Teaching without resources is like trying to build a house without power tools. It's definitely possible, but it will take a lot of effort and will probably result in a few too many compromises.

Thanks to the Internet, finding teaching resources has never been easier. However, finding the best ones that interest the students is not a walk in the park. How can music teachers identify the resources that can engage learners and increase student success?

The best music lesson teaching resources are linked to real-life people and events. MusicTeacherResources (MTR) produces learning materials with that mission in mind. This November, we are connecting our resources with 11 notable artists. To help you get started, we've listed those resources below.


3 NOVEMBER is Jake Shimabukuro's Birthday

Jake Shimabukuro is a Japanese-American ukulele virtuoso and composer known for his fast and complex finger-work. He began playing the ukulele at the age of 4.

Shimabukuro achieved international fame in 2006 when a video of him playing a virtuosic rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" went viral on YouTube.

Having played for almost 40 years, Shimabukuro has made a career by taking the ukulele to the next level.  

Learn more about Shimabukuro and his music with this MTR resource:

JAKE SHIMABUKURO Word Search and Research Activity for mid

LISTENING LESSON: Listen to Jake's version and George Harrison's version of 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. Use this FREE Compare and Contrast Listening Response sheet.   

If you'd like a copy of the response sheet, follow the link above and click on the PREVIEW bar.  


6 NOVEMBER is John Philip Sousa's Birthday

John Philip Sousa was an American musician and composer.

He wrote military marches and other patriotic music. His best-known works are "Semper Fidelis" (the Official United States Marine Corps march) and "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (the National March of the United States of America).

Sousa's stirring marches will survive as long as band music is played.

Learn more about Sousa and his music with these printable and digital MTR resources. 
SOUSA Music Listening Foldables and Research Activities  SOUSA Music Word Search and Biography Research Activity Wo 


7 NOVEMBER is Joni Mitchell's Birthday

Roberta Joan Mitchell, professionally known as Joni Mitchell, is a Canadian singer-songwriter and is considered one of the greatest female acoustic guitarists in recent music history.

Mitchell's songs often reflect social and environmental ideals and her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment, and joy. Her 1971 album Blue is often cited as one of the best albums ever.

She has received many accolades, including nine Grammy Awards and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2002, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards.

I've played Big Yellow Taxi for students to write, comment or discuss the message/s contained in the song.

Learn more about Mitchell and her music with this printable and digital resource.
JONI MITCHELL Music Word Search and Biography Research Act


8 NOVEMBER is Bonnie Raitt's Birthday

Bonnie Lynn Raitt is an American blues singer-songwriter.

Raitt achieved international fame due to her deep, gravelly voice and fingers flying across a slide guitar.

She is best known for her songs "Nick of Time", "Something to Talk About", and the ballad "I Can't Make You Love Me."

Raitt has received 10 Grammy Awards.

Learn more about Bonnie Raitt and her music with this MTR resource.

BONNIE RAITT Music Word Search and Biography Research Acti


14 NOVEMBER is Aaron Copland's Birthday

Aaron Copland was an American composer who wrote modern tonal and film music. His music has become a significant part of American history.

Copland's major works blend a wide range of national musical influences with a modern technique and style.

His best-known compositions include Fanfare for the Common Man, Rodeo and Appalachian Spring.

This short YouTube provides an excellent introduction to Aaron Copland and is a helpful site for students to find information to complete the Copland Foldable activities!

Check out MORE fun and engaging MTR resources for Aaron Copland.

AARON COPLAND BUNDLE of Music Listening Worksheets and Res  AARON COPLAND Research and Listening Activities for Middle  AARON COPLAND Word Search and Research Activity for Middle  COPLAND: Interactive Biography Research and Listening Activities


Download the 'NOVEMBER Teaching Opportunities' as a PDF to keep in your files for quick access.

CLICK here for your copy.

See PART 2 of this blog post. 

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