2016-17 Guided Internship Opportunities

Updated 9/7/2016


Launch your teaching career through community service… in Chinatown!

Open to: Students of all majors/backgrounds!
Website: http://musiclaunchboston.org

NEC’s MusicLaunch was founded in 2010 and is a partnership with the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC).  MusicLaunch is an innovative community-minded music education lab, where programs and curricula are driven by the dynamic, multi-faceted, and versatile faculty of NEC’s Continuing Ed Music-in-Education Certificate Program. MusicLaunch seeks to “develop the potential of every child” with its open enrollment (no audition) policy and classes that encourage music literacy from the ground up. Small-group lessons in guitar, band & string instruments, and recorder are also offered.

Like BCNC, MusicLaunch is committed to promoting social responsibility, critical thinking, and socio-emotional development.  While many arts organizations focus on free performances as their way of giving back, MusicLaunch instead puts experiential, hands-on learning and multi-level (sometimes, multi-generational) instruction at its core.

As a MIE Intern, you will help each child document his or her MusicLaunch experience through the year (in the form of reflective journals, video vignettes, and performance recordings), as well as assist MusicLaunch faculty with small-group or individual instruction. Open to students of ALL majors. MusicLaunch prefers students who can commit to the interning the entire year.

Time Commitment: 

This internship takes place from 4:15-5:30 PM on Wednesdays between October 5, 2016 and Dec. 14, 2016 (Fall Semester), and Jan. 25, 2017 to May 3, 2017 (Spring Semester). Priority will be given to students who can commit to this internship for both semesters. Included in the 2.5 hrs per week is a mentor/intern sharing session to help facilitate and allow for flow of constructive inquiry. Program documentation is assembled on a semesterly basis into digital portfolios that make visible these poignant moments of learning and exhibit MusicLaunch’s efficacy for all to see.

Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College is a private, coed Catholic liberal arts and sciences college, located near Fenway Park. And their music director, Greg Paré, is a NEC alum!! (M.M. Composition & MIE Concentration)  Greg has generously offered to host two interns. This is a fabulous chance to work in a college setting and be mentored by a successful NEC/MIE alum.

Voice Intern

The Voice Intern would teach a weekly lesson to a trained singer, once per week at Emmanuel College, and coach Emmanuel student song leaders in vocal technique and stage presence. A final project could be performed and journals would be encouraged. A piano or keyboard will be provided, and if the lesson is a group lesson, it may be possible to have an accompanist.

Instrumental Intern (Violin, Piano, or Clarinet)

The Instrumental Intern would offer a private or group lesson once a week at Emmanuel to students of beginning to intermediate experience. The goal will be to help Emmanuel students improve on their respective instruments, broaden their musical experience and exposure, and work towards a performance opportunity of some kind.

Hawaii Youth Symphony 

An inside view into community-based music education

Open to: Students of all majors/backgrounds!
Website: http://HiYouthSymphony.org

Hawaii Youth Symphony is one of the oldest and largest independently-operated youth symphony organizations in the country. Founded in 1964, HYS now serves over 600 students, ages 7-18 across the state of Hawaii, through its 7 orchestras and community music programs. HYS’s executive director is Randy Wong, of the NEC Music-in-Education faculty.

As a MIE Intern, activities will include designing multimedia assignments, research, examining student work, program observations (via video), learning about non-profit governance, fundraising, and more.  You’ll get an inside view of how a youth symphony organization operates, paired with the perspective and insight of a NEC MIE faculty member. Through this internship, you will have the opportunity to learn and develop analytic and interpretive skills that will further your growth.

Also, something cool is that HYS is partnering with From The Top and Hawaii Public Radio in Fall 2016, and the first semester of your internship will include activities related to that. Past HYS partnerships have included residencies with Midori, Toby Oft, and Conrad Tao.

Time Commitment: 

This internship requires 2-3 hours per week, and will be conducted primarily via email, phone, and shared docs.

Preference given to an instrumental major (classical, CI or jazz) with personal experience in a youth symphony-type program, and who are able to make a two-semester commitment. Sorry, no field trips to Hawaii!

Assist with Group Violin Classes at St. John Paul II Catholic Academy

Get experience with elementary-age, beginning string players!

