Podcast Interview with Katie Wardrobe

Last month, I spoke with Australian music educator and music technology consultant Katie Wardrobe for her “Music Tech Teacher” podcast. We spoke for about 45 minutes about the value of learning to code in a music class and how to use Scratch and Makey Makeys in the classroom. We shared some different project ideas as well as some of the challenges that arise when using these tools. Check out the podcast and my slides on Scratch and Makey Makeys as well.

Music Education

Making Music With Makey Makeys


This presentation was given at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Winter Conference on December 3, 2016. These slides, along with examples of student work from my 6th grade general music class, were presented to an audience of public and private music teachers from around New York State. Following the slides, participants in the session had the opportunity to experiment with Makey Makeys and various materials and online resources.

Some examples of student work included:

  • Musical Twister board
  • Cardboard and aluminum ukulele
  • Playdoh drumset
  • Musical windchimes
  • Original song for ukuleles, shaker, and Makey Makey/Scratch piano

Music Education

Ghanaian Dance-Drumming in the Music Classroom


In the summer of 2008, I had the opportunity to travel to the village of Dagbamete, Ghana to study music. As a percussionist, I couldn’t ignore this chance. This was a three-week study abroad course through SUNY Potsdam. During this time, we lived in the village, taking music lessons Monday through Friday during the day and excursions around Ghana on the weekends.

Dagbamete is located in the Volta region of Ghana, which is in the southeast, near the border of Togo. Ghana is an incredibly diverse country, with over 100 languages spoken. The people in our village belonged to the Ewe people. In Ewe tradition, music consists of three parts: drumming, dancing, and singing. Without all three components, a piece is not complete.

We learned three different styles of music in Dagbamete: Gahu, Zigi, and Kpanlogo. This article will be focusing on Gahu. Gahu, which means “expensive dance,” originated in Nigeria and was integrated into various Ghanaian cultures as people moved. Each tribe has its own variation on the Gahu. The patterns I will be discussing are specific to the Ewe version of Gahu as taught by Kwasi Frederick Dunyo. In addition, I am including notation for the drumming and singing and video for the dancing.

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Music Education