This month’s blog and Radio show celebrates the work of Drs. Harry & Rosemary Wong teachers and experts on “effective teaching and classroom management”. Included is an article by them on how a “teacher can quickly control a class of 150 through 500 students by “procedures” in a “step by step plan”. Also included are articles on playing Mozart to lower blood pressure, how dancing the Tango eases Parkinson’s disease, and the power of music for healing. Our article of the month is “Take A Chance, Take Your First Step” By Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM

Radio Show Feature Question for September 2016: How do Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong, experts and best selling authors of

The First Days of School: How To Be An Effective Teacherexplain the importance of “procedures and routines”? 

Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong, are award winning teachers and experts on “effective teaching and classroom management”. They are based in Mountain View, California. They are the authors of the best selling book “The First Days of School: How To Be An Effective Teacher which provides “teachers with step-by step instructions for effectively organizing and structuring their classrooms”. They wrote “The First Days of School” 25 years ago. Over 3.9 million copies have been sold and it has been translated into 6 languages and is in its fourth edition. Over 2,000 colleges use the Wongs’ book as their classroom text for teachers in k-12. The Wongs in 2013 wrote “The Classroom Management Book” which is a companion to their “First Days Of School”.

Dr. Harry Wong was asked by “Education World: Wire Side Chat” the following question: “You say in your book that the first few minutes of the school year can make or break a teacher. What do you tell teachers who don’t establish classroom management techniques soon enough? If they’ve missed the first week or month of school, is it too late?”

Dr. Wong, “I’m asked this question all the time. I tell the teachers who ask it to go home and ask themselves, “What one procedure can I establish tomorrow? Then I tell them to work out the steps for that procedure. The next day, they introduce that one procedure to the students. They explain it, model it, and rehearse it and rehearse it and rehearse it. The next week they introduce another procedure.. and so on.”

“Education Week Teacher” asked Dr. Rosemary Wong the following question: “I’m a teacher and I’m having a difficult time managing my class. What’s the one thing you would want me to remember?”

Dr. Wong, “That every day is a new day in the classroom. You can always start anew, as if it’s the first day no matter how late in the year. Every single morning is a new morning in the classroom.”

Dr. Rosemary Wong was asked by Education Week Teacher to “give an example of what you mean by procedures?” She responded, “ … if you could close your eyes and say to yourself, “This is something I’d like to have happen in my classroom,”…. then you need to come up with a procedure for it. ..You need to teach the procedure, and there are three basic steps to doing that. The first is to explain it. The second step is rehearsing it, physically going through the procedure and making corrections as needed. And the third is reinforcing it, which you can do by acknowledging that the procedure is being carried out correctly.” Remember to teach all “three steps”.

Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong “An effective teacher. The Impact of a positive greeting.”

Harry and Rosemary Wong say on your “First Day, first minute of your school day to be armed with your “procedures”. Harry Wong says, “The very first day, the very first minute, the very first second of school, teachers should begin to structure and organize their classrooms, to establish procedures and routines.”

Harry and Rosemary Wong spoke last August to over 1000 teachers and administrators at Polk State College. The Wongs said, “start by greeting your students at the classroom door each day with a smile. Choose one of the “three H’s” every morning: a handshake, high-five or hug.” Have “bell work” or short assignments posted on the board prior to the start of each day. Bell work, even if it’s something simple as silent reading gets students into work mode right away. Posting a daily agenda every day in the same place every day, eliminating questions.”

What procedure do the Wongs describe in their book to quiet the class? “The technique is called ‘Give Me Five’.” “ The teacher says, Give me five”: “1) Eyes on Speaker, 2) Quiet, 3) Be still, 4) Hands free, 5) Listen. In five seconds, the class is quiet.”

Dr. Harry Wong “Preview for the Effective Teacher- Part 4, Procedures & Routines.” (DVD series)

Dr. Harry Wong says, “Classroom management is the secret sauce in education. Coaches don’t go into a game without a game plan. Pilots use flight plans. All teachers should have a plan. Starting today, start planning.” The Wongs said, “Classroom procedures should cover every second of the school day including what students are to do as they enter the classroom, how they are to be dismissed, and how they are to label and turn in their homework.”

