness, and implementing the best practices in your life to create a sustainable career. Joining me is my friend and co-author Fernando Penaloza. We’ll be tapping into not only our own careers and lives, but the results of several recent surveys that explore music educator burnout, and how to avoid it.


27 Sep 2018

Rank #14

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Episode 13: Tips for Job Transitions

Whether you’re just getting started in music education or are thinking about a new position, you likely have questions about getting a job. In this episode, I speak with five educators with experience in the field. Together they offer tips on every piece of the hiring process, from building a resume to handling the first day at a new job.


8 Dec 2017

Rank #15

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Episode 052: Connecting Rehearsal with Home Practice

Today we talk about something that can make or break your music classes: at-home practice. How do you get kids to stay engaged enough that they want to practice at home? How do you track or grade it when they do? To help me answer these questions, I’ve brought on Dr. Giovanna Cruz, the education services manager at MakeMusic and an experienced musician, private teacher, and public school orchestra director. She shares actionable advice from not only based on her own teaching experience, but also from the many teachers she’s met and worked with in her work at MakeMusic.


11 Jul 2019

Rank #16

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Episode 3: Equipment Inventory And Repair

In this episode of the Music Ed Mentor Podcast, we chat with Wendy Higdon about developing a plan for your equipment maintenance. Wendy has been teaching middle school music for more than 25 years, and her experience as a department chair means that she has great tips for working well with administrators.


10 Jul 2017

Rank #17

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Episode 29: Hacking Your Classroom

Right now many teachers are in the throws of Back to School, which can cause a fair amount of stress, anxiety, and excitement. To help, I brought in experienced choral expert, composer, blogger, and specialist in optimizing your classroom environment, Adam Paltrowitz. Adam shares tips on how to maximize student focus, set up our room for optimal flow, to craft the way our room feels to our students.


9 Aug 2018

Rank #18

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Episode 041: Starting an Elementary Music Program from Scratch

This week our guest is the elementary music guru, Jessica Peresta, host of the Domestic Musician. Before she was a wildly successful entrepreneur, she built her own elementary music program from scratch. It’s not uncommon for a district to add a new elementary program, not necessarily offer a whole lot of guidance, and look to hire someone like you to build the thing. This week we look at where you start.


7 Feb 2019

Rank #19

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Episode 25: Google Tools for Teachers

My guest for this episode is music technology guru and master educator Katie Wardrobe. I invited Katie to join me for this episode because she is a wizard with one of the most common pieces of classroom technology: Google Classroom. You’ll learn how other teachers are making the most of Google tools and how you can start putting them to use in your classroom (or summer office) right away.


7 Jun 2018

Rank #20