Open to: String Players from all degree programs (Bachelors, Masters, DMA, Jazz, CI)

Time Commitment: Varies, but you have several choices: 


  • Lower Mills Campus (2214 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester MA) from 1:30 to 2:15 in-school
  • Monday Night Strings program from 6:30 to 8:00 pm (in Rob’s words: “The most awesome thing ever!”)


  • Mattapan Campus (120 Babson St, Mattapan, MA), from 1:30 to 2:15 in-school;


  • Columbia Campus (790 Columbia Rd, Dorchester MA), from 10:15 am to 11 am
  • Neponset Campus (239 Neponset Ave, Dorchester, MA), from 12:30-1:15 and then from 1:15 to 2 pm.

Apply your CPP Fellowship As a MIE Internship

Every year, some of our most committed interns are those who are also in the CPP Fellowship program. In order to apply your CPP Fellowship as an MIE Internship, you must send Randy an internship proposal prior (before)  the start of the semester. First priority will be given to students who have taken (or are currently enrolled in) a MIE core class such as the MIE Intro course or MIE Teaching Seminar.

Early Childhood Experience w/ Rock & Roll Daycare 

Rock and Roll Daycare (RRDC) is a music and arts immersive early childhood education center with a Montessori teaching philosophy. Students are organized into Infant (3-12 months), Toddler 1 (12-20 months), Toddler 2 (20 months-2.9 years) and preschool classes. Each age group receives daily group music lessons taught by a different specialist every day. Preschoolers also receive weekly private instrument lessons on violin, piano, guitar, or drums. Our curriculum focuses on a different world culture every two months explored through children’s music from the culture and culminating in an “International Night,” a guest artist performance/community potluck at the end of each study period.



RRDC currently has two locations, one at 166 Prospect Street in Cambridge (ten minute walk from the Central Square T stop) and one at 527-535 Cambridge Street in East Cambridge (a five minute walk from Lechmere Station, or directly off of the 69 bus line from Harvard). Two additional classrooms will be opening in Cambridge at 366 Broadway, October 2016.


Time Commitment

Group music classes run from 9:00 am to 10:30 am at the 166 Prospect Street location, and then from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm in East Cambridge (527 & 535 Cambridge Street).  The music schedule will shift once our new location opens in October, offering classes simultaneously at Central Square and East Cambridge from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

As a MIE Intern: NEC students are welcome to observe classes at either location with advance notice, either as a “fly-on-the-wall” or actively participating in group classes and exploratory period. Any observing student must submit a CORI form through RRDC in advance of joining us at the school. NEC students working with RRDC would gain exposure to a wide range of teaching techniques from an experienced core of music educators.

Specifically Seeking: Any students looking to work with young children. We want to expose our students to a wide range of instruments and genres, so a diverse pool of musical candidates are encouraged to participate. The ideal music partner at RRDC would be enthusiastic, engaging, and compassionate, with an interest in the development of the “Whole Child” through a strong foundation in the arts. Previous experience with young children is preferred, but we’d welcome the right candidate with a strong interest in this field. 

Classroom Cantatas

Bring Alive Classroom Subjects Through Words and Music

In partnership with the Cantata Singers!

Specifically seeking: Singers, composers, pianists

Shadow professional teaching artists from the Cantata Singers and assist them with teaching elementary kids (grades 2-3) composition, vocal technique, singing, and basic performance skills. Kids compose and perform cantatas based on texts and themes integrated into their core curriculum. Help kids explore the language and rhythm of melody, giving shape to their individual voices while deepening their understanding of core subject matter and character. Learn more at http://www.cantatasingers.org/education/classroom_cantatas.htm

Time Commitment: 

This internship takes place for 2 hours weekly, observing Boston Public Schools holidays and intersession breaks. Specific dates/times to be determined, based on program availability.

The Atrium School’s ‘Music Plus Music Integration’ Program

Open to: Students of all majors/backgrounds, but we are specifically interested in string players and improvisors.

We need interns to help document a really innovative, first-of-its-kind general music program. It’s built completely on MIE principles and frameworks, from the ground up, and taught by Beatrice Affron, Music Director of the Pennsylvania Ballet!! This program has been visited by movers/shakers across the country because of its inventive, interdisciplinary approaches to general education using music.

