Online Music Competition

And the winning entry is……

A few weeks ago I asked our Music Teacher community for their teaching tips, tricks and ideas and we put together a fun little contest to get the ball rolling.(The Competition is now closed, but any further feedback is still very welcome for consideration in any other books or articles)

We have had some wonderful suggestions over the past few weeks to suggest the ONE teaching tip or insight that has gained you the most success in the music classroom.

Many of the ideas were suitable for a whole range of classes and group sizes and ranged from fun games, learning ideas, inspirational tips and tricks and stories from teachers out there who are having some really amazing life experiences in interesting places.

I am currently compiling the e-book product and you’ll be pleased to know that we collected stories from over a hundred contributors, and I’ll be choosing 20-50 ideas and strategies to include for the purposes of the book.

The entries that got chosen had :

a) had a really fun emphasis


b) we could envisage them as being easy to implement and that could work for many different situations and teachers out there

Apart from that the entries could have been anything, large or small!

Everyone who entered had a really fun approach and we’ve really tried to keep this true spirit in mind while writing the compiled product.

Okay, drum roll please …

The winner is:

Pam Foldessy of USA. She teaches classroom music and has adapted an idea she found from an internet site to cater for students of all ages called SQUILT!

Pams’ suggestion was SQUILT which stands for Super Quiet Un-Interrupted Listening Time and she gave a clear, direct story to illustrate how she implements this idea for all of her music classes. She has even made a SQUILT sheet to be included in the book so that we can all implement it without having to prepare a sheet from scratch ourselves.

This idea will help so many music teachers out there settle their classes in an easy way. SQUILT will be suitable for many different situations and ability levels will allow for many teaching styles as well.

Here’s what Pam’s entry and explanation of SQUILT was:

“It used to be difficult to quiet down my students when I do listening activities with them. Now I tell them it is time for SQUILT! (Super Quiet Un-Interrupted Listening Time).

I have a poster in my room that says SQUILT! The first time we do SQUILT!, I tell them what it means and explain it. I give them a SQUILT! sheet to guide their listening. I keep the listening examples short (30 – 90 seconds), and play it two or more times.

They fill out their SQUILT sheet while they listen. If someone talks during SQUILT!, I simply point to the sign. After listening, we discuss what we heard.

I collect the SQUILT! sheets at the end of the activity and use it for participation points. I can also get an idea who is paying attention and who is not, or who “gets” it and who doesn’t. My students love doing SQUILT!, and if one of their classmates talks during SQUILT!, the class often corrects the offending student.

There are even times that we are not doing SQUILT! that the students will say SQUILT! when someone is talking while I am teaching.

I’ve attached a sample of a SQUILT! sheet that I designed

This is not an original idea, but I have made it my own through experimentation with my students. It can be adapted to be longer, shorter, more simple, or for a different age level. The original idea came from the Idea Bank at”

So thanks to Pam! We’ll all be able to calm even the loudest classes and get them listening to some great musical examples using this SQUILT system.

Click here to download the Squilt Sheet that Pam designed (PDF)


  • By Jacqueline Reply

    Towards the end of every term I have activies for the children so that they do not get bored when in class.These activies involve composing songs for jingles.The products for which the jingls are for must be made up and they can use all manner of percussion instruments for their music.

  • By janice Reply

    Thanks Jacqueline for your ideas. The contest has now closed, but we’ll be running a competition such as this one again in the future. Thanks for for posting your idea to help all the music teachers out there.

  • By music teachers Reply

    SQUILT is indeed a nice idea. I’ll try this music teaching tip to my own class. Hope it also have positive results.

    It’s so great I found this blog. Thanks for sharing!!!

  • By susie Reply

    I would love to see your SQUILT pdf. It wouldn’t open. Could you email it to me ([email protected])? Thank you!

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