Skip to main content


Showing posts from January, 2017


What a short time it takes To put on the brakes Reverse Chart a course that shakes Americans to their very Roots
And yet
We the People shout Call the leaders out Demand Have second thoughts about America and her Roots
There is no place for hate You shall not dictate Curse Threaten or obligate America's very Roots
Americans are strong And everyone belongs Rise up Sing the song We are America's Roots

The Story After the Tweet

And then, in the midst of dystopia, my Principal texts me this: — Sarah Windisch (@slwindisch) January 26, 2017
Moments after I posted that picture, I got another text from my principal. It said, "You do make a difference ::winky-kissy emoji::"

I know what she meant. I do. I know it's a kindness when it's very apparent that I'm unhappy and feel unappreciated. But here's the thing: not once in my career have I ever doubted that I make a difference in the lives of my students. In fact, I probably have an over-inflated sense of my importance to my students. I know I make a difference. I know they adore me. I know they look forward to seeing me for a myriad of reasons - few of them musical.

And I know that if I felt my job contribution was of even a quarter of the importance to the adults I work with, I wouldn't be feeling the way I am.

The place I'm at in my career has nothing to do with students in any way. I've said it b…

Along Comes a Spark

I'm an excitable human. It's true.
But I've maybe never been as professionally excited as I was today.

Today I had a student, now a senior in high school, come to job shadow me. She's going to college in the fall to study music ed, and for her senior project, she's required to spend 5 hours with a professional in her chosen field.

So, first, it was, "Can I spend 5 hours?" and then it was, "Can I spend a day?" and today it was, "I'm coming tomorrow too, and I have these two periods back to back that I could come in, and..."

That's crazy flattering, let's be super honest. But, this is someone who, after talking to her, doing the "interview questions" she had to fill out, is going to be amazing in the classroom. Not just because she has that need to teach music, but because she understands so much more than I expected an (almost) 18 year old to, and in such a deeper way.

She jumped right into teaching kids. She had …

Favorite Lessons: Movie Music

I love teaching about movie music. Kids ask the best questions and are so, so curious. And there's so much to learn about. So many tangents! — Sarah Windisch (@slwindisch) January 5, 2017
This morning, we started talking about movie music in 5th grade. This becomes a unit in my class and it turns out differently each time I do it. That's probably the best part of it really: seeing what interests a particular class and what they want to do with it. Sometimes, kids get really into Foley. Other classes want to compose. One time, I had a class do a puppet show with their own music and sound and we learned about editing.

On the third time through the first video I share with students, I was thinking about how great it would be as a writing prompt. Or for creating art. (When you do lessons 3-5 times in a row, and then again on another day 3-5 times in a row, you can get pretty creative with what else to do with a resource.) So here it is:

(Insert all the educational disclaimers here…

A Study in The Adventures of the Dissatisfied Consulting Music Specialist of the Baskervilles (or something like that...)

Here's a big shocker: I'm a Sherlock Holmes fan.
I mean the A.C. Doyle stories. Robert Downey Jr. and The Great Mouse Detective. Guys, there's even a Super Mario Bros. Super Show episode that's Sherlock themed, and it's great. 
And then there's Sherlock.
BBC Sherlock.
Naturally, since series 4 just started, I've been thinking about it more than usual and I came to a realization. I'm Sherlock-shooting-the-wall-bored with what I'm doing. Originally, I was just dissatisfied with the lack of respect I was feeling. I wanted to pack up my toys and take them to play with someone who would appreciate how awesome they were. But what I'm doing now is too small for me. I've become complacent. I need to find a new challenge because I've done all I can here.

In that particular scene (The Great Game, S1, E3), Sherlock is disappointed with the criminal class - they're so mundane. He needs a challenge, a criminal mastermind to equal his brilliance. …