As a MIE Intern, you’ll help us study student academic growth and help us learn why music should be an integral part of every child’s curriculum. This internship is more ‘action research’-oriented than it is hands-on teaching. If you have a yearn to learn about mixed-method qualitative and quantitative research, portraiture, rubric development, and creating (or interpreting) data displays (graphs, statistics, charts, etc.) then this internship is totally for you!

Time Commitment: 

Flexible — though generally 2 hours per week on-site plus travel and readings. You’ll need a car for this internship, or live in Cambridge, as the Atrium School is easily accessible by bus from Harvard Sq. (#71). Unfortunately you will not be reimbursed for travel expenses.  You will also need access to a Mac with Excel (Numbers not OK) and be willing to install JMP statistical software on your computer.

Boston Public School teaching opportunities

Open to: Students of all majors/backgrounds, but they are specifically interested in winds/brass/perc players, singers, and improvisors.

We have had interns in the Boston Public Schools for the last 10 consecutive years! These are popular internships and the opportunities go fast. Schools where NEC students have interned include:

  • Boston Arts Academy. BAA is an urban arts-focused charter high school with students who take a full complement of music classes (music history, theory, Solfege, ensemble, lessons)—in addition to their regular curriculum. Walking distance from NEC.
  • Roland Hayes School of Music. RHSM is a music-centric middle school in Roxbury. We’ve had interns teach music theory, harp ensemble, choir, and band instruments here. The school is a block from the Roxbury Crossing T-stop on the Orange Line.
  • Josiah Quincy Upper School. JQUS is in downtown Boston (Chinatown) near the Tufts Medical Center T-stop. Students have taught composition, woodwind and brass instruments, music theory, and improvisation.

Create Your Own Internship

Maybe you already teach somewhere… or have an idea of your own that you want to put in action. Talk to MIE Internship Advisor Randy Wong and see if we can help you make it into an official MIE Internship!

2016-17 Guided Internship Application

GUIDED INTERNSHIP APPLICATION: https://form.jotform.com/necmie/Guided_Internship_App_2016-17


  1. Submit a Permission Request on PowerCampus for ‘MIE INT/Department/01’
  2. Complete online application
  3. Send an email to [email protected] when you have completed the online application.
  4. Once your draft is approved, your PowerCampus permission request will be approved. You will then need to ADD the internship to your schedule prior to the end of Add/Drop. You will also be e-mailed a PDF of your application to confirm your internship is approved.

Students should contact MIE faculty member Randy Wong ([email protected]) with any questions. Applications due to Randy by email on WEDNESDAY September 14, 2016 (fall semester) or WEDNESDAY January 25, 2017 (spring semester). You may also email MIE Department Assistant Mona Sangesland ([email protected]) if you have internship questions. 

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

This diagram has been making the rounds on social media again: Mnemonic Mistakes

“What’s wrong with it,” you might ask. Clearly, this is well-intentioned, and meant to be tongue-in-cheek. But let’s take it seriously for a moment, and look at it as if it were designed for practical, educational use.

The real problem with it is that most people don’t say these words metronomically (and/or consistently) in everyday language, therefore making teaching with them unnatural! Prosody is out the window. Sure, “Sasquatch” is two syllables, but do you really say them with equal weight and duration?

And don’t even get me started on “Want some cat antlers?”

Reaching Your Target Audience and Communicating Strategically

A big, kind of “behind the scenes” part of musicians’ work in education has to do with publicity and messaging. It’s not news that social media is a big part of most everyone’s lives, and almost everybody who has any kind of online presence has fewer and fewer time to pay attention to anything in depth!

Articulating what we do as teaching artists or music educators is more crucial than ever. Almost everybody who plays music also teaches! In order to tell your story, you will have to be strategic about how you communicate to the public. You’ll need to begin to consider the following things:

  • How do you articulate what you do and why?
  • What online “channels” are most appropriate for what evidence?
  • Does the story you tell align with your intentions and your outcomes?
  • And how do you ensure that you’re able to reach your target audience?

This post won’t (directly) answer any of those things for you, because entire books and careers can be dedicated towards exploring those questions. However, what this post WILL do is show you how your MIE Guided Internship is helping you practice and prepare for a lifetime of communicating your work.

