What teachers and principals have said about Keith B. Knighton
Keith B. Knighton - excellent teacher, enthusiastic, knows his materials well. Thank God for him in the elementary schools.
Jan H Johnstone November 19 , 1974
Listening is a keyword, and coupled with repetition, develops good skills in this area and also helps to develop the attention span. Skills are developed and used throughout the session and, in some cases carried to the classroom.
I can only speak of my observations of last year’s classes, but I found great enthusiasm among the children for music. It seemed to “turn on” many children who found themselves failing in strictly academic areas. It seems to help children develop physical coordination, the ability to follow directions, expanded memory retention, and listening skills.
Area B, C and D teachers in the Agassiz School, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Keith B. Knighton was the music teacher.
I am the director of the South Valley Suzuki String Academy in Gilroy, CA, and have known Mr. Keith Knighton for the last three years as an excellent instructor at our annual weeklong summer camp.
Mr. Knighton’s responsibilities included teaching the Kodaly Method in a choir and recorder ensemble instruction environment. I have come to observe first hand his proficiency in these areas. His methods are well received by the students, parents, and colleagues alike.
Because of his teaching style, which keeps the students interested and motivated, they have become better musicians. Due to his teaching they have a better understanding of rhythm and ensemble playing.
My faculty and I are pleased to have known Mr. Knighton and are looking forward to his continued support at our summer camps for many years to come.
Lori Franke - August 2006
It was a pleasure, indeed, to attend your First Grade Music Class at the High Rock Elementary School (Needham, MA) on March 9th 1972. I was particularly impressed with the initial concepts outlined at the beginning of the Music Class and followed logically throughout the period. It proved that the study of Music Theory is possible even at this early age without sacrificing accuracy or sound musicianship. The apparent enthusiasm and desire to participate were all evidence that the children were enjoying Music while learning relatively difficult Music Theory without tension or boredom. Thank you very much for allowing visitors in your classes. It was a most rewarding experience to see the Kodaly Methods in action!
Amelia Altamari, Vocal Music Teacher, Kingston City Schools, Port Ewen, New York.
You are an outstanding music teacher. Your love of teaching and music is obvious to all who are fortunate enough to visit you at “work”. You make music come alive for all your students and find the best in all students. Your lesson was well planned and developed. You had students’ song folders on their desks and passed out recorders as they entered. You wrote the notation for various melodies on the board. You build on students’ prior knowledge by reviewing what they had learned, then moved sequentially to more difficult concepts. For example” you clapped a rhythm, then said, “I’am going to make one change.” You kept adding more difficult rhythms for students to repeat. Throughout the lesson you frequently assessed student understanding by having students repeat what you sang or clapped. In this way, you received immediate feedback on their knowledge and skill.
You have excellent classroom management skills. You immediately caught student’s attention by singing to them as they entered the classroom. You have established classroom routines which the students follow without a lot of direction. They know what is expected when you clap a rhythm, sing the first line of a song, or ask them to sing a counter-melody. Without a lot of words you command attention and engage students completely. In this way, classroom time is used efficiently and students remain on task. You transitioned smoothly from one activity to another which kept students’attention. This resulted in a calm, quiet classroom, conducive to learning.
You effectively modeled every skill and activity-singing music phrases, clapping rhythms, etc-.and provided reinforcement by having students repeat after you. You divided instruction into several short segments, changing the pace and allowing students the opportunity to move around, which kept them productively engaged. You introduced student to a variety of songs, including folk songs, funny songs, and patriotic songs. This gives them an appreciation for the rich musical heritage of America and the world.
WORCESTER PUBLIC SCHOOLS PROFESSIONAL EVALUATION REPORT, TEACHER WITH PROFESSIONAL STATUS Evaluator: Carole Monast, Principal, Rice Square School, 20 May 2003
What Parents have said about Keith B. Knighton
My son David, age7, has been attending the Well-Trained Singing School for the past year and a half. He has become much more confident in his singing. He sings correctly on pitch and has learned so much about rhythm patterns, musical intervals, and dynamics. Best of all, he loves to go to his music class because he has so much fun while learning. I am impressed by the way Mr. Knighton builds such good musical background with each new concept that is taught.
My daughter Allison, age 10, participates in another one of Mr. Knighton’s classes. She loves learning to play the recorder flute as well as getting lots of practice singing. She is now very comfortable singing songs by herself in front of others. Mr. Knighton’s songs also include a lot of information about the social studies curriculum she is studying in school which is another benefit to what she is learning. All the musical theory she is being taught will also help her which any musical instrument she chooses to learn to play.
Jeanne Hockett - June 2006
My children love singing class. It doesn’t matter what age group Mr. Knighton is teaching, my children want to participate in the singing games. In the car and at home my children sing the songs they have learned over and over again loud, soft, fast, slow, and on the correct melody. Even the two-year- olds know many of the songs and games and join in with the group. I have enjoyed watching all the fun there is in singing class while learning solfege and rhythm names.
