Why Our Work Matters

Winter 2016, Canadian Music Educator

Abstract:​ Does music make us smarter? Perhaps – perhaps not. In this article, the author questions the ‘music makes you smarter’ mantra by instead suggesting that our work matters simply because it has the potential to change lives. Using a compelling story about a boy named Jonathan, the author shows us that this, in fact, may be true

Exploration, Experimentation, and Opportunity: Facilitating Improvisation in Music Classes

Winter 2014, Canadian Music Educator

​Abstract: In this article, the author discusses the topic of creativity and improvisation. Using his sister as a research subject, the author takes the reader through the process of how to introduce and facilitate a safe place for improvisation and the learning synapses that follow. He points out that improvisation is something that can happen in any style given the right environment.

Inherent Creativity and the Road to Happiness: Improvisation and Composition in the Music Classroom

Winter 2013, Canadian Music Educator

Abstract: In this article the author explores the concept of creativity in the classroom. He points out that children are inherently creative and, given the right environment, can create and compose wonderful music with very little guidance. He argues that, not only are improvisation and composition essential skills for modern musicians, but being involved in creative activities can greatly affect student well-being.​

Spring 2012, Steve's Music Room, by Robyn Verhoeven

Musical Creativity: Thoughts and Experiences

Abstract: In this paper, the author discusses Inner Honesty with regards to composing music. Those of you who are still afraid to improvise or to teach your students how to be creative musicians, this article has the potential to inspire you and to instruct you how to do so.

Fall 2011, Steve's Music Room

pBone or Not pBone?

​Abstract: This article is a review of the pBone and its applications in the classroom. The author points out that even though it may look like a toy, it is very well designed and functions just like a brass trombone.

Winter 2010, Canadian Music Educator

Popular Music Education: A Different Type of Musicianship, the follow-up

Abstract: This article is designed as a follow-up to a Spring 2008 article about a performance based popular music course for high school. The author shares what happ​ens when this concept is applied to elementary school and the successes that follow. He points out that we all have very talented students in our classrooms and we often underestimate what they are capable of. As well, there are so many other opportunities for the school, parents and community by having a school based rock ensemble.

Spring 2008, Canadian Music Educator

Popular Music Education: A Different Type of Musicianship

Abstract: The author discusses the relevance of popular music education in schools by proposing a course that he formulated. He notes that popular music is based on improvisation and memory, which are the aspects of musicianship often neglected in concert band. He cites that playing popular music in schools would place emphasis on aural training and dictation. He explains the coverage and purpose of the course, noting that it is based on the learning by design model where the teacher serves as a guide and the students act as teachers by learning from each other.​