Every MIE Guided Intern gets some practice with strategic communication. Here’s a breakdown:

Blog Posts
The blog posts are intended for consumption by the general public. The Internet is a publicly-accessible place (does anyone even call it the “World Wide Web” anymore?) and so first and foremost, your blog posts have to be simple and clear. They should give your audience a bird’s eye view on your internship or topic, but have enough detail/realism to keep things interesting. (Nobody likes to read things that are too bland or vague.) Children’s full names should be omitted for privacy reasons, and anything that’s potentially embarrassing should be avoided or re-worded. Interns write a minimum of 3 blog posts throughout their internship, and the posts should be structured to lead from one to the next.

Internship Proposal
The internship proposal is modeled after the kinds of proposal forms one may encounter when applying for real world grants. While not “public” (like blog posts), the intern should consider that anything put down in writing could be read by a large amount of people. Most foundations have reading committees that critique proposals with a fine-tooth comb, then score the proposals in relation to a rubric and one another, before making a final decision. Rarely is a proposal funded based on the decision of a single person. Writing a successful proposal means being able to:

  • Articulate your goals, story, agenda in ways that are authentic to you/your project, but understandable/relatable to others;
  • Be clear and concise, often within specific word or character limits set forth by the grantor;
  • Provide evidence or data that demonstrates how/why your project should be chosen;
  • Set realistic, attainable goals for yourself, within the specified time period;
  • Show the funder or grantor that you understand their needs and that your program will help them accomplish their goals, objectives, or metrics.

Digital Portfolio
The digital portfolio is the intern’s opportunity to “dig deep” and provide real evidence for what was achieved in the internship. It’s challenging, because in most cases, the intern will be juggling two sets of goals/work samples—their students’ vs. their own—while putting everything under a single umbrella. Most interns will find a way to incorporate elements of their blog posts and internship proposals into the digital portfolio, which usually provides a nice starting point. Yes, the digital portfolio is like creating a website, but unlike a website, it focuses specifically on you as an educator. It’s also semi-private, meaning that it’s not totally open to the public (unless you request that it be made to be).

The digital portfolio gives interns a chance to show their trajectory:

  • How did the internship progress, as compared to their planning?
  • What strides were made?
  • What unexpected challenges came up, and how were they resolved?

Something that an intern just quickly referred to in a blog post might warrant a longer vignette in a digital portfolio. Or, a long reflection in the portfolio might trigger the intern to write a short blog post on the same topic, to see if any commenters at the blog have input.

When the MIE program first started, portfolios were in hard-copy, which made it cumbersome for interns to include videos, recordings, and even photos of them teaching. But since we have progressed into the Internet Age, interns who provide rich artifacts really help to bring their internships to life. Not only is it more interesting to read a reflection that goes along with a video, but it gives the interns the practice they need to make a good video. (Things to think about: Video length? Camera angle/frame? What you say/context? Etc…)

More and more, grantors and funders are asking to see digital portfolios as evidence that the monies they gave really went to good use. And, even if a “digital portfolio” isn’t requested, a final report is. The final report nearly always refers back to the proposal in some way.

All of these elements of the guided internship are meant to help you, as interns, practice and learn strategic communication skills. As you progress through the MIE Concentration, you will improve these skills. And, the more you invest yourself in your internships, the more you’ll want to tell people what you’re doing, how and why. It’ll no longer be “good enough” to just do the work. You’ll want recognition (which is a good thing), and you should reach for it, because doing so will help you obtain the funding and community support you need to continue to do it. The more people you affect through your love for music, education, and all of the intersections in between, the more you will be doing to improve things like quality of life, access to the arts, etc.

And, that brings me back to the subject line of this post, “Reaching Your Target Audience.” Only you will know exactly who your target audience is—but I can bet that, through consistent and strategic communication skills, you’ll eventually find and reach them!

Looking ahead, once your internship is complete

Towards the end of every semester, I often get messages from interns asking “now what?” Usually, the context for these messages is that the intern enjoyed the internship and wants to continue the activity—either at the site, or on their own—and would like some direction on how to proceed.

For those interns that are graduating, or are thinking ahead to life after graduation, a frequent question is, “How will I get paid (or be paid) for the kind of teaching work I want to do?”

