For Your Audiation, Summer 2024

June 10, 2024

What's Happening with GIML?

Your monthly GIML missive

Letter from the President

Dear GIML Members,

The soundtrack for this essay might be Schmidt and Jones’ “Plant a radish, get a radish…” song from The Fantasticks.


I am surely not the first person you’ve heard make comparisons between teaching and gardening, but, as gardening has been a daily habit these past few weeks, I am mulling over this analogy.

I grew up on a farm, so I know that there’s a lot of science behind agriculture. Out in the highly uncontrolled field (my garden), however, I don’t have laboratory controls. So I know that my plants and seeds need a mix of sun, water, nutrients, and warm temperatures. I also know that weeds, insects, and my two large live-in canines can damage the crop. Some of these variables I can control; some I can not. Thus, I’m using formative assessment, managing what I can, watering when I need to, and hoping that the mix of environmental factors nurtures growth and fruition.


All of us who are teaching have probably spent time juggling variables in this way. We know our learners need a good musical model, diverse modes and meters, movement, sequential instructions and goals, and feedback. Determining who needs what, when, and how much is the art of music education. For many of us, our minions are heading off for the summer. They’ll be singing at camp or while working, playing instruments at home, dancing at family gatherings, and thinking musical thoughts. For many, the summative assessment for the year is that last project or concert before vacation. I would suggest that another summative assessment is what they do with all the experiences they’ve had and the kind of musician/audiator they become when next you see them. Sometimes time, space, and independent development are what is required to allow learners to grow into their potential.

Here are the B-section lyrics: (speaking about vegetables)

            They’re dependable! They’re befriendable!

            They’re the best pal a parent’s ever known!

            While with children, it’s bewilderin’

            You don’t know until the seed is nearly grown, just what you’ve sown.

Butch Marshall, GIML President

Summer Intro Courses Are Live!

In these summer workshops, participants will be introduced to the principles of Music Learning Theory as developed by Edwin E. Gordon, as well as its practical application in early childhood music, elementary general music, piano, and/or instrumental music settings.

Still Room in Summer PDLCs

New Audea Hot Off the Presses!

GIML is pleased to present the Spring 2024 Audea! This issue features:

  • Letter from the Audea Editors, Colleen Conway & Sarah Hodgman
  • Practitioner Guide (Nurturing the Inner Potential of Children with ASD Through Informal Music Guidance: Perspectives from a Music Therapist and a Music Educator) by Debra Gombert & Heather Shouldice
  • A Multi-Media Interview with Cynthia Taggart conducted & written by Victoria Vajda
  • Book Review of Musicianship-Focused Curriculum and Assessment (2nd Ed.) by Stephanie Prichard 

This is available for members only, so hop on over to the members only area to read this brand new edition of GIML's journal. 

GIML Member Spotlight: Dillon Walters

Introduction to Music Learning Theory

Dillon will be starting his fourth year of teaching K-5 elementary music and beginning band in the Central Valley of California. He describes the community as a rural area with lower social economic challenges, but rich in musical appreciation. He observes this community’s passion for music, noting, “I can tell most students have been sung to during their prime musical development”. 


Dillon was first introduced to Gordon’s Music Learning Theory through Dr. Mowrer at CSUF, who took the time to guide him through Gordon’s Learning Sequence. He reflects, “Funny enough, my first emotion was frustration because I felt like my music education could have gone smoother by experiencing the different tonalities and meters. After that I was excited to learn more and challenge my audiation”.

Music Learning Theory in Action

“MLT saved me during the curriculum planning. The previous elementary music teacher abandoned the ship and left no maps. The other music staff were stretched across different academic levels and did not specialize in primary music education like I do. Honestly, developing a curriculum from scratch is hard regardless of anyone's background. What helped keep me together was Music Learning Theory. I knew from the start I needed to plan based on the students musical age and not chronological age. Was it perfect? No... It was a start and by next year each grade will finally have their own set curriculum instead of similar levels of sequence”.

CA-GIML Leadership: Opportunities and Challenges

Dillion currently serves as Vice President of the CA-GIML chapter. He is most excited about opportunities to collaborate and provide resources for the MLT community in California. As he is learning the ropes of the organization, he strives to foster an environment for optimal communication. He reflects that, “mindful communication is a lifelong journey. It requires a lot of listening, breathing and seeing the larger picture in conjunction to this moment”.

Fun Stuff!

Dillion enjoys reading, meditation, and learning from nature. His musical hobbies include composing and understanding the overtone series in relation to the universe. His favorite way to engage in music making is through drum circles and improvisation. 

Piano 2 PDLC Compositions

Below are three compositions from the 2023 Piano PDLC at Eastern Michigan University. Thanks to the piano faculty for facilitating this share!

'Trail Ride' by Scarlette Kerr (member of the Mid-Atlantic GIML chapter). Scarlette composed this lovely lilting Mixolydian tune with wonderful triple meter division-elongation rhythm patterns in the melody.  Suitable for acculturation AND offers 3 choices of duet parts appropriate for different levels of student engagement.

'Hide & Seek' by Sarah Boyd (member of the Michigan GIML chapter). Sarah combined a little Locrian tune for the teacher to sing (or play) with a little singing response and keyboard game for students to add!

'Zealous Zebra' by Molly Petrik (member of the New England GIML chapter). Molly composed this little piano solo which works beautifully as an acculturation piece for harmonic minor and a duple meter division-elongation rhythm pattern that she felt was underrepresented. Beginning students can participate at the keyboard with varying levels of difficulty as described in her pdf. 

Upcoming Dates

  • June 17 - June 28, Early Childhood II PDLC at Michigan State University
  • June 17 - June 28, Elementary General I PDLC at University of Houston
  • June 23 - July 3, Early Childhood I, Piano I, Piano II PDLCs at Eastern Michigan University
  • July 1 - July 12, Elementary General I, Instrumental I, Choral I PDLCs at University of New Mexico
  • July 22nd - July 26th, Elementary General Online Intro Course
  • July 29th - August 2nd, 2024, Choral Online Intro Course
  • August 11 - August 13: NY-GIML Summer Mini-Conference

If you would like to have your event featured, please fill out this form here by the last day of the month preceding the month you would like to be featured.

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