Luck is not chance, it’s toil. Fortune’s expensive smile is earned. ~ Emily Dickinson

Mr. Ahrens teaches band & choir at Bear River High School in Grass Valley, CA.


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Reaching the World

I started this music education blog nearly a year and a half ago primarily to focus my own thoughts about teaching, performance, and music. A secondary goal was to be able to share ideas with other music teachers that I have met on Twitter.  There has been an unexpected third result which is the wide reach my blog has had across the world. It seems unlikely to me, but Sound Education has been read now in 100 countries, across 6 continents, with over 6000 individual visits. This is the incredible power of the internet.

What can be learned from this? Three things come directly to mind:

1. I need to keep writing. I am finding an audience that I was truly unaware of and am happy to be sharing my ideas with them. I enjoy the conversation that takes place in comments, email, and Twitter. Knowing that someone will actually read what I have written encourages me to be professional and make every attempt to write well.

2. All [Music] Teachers should be blogging. There are a good number of teachers sharing ideas via their blogs, but certainly most are not. What a huge resource that would be if every teacher at your school (and at every school) was thoughtfully sharing their educational ideas, techniques, triumphs, and flops online! (So start writing, if you aren’t!).

3. What’s up with Antarctica?! Ok, so I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but would it be that hard to get some research scientist on Antarctica to cruise over to Sound Education and get us a ping for continent #7? Speaking of which, I would be interested to know what kind of music is happening on our icy continent. It’s my understanding that the population fluctuates between 1000 people in the winter to 5000 in the summer. I know that many of these scientists were in band in school (because band kids on average are smart and do well in the sciences). Is there a community ensemble anywhere? A rock band? A handbell choir? Anything? There must be. Let’s hear about it Antarcticans – what is your social music scene like?

photo credit:  adampadam – Photo adapted

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  • Marcia Barham

    Loved this post.  I began a blog and when I had interesting things to share it certainly got more hits.  I’m going to try and get back into it, but do share how you keep up with it with such a busy life as a musician, teacher, conductor, and all that goes with those titles and the many other hats we wear.  Thank you!