If the intern is starting a private studio, then usually I suggest they start a website and link to their digital portfolio (or draw content from it). Most interns’ digital portfolios include some sort of Rationale Statement that introduces themselves as a teacher and how their approach to teaching is specific to them. Usually, these digital portfolios also have good quality media that shows them teaching, interacting with students, and reflecting on their work. These kinds of artifacts are just as important as videos or recordings of them playing, because it will give prospective students (and/or the students’ parents) some perspective on that person’s teaching style.

But for interns who are developing residency-type programs, workshops, or community programs, the path to self-sustenance may not be as clear. Those types of programs will need to be funded by grants, corporate sponsorships, or private donors—and often, a mix of sources!

In that case, I suggest learning about fund development. A good place to start is with some basic books—also available as iBooks or Kindle books—used by organizations like AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) or CFRE International (Certified Fund-Raising Executive). Not only do these books provide a great overview of the types of fund-development strategies that are out there, but they outline basic (but important) elements of non-profit organizations that aren’t necessarily obvious unless you’ve read or studied about them. In fact, even though practically all trained musicians will work for dozens of non-profits throughout their lives/careers, it could take years to learn what makes a non-profit “tick” from a business/organizational standpoint.

The following books are a good place to get started:

  • Fundraising Basics: A Complete Guide. By Barbara L. Ciconte, Jeanne Jacob [Amazon]
  • Fundraising Fundamentals: A Guide to Annual Giving for Professionals and Volunteers. By James M. Greenfield [Amazon]
  • Strategic Communications for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide to Working with the Media. By Kathy Bonk, Henry Griggs, Emily Tynes, Phil Sparks [Amazon]

This isn’t an end-all, be-all list, but a point of departure! I’ll be posting more on the topic of Fund Development later.

Leading by Example / Error Detection

As a teacher, one of the things I find is most difficult to do CONSISTENTLY is “leading by example.” Whether it’s in the course of a private lesson, during a classroom session, or throughout the span of a semester, modeling the behavior you’re shooting for is the best way.

When your teacher “leads by example,” s/he will:

  • Set up clear expectations for students. The modeled behavior will show them that what you’re asking them to do is possible—and reinforce why that behavior is desirable.
  • Demonstrate proficiency and accuracy. Students love seeing their teacher be able to “nail” something that they’re working to achieve.
  • Develop trust & respect. Forget the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.” That mindset creates double standards. The goal instead is a growth/meritocratic mindset, in which progress is an achievement.

I’ve noticed that most of my “beginning” interns are most comfortable “leading by example” on their instruments. I suppose this should be expected, because they were accepted into NEC based on their proficiency on their instruments. What’s generally more difficult though, is for them to consistently lead by example in general music contexts—e.g. casual singing, Solfege, recorder, clapping. etc.

You may think that I’ll be asking “why” that is… there are many reasons! But the most important reason, is that it’s easy to take for granted the skill required to perform seemingly basic songs & concepts.

Recently I observed a mixed class of interns, children, and parents singing “Frere Jacques.” The amount of notes, harmonic rhythm, and form are incredibly simple, compared to a Bach prelude or a Billy Strayhorn song. But that doesn’t mean the song can—or should—be performed with less precision, less thought. If anything, it means it will take more concentration. If “Frere Jacques” is being sung in hocket, with a new person singing or clapping each successive phrase, then that means doing so—on time, in form, and in the same key. If it’s being sung as a round, then it’s very important to pay attention to intonation, so that the harmonies are always clear. You can probably see what I’m getting at!

One way to mitigate some of these difficulties is to actually practice (yes, rehearse) how an activity like that is going to go, and iron out the challenges of pitch, rhythm, form, etc. But since that isn’t always possible, there is another way: You can emulate an actual rehearsal in the classroom. When you do this, you’ll need to “break the 4th wall” a bit to allow for a change in persona or “teacher voice.” For example, if you catch yourself doing something incorrectly, you might ask the class, “Did anyone hear what I did wrong there?” which will push your students into error-detection mode. Then, you can model it again, the correct way, and see if they catch on.  It might mean slowing things down, to really capture the essence of what needs to be accomplished.



Don’t Forget About General Music!

“My son’s school no longer has a marching band.”

