Workshop Descriptions

Here are some examples of workshops I have presented over the past several years. More workshop descriptions and workshops tailored to meet the needs of a specific audience/educator group can be designed if you email me at katietraxler@gmail.com. Contact me to inquire about availability and presenter fees.


Composition for all Shapes and Sizes!

Experience hands-on lesson activities that engage students in creative music-making as a full class, in small groups, and as individuals. Lessons are scaffolded to explore and review basic musical concepts for Kindergarten through 5th grade. Activities include composing rhythmic pieces and simple melodies, orff and percussion pieces in two-part forms, shape patterns, and using artwork to inspire musical compositions. I will also share a few short video clips and pictures of sample student compositions and discuss some efficient ways of assessing student composition using rubrics.


Explore Percussion Instruments and Movement Games with Classic Nursery Rhymes and Folk Songs

Using a repertoire of classic nursery rhymes, folk songs, and some newer tunes, we will explore ways to use unpitched and pitched percussion instruments with movement games to experience a variety of musical concepts relevant to developing musicianship.

Creating Mini-Performances out of Children’s Literature

Using a folktale, poem, or children’s story as a source of inspiration, create a mini-drama with movement, dancing, singing, and instrument playing. Explore how to include every child in a performance by differentiating for every level of learner. We will also discuss ways to involve other teachers in the whole process as well as discover how to put the performance together while keeping the focus on the process rather than the product.


Creative Learning Centers for the Music Classroom

I have been using learning centers with all grades for 3 years now- on average of 6-8 lessons a year. Some center activities and games were developed for assessment purposes whereas others are great for review and practice of musical concepts. This workshop introduces how to use creative learning centers in the music classroom. Learn how to introduce centers and help students develop appropriate small group behavior in order to implement center routines into your music class. Experience how small group center rotation can benefit your students by allowing you to get in some occasional one on one time with your students. Most of the games that I created were developed with my particular students in mind. We will brainstorm together to think of additional center activities to meet the needs of workshop participants. Also, I will discuss how many of these center activities help to differentiate lessons for my special needs children.

Inspiring Young Musicians through Playing the Recorder

Learn how to build a recorder program that inspires children to become independent literate musicians. We will explore many different recorder books and resources and how you can use them in your class to practice improvisation, composition, and sightreading. I will also share my own spin on recorder karate that I use with my 3-5 graders. We will explore ways to differentiate your recorder lessons for the various levels of musicians in your class- the beginner, the masses, and the advanced player- so that every child has a chance to participate and improve. I will also share some practical tips for instructing and assessing recorder playing for classes of 30 kids at a time.