Creating Lifelong Learners through Musical Opportunities

Caitlin McGovern

Caitlin McGovern teaches band, music theory, guitar and general music at Pleasant Plains High School and Middle School in Pleasant Plains, IL.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She also currently blogs For more information about Ms. McGovern and her teaching, visit her website at

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9 Responses

  1. Matthew says:

    Great article, and I featured it on the site for the Homebrew Ukulele Union ( ). !

    A friend recently mentioned that she thought part of the resurgence of popularity around the ukulele has to do with the economy, and that inexpensive instruments always become more popular during times of economic distress. That observation connects up with your own practical need to create a course that serves more students, which is again an example of pressures in part related to economic realities.

    Thanks for the great work!


  2. Carol Martin says:

    What an awesome experience for these kids. Nicely written article also. It makes me want to play the ukulele!

  3. bobwoody says:

    Caitlin – I am so impressed with this. A great learning experience like this is definitely worthy of featuring here. I hope it inspires others to do similar things. And your article is nicely written. I appreciate your including the section about the participatory model (I love the Turino book…I think Matt and I chatted about it last time we met up at a conference). Keep up the great work…both the teaching and writing. I’ll be checking in on your blog in the future!


  4. gipsika says:

    Great post! Will be investigating the Uke for its possibilities…

  5. Jerry Schutz says:

    Great to see our educators giving our children wonderful experiences!

  6. Wendy Dillon says:

    Caitlin, I just happened upon your article and I have to thank you for the information. I also teach at a middle school where a general music class is mandatory for all students not enrolled in Band, and I am the lucky teacher of those kiddos. They used to force Choir on every student not enrolled in Band, but I am trying to change that by adding a more general music component, while trying to bring back a “choice” choir class. Anyway, I have been on a constant search to create a meaningful/relevant curriculum for students who are in the required music class, despite teaching in a fairly small room with little technology, and class sizes of around 30. I think that your idea might work for me. I am wondering if you have any materials or more precise curriculum information that you wouldn’t mind sending my way? I would appreciate any additional information as to the exact procedures, etc you use in your class. If not, no worries. I thought it doesn’t hurt to ask. Thanks so much, Wendy D

  1. February 6, 2012

    […] Creating lifelong learners through musical opportunities: How the ukulele and a new educational para… […]

  2. February 12, 2012

    […] Ukuleles in School Article – Leading Notes – Caitlin McGovern […]

  3. April 1, 2012

    […] us.  We even figured out how to play it on our ukes!  You can check it out here as well as an article that Caitlin wrote for Leading […]

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