That’s the kind of dreary, depressing sentiment, oft-expressed on the news today. When we hear about music programs getting cut from schools, it’s always the instrumental ones, usually at the middle or high school level. [1][2][3] Maybe that’s no particular surprise; after all, high school band programs are typically paired with athletic programs (e.g. basketball pep bands; football marching bands), and are therefore the most visible. Then, a huge instrument corporation might come to “save” the day with instrument donations—but perhaps, all of a sudden, you have a “program” with lots of instruments but no educators or curriculum!

Even more distressing is the decline of programs at the elementary school level, which typically means the loss of general music classes that teach fundamental musical skills that all secondary school band, orchestra, and choir programs depend on.

To understand this, one has to look at college-level teaching artist preparation programs. Though 95% of music performance majors will eventually teach in some capacity, few actually take any classes in education, or do any kind of teaching, before graduation. Even fewer college students who teach while in school will teach general music, Solfege, or recorder. Many will seek the opportunity to teach private lessons on their primary instrument, followed by group lessons/sectionals/ensemble rehearsals in their instrument family, then perhaps general music or something interdisciplinary.

At NEC, we’re lucky—approximately 25% of the student body will take at least one Music-in-Education course during their degree, and dozens participate in one of NEC’s many education-minded opportunities, be it through MIE, the Community Performances and Partnerships Program, a Teaching Assistantship, the Prep/CE programs, or another opportunity. Also, many NEC MIE students seek general music and/or interdisciplinary teaching opportunities.

Because relatively fewer students have training/expertise in teaching general music, it stands to reason that fewer graduates seek opportunities to teach/create general music type programs. Of course, this is not to say that college graduates are solely to blame for the lack of general music programs; of course there are zillions of reasons (mostly from the hands of politicians, school boards, and funding cuts) that dictate which/where music programs are cut!

But that being said, the shortage of general music offerings makes it even more important for musicians to seek opportunities to teach general music and to improve their abilities to teach fundamental skills.

In fact, fundamental musical skills programs are some of the most desirable, attractive programs out there to funders and parents alike!

A good fundamental skills program will:

  • Allow access to children, regardless of previous musical background or experience. (In other words, no prior knowledge needed! No auditions, private lessons, or instruments necessary!)
  • Teach all children the same skills, on equal footing. (E.g. everyone in the program will get to play recorder and sing. Kids won’t be segregated into those that “can” or “can’t.”)
  • Be inclusive. Believe that all children can achieve in music, and equally stress the importance/development of traits like quality, work ethic, motivation, and focus. (The program should not discriminate against those with learning challenges or physical challenges, and should be aware of the different ways that children learn and develop.)
  • Provide equal opportunities for children to perform, create, be recognized for their efforts, and progress through some kind of continuum. (Again, that everyone performs/creates, not just the selection of a few.)

Most programs that follow these kinds of rules will also have some kind of funding that makes it possible for students of all financial backgrounds to participate. Usually that means that the program will be offered for a very low cost, and that the organization presenting it will subsidize, or completely cover, the cost of basic instruments, supplies, etc. (See El Sistema USA’s “Guiding Principles” for more great guidelines!)

Another feature many programs share is that they are housed in a community center, like a residential development, a Boys & Girls Club, a YMCA, or somewhere else that’s school-agnostic and allows a mix of kids from a variety of schools to participate. This inter-school element is a very special value, because it really drives children’s development through music’s inherent interpersonal and social-emotional qualities.

To a large degree, these kinds of general music programs are take on a fairly “new,” popular perspective—that music education can be a social equalizer or provide some kind of social change. That music making will make possible opportunities for students to learn and grow where other activities might not have the same kind of success. Programs like El Sistema USA, MusicLaunch Boston, and Hawaii Youth Symphony’s Music in the Clubhouse are all examples of these kinds of general music programs. (Disclaimer: I have helped to develop these programs, and similar ones.)

There’s a rigor that comes from high quality general music instruction. Why? Because it takes a lot to learn the very fundamentals of music. As a general music instructor, nothing can be taken for granted. You’ll teach concepts like reading, notation, proportion/ratio, pulse, pattern recognition, contour, and form—just to name a few—in the service of getting children ready to understand melody, harmony, rhythm, and music appreciation. And that’s not including all of the musical vocabulary words (yes, even things like “melody” and “rhythm”) that so many people take for granted.

Teaching general music is about teaching the higher-order concepts, breaking down musical concepts without any jargon, and helping students develop skills that they could apply throughout their lives!