Reports are easy to create once you establish a direction for your information. Although you can’t cut and paste from one report to the next, you can determine how the pieces will fit in each and basically fill in the blanks each time you write. This works especially well for evaluations and most travel and other short reports.

First sentence : Immediately tell the reader the basics — the reason for the report, the dates of the conference or trip, and other key characteristics.

First paragraph : Provide an interesting summary.

Body : For trips and conferences, provide details in chronological order. For evaluations and descriptions of physical problems such as broken machinery or fire damage, provide details ordered from most to least important, chronologically, or by cause and effect.

Conclusion : For short documents, end with a last point when you’ve made several easy-to-follow points; a conclusion when you can deduce an interesting point from your experience; or future plan when a clear step will follow. For long documents, summarize the most essential points in order of most-to-least importance.

On September 12 and 13, I attended the Professional Music Educators’ conference in San Diego. This year’s theme, Intelligent Approaches to Music Education, is especially relevant to our program since we’re trying to promote students’ involvement in more sophisticated styles of music.

On the morning of September 12, I attended a workshop entitled “Bringing Classical to Rock and Roll.” Some of the most important points included methods of showing parallels between the two musical forms to interest the young rock and rollers, and using biographical details to make composers appear more contemporary and lifelike. For example, most young students can appreciate Mozart’s wild personality and his tragic demise.

That afternoon, we attended a demonstration concert showcasing the newest methods of electronic composing. Many of these ideas, such as innovations on the synthesizer and creating computerized music with simultaneous images, are groundbreaking and will benefit our technology department.

On September 13, I attended an all-day workshop, “Talking about Music.” This provided methods for interesting students in music ideas, from the basics of notation to sophisticated methods of creating harmony, that can add substance and style to their work.

I will write five articles that explore some of these topics for the Music Institute’s next newsletter and for external publication. I will also be holding my own workshop on Music Technology, based on the information I gleaned here, at the next faculty conference.


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