My oldest daughter takes violin. By taking the singing class, she has improved in violin. She is able to hear pitches, recognize and play rhythms, and her playing has improved.
Garland Jessop - June 2006
Being enrolled in the Well-Trained Singing School has helped bring my children together. They teach each other songs from their different classes and love to sing with each other often, especially while they do chores together. Even the younger children have learned some of the songs and join in. They also seem more confident singing out loud in front of others. They love to go to class and sing all the way home!
Carrie VanDerWatt - June 2006
When my child first came to the class, he sang songs enthusiastically but lacked the skill to always sing on pitch. I saw him learn to match pitches, both high and low. Through Mr. Knighton’s careful expertise, I saw my child transformed. He sings everywhere we go, beautifully. Where he used to sing low and rarely matched anyone else’s pitch, he now recognizes the difference and can echo back and sing a melody in a beautiful range. He marches in rhythm, repeats a phrase, claps to the beat, and he also LOVES to share the songs and actions with everyone we visit. His coordination has increased, his confidence is elevated, and, most importantly to me, his love and joy of music is evident everyday.
Not only does my 5-year-old enjoy the class, but my 2-year-old sings every song at home, in the car, and with neighbors. She can barely speak in sentences, but can sing and remember each song. I see an intense joy of singing in her and know she is learning skills that will help her in the future. I would recommend the Well-Trained Singing School for everyone. In just a few weeks the difference was amazing. My children look forward to music class and enjoy the socializing and singing with a fun, energetic atmosphere that teaches skills in a fun way.
Thanks, Mr. Knighton!
Kimberly Coon - June 2006
Michael has been attending this music class for his entire sixth grade year. I have enjoyed watching his knowledge of music theory grow, but even more, I have enjoyed watching his love of music grow. When it was time to register for the second semester, he had no hesitation in wanting to take another semester of music instruction.
He is very glad to have learned the recorder and thinks it was great fun. I have been very grateful to have a knowledgeable, creative and loving teacher who could teach him concepts, and strategies of successful singing that I never could have begun to teach him. His level of confidence has grown and I only wish he could take the instruction again next year.
Juli Ann Tyler - May 2007
Mr. Knighton’s Well Trained Singing School has been a wonderful experience for my daughter. She has learned to sing in solfege, read music, and play the recorder. Using games and rhythmic activities the children developed an inner sense of beat, coordination, and enjoyment of music. Not only is the class whole-mind learning, but whole body. After one year in this class, my daughter can sing on pitch, in harmony, in a round (and stay on her own part), and name the rhythms they are singing. Mr. Knighton works well with the children and they love him.
Dionne Tarpenning - May 2007
Allison and David have nearly finished another year of music classes with Mr. Knighton. Allison has completed 2 years of lessons and David has completed 3 year.
Allison, who is 11, loves to sing all the American folk songs she has learned as well as learning the history lessons behind them. She enjoys playing the recorder flute and using her tuning fork at her classes. She has made great progress in pitch finding and singing alone with confidence. She has learned a lot about reading music, understanding timing and rhythm, and using solfege hand signals. Mr. Knighton is so positive and cheerful; she is always eager to please him.
David, who is 8, enjoys all the variety in the songs he has been taught. Most of the songs have musical games and activities that involve a lot of physical movement. He enjoys participating in his music classes as much as playing on his soccer team. Mr. Knighton carefully plans each lesson’s songs to teach the musical concepts the class is currently working on. He also teaches each concept using multiple ways.
Jeanne Hockett - May 2007
Mr. Knighton’s Well Trained Singing School has been a great experience for my children. I signed my seven-year-old twins up for his class. My five-year-old thought it looked like fun. She is now taking the class. Mr. Knighton is a great teacher and is very good with his students. He is interested in what the mothers want. He does what he can to make it happen. I highly recommend his class.
Dee Dee Forward - May 2007
My children, ages 3 and 6, were enrolled in the “Well Trained Singing School” during the 2006-2007 year.
My children are very reserved and quiet, and this class has been wonderful at building self-confidence. They sing and move at home all the time. The can clap and move to the beat. Mr. Knighton pushes them just enough to get them to grow, and he uses lots of praise and encouragement.
The money spent for this class is one of the best investments we have made in our children!
Lisa Stewart - May 2007
My children constantly make up songs wherever they are. They sing in the car, when they play with toys, when they set the table, and do other work. They tell each other to “match my song” and they copy each other’s words and notes. It becomes a game. Our house is filled with music. My 6-year-old tries to play the familiar tunes on the piano for fun. Then he says, “Mom, come see what I can do!” My 3-year-old says, “Mom, come play my music class.” We then sing and play music games with dolls and stuffed animals. Our home is filled with songs and laughter and joy!
I see creative ideas emerge as my children work and play. I hear beautiful songs in response to questions I ask. The spirit of peace fills our family as we sing and have fun together.
Kimberly Coon - May 2007
Dear Mr. Knighton,
Thank you for being a wonderful teacher to our children. They have grown and we have enjoyed the music that they have brought to us from class.
Tonette Harris - May 2007