Episode 6 – Matt Abraham and Shannon Little (Part 2)


Hello and welcome to Band Together, a six-part series exploring how different music teachers foster positive classroom cultures in their band room. In this series, I interview six band teachers and discuss their general views on a positive culture and what strategies they use to implement it.

In our sixth and final episode, I finish my conversation with Matt Abraham and Shannon Little, two music educators co-teaching at a large, urban high school. If you haven’t listened to the first half, that’s in Episode 5 and maybe you’d like to check that out first. In our segment of today’s episode, we spend quite a lot of time talking about the room and how it affects culture. In previous episodes, we’ve talked about how the room is laid out, is it tiered or flat, or what’s on the walls. Matt and Shannon explore this question in a different way, focusing more on what makes it a place where kids feel welcome and how they can make it feel like a hub.

We also speak at length in this last segment about how lucky we are as educators in Manitoba to stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us. Like Marissa has said in her episode, tradition is a core part of a culture and, let me tell you, we have been very fortunate to have a strong music education tradition where we live. It’s not meant to sound arrogant or superlative, it’s just three educators being sincerely grateful that we get to teach in the non-competitive, student-focused culture in which we ourselves were raised.

And one last thing: This was our final episode meaning, like the last day of Grade 12 Band, our experience together has come to an end. Thank you so much for listening.

The show is available at bandtogetherpodcast.com or on Apple podcasts and Google Play. Listen at your computer or on the go. The results of the research are published via two papers in Canadian Winds, a peer-reviewed journal for instrumental music educators.

You can contact me at kenley[at]kenleykristofferson[dot]com or at my website at http://www.kenleykristofferson.com. Follow me on twitter @kenley_k and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kenley.


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