All posts tagged: piano

musical notes

All Cows Eat Grass

Most of you will know EXACTLY what I am referencing here.
If you were trained as a musician in the last 30 years, then this is most likely how you learned to read music.
If you are a musician, trained recently, and don’t know what I’m talking about, then I have to say that I am glad for you. Because this is not how to learn, or to teach, reading music.

Which came first: the rhythm or the melody?

Ah, the age-old question. The first time I realised that this was a matter of contention was when I was on a student placement (as a classroom teacher, not a music teacher). The music teacher was talking about how she never introduced pitch until Grade 3 (age 8), because children simply didn’t understand it before that. According to what she was saying, she only worked on rhythm with children in the first few years of school. Now, in her defense, she did in fact do a lot of singing with her students. What she really meant was that did not teach the western structures surrounding scales, melody and harmony. Was she right? At the time, I was horrified. And I have to say that I hope you’re a bit horrified too. Why, I wonder. You, as a music teacher yourself (or an enthusiast, anyway) will probably already have an answer. To state it plainly, to teach rhythm without any mention of melody, would be like telling a child to only eat the skin of an …

C or Do?

The title of this certainly is challenging to read. I can assure you that I do not mean ‘see or do’. The question I am asking is whether or not we call a note ‘C’ or ‘Do’, or anything else for that matter. This raises so many questions for people. We live in a world where we belong to schools of thought. Are you Kodaly trained, Orff trained, Suzuki trained? Or do those names make your eyes hurt? I have received extensive training in aural studies, sight singing and piano/music teaching. And what I have arrived at is that it is important to know what other people think, and why they think it. The programs I have listed have lasted for a reason; they are effective. So then why doesn’t everyone do it exactly the same way? The short answer to that is that music is a cultural product; it is intrinsically connected to language, communication and, in many cases, national identity. I learned the music notes as C,D,E all the way up to my …


Welcome to the music educator website! I am Jenny Guilford, an educator with over 12 years experience as an instrumental teacher, and 4 years as a classroom practitioner. I’ve taught everything from a tantruming 3 year old, to a classroom full of 10 year olds preparing a flashy dance number. I made this website to establish a community of music educators. As co-founder of the (In)Equal Temperament Project, I am passionate about decolonising the music classroom, and interrogating how we were taught. We should be willing to adapt how we teach, to include more people in the wonder that is music education. On this website there will be resources, including original sheet music, units of classroom work and all sorts of other resources designed to make your life simpler. You are the busy teacher, after all. Let’s get this education party started!