Fifteen years of articles on “Effective Teaching” by Drs. Harry and Rosemary Wong:

Drs. Harry & Rosemary Wong share how a band teacher can quickly control a class of 150 through 500 students by “procedures”. How do you quiet “a Class Quickly”? Harry and Rosemary Wong say, “The procedure for bringing a class to attention may be different from teacher to teacher, but the students understand the concept of a procedure. It can be Cindy Wong’s “Give Me Five” as explained in The First Days of School or seen in The Effective Teacher. It can be as easy as a high school coach saying, “Gentlemen, please” to a large team of players, a first grade teacher who places an index finger over her lips, or an administrator who holds up a large orange card at an assembly of hundreds of students.”

Teacher Rebecca Hughes attended a “district in service meeting” on “Effective Teaching” taught by Rosemary and Harry Wong as a new teacher. She set up her class on the step-by-step “procedures” Harry and Rosemary Wong taught her. She has been a very successful band teacher for many years. Below is Rebecca Hughes “Procedures” in herBand Room” for “elementary, middle school, and high school”:

  • “Students are always greeted by the teacher at the door.” This is the time to connect with your student by asking how they did in another class, etc.
  • “New seating arrangements are posted outside the classroom door.”
  • “Class time is never used to call roll.” Students in elementary school “perform a warm up activity while the teacher takes the roll.” In middle school and high school “a student Secretary”…takes “roll”.
  • “Each student is assigned a number that corresponds to his or her number in the grade book.” On the outside cover of students music folders are “their assigned number”. Time is saved when collecting papers by handing them in numerically with students’ number.
  • “Expectations are made clear from the beginning.” “Respect people and equipment. Be on time and prepared. Do not speak or play out of turn. Leave things better than you found them. No gum, food, or drink.”
  • “Consequences are clearly explained at the beginning of the school year. If students choose not to live up to expectations, these are the consequences: 1st occurrence-the student’s initials are posted on the board. The 2nd, third and fourth infractions result in checks next to initials. Students spend in school detention time after school. 15 minutes for each incident. A fifth incident results in one hour after school and a parent conference. Hughes reported “that a few students tested the system at the beginning of the year. By the end of September I had only an occasional set of initials on the board and by October I had given out my last detention.”
  • “The order of pieces to be rehearsed each day is posted on the board where students can see it upon arrival in class.” While waiting for class to start students can warm up and “are always engaged in productive activities from the moment they arrive in the classroom.”
  • “Two file folders are taped to the wall, labeled “To Be Copied” and “Copied.” Students place the original that needs copying “in the appropriate folder.” Copies will be made “during a planning period” by “the teacher or a designated student aide” to “be picked up by those requesting them” in the “Copied” folder on the wall.
  • “An easy wipe magnetic board is posted so students can list items they need.” (Student writes the date and what is needed. Teacher checks inventory or to order locally if needed, then “posts on the board” when “item ready for pick up”. Example drumsticks.)
  • “A memo pad is kept by the teacher’s side during class for making notes about things she needs to do after class that might otherwise be forgotten.”
  • “Instead of using class time to sell necessary items such as reeds, pencils, valve oil, etc., each student is requires to purchase a $5.00 “Band Card” during enrollment.” Hughes: “A student treasurer maintains a checkbook style record of what students buy, along with the balances in their accounts. This way students understand that the procedure for buying supplies does not include asking the teacher for supplies during class and records are easily accessible.”
  • “Students know that when the teacher steps to the podium or music stand, they must become quiet and give their undivided attention.” Students “understand that when the teacher steps down from the podium or music stand, it is their time to talk to neighbors, play their instruments individually, or just relax until the teacher steps back up.”
  • “Good manners are an expectation.” When students “ask for or receive something” they “are expected to use “Please and Thank you.” Students “raise their hands when they have questions or would like to contribute to a discussion, and wait to be called upon. The teacher is a good role model, never interrupting students when they are speaking and paying close attention to what they have to say.”

For Rebecca Hughes’ full list of “procedures” click on the following link: “Effective Teaching” Harry & Rosemary Wong “A Class Size of 500”


“First Days of School and Classroom Management Articles” by Harry K. & Rosemary Wong


10 Tools for Success on the First Days of School – by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Prevention:  The Key to Solving Discipline Problems – by Harry & Rosemary Wong


“Take A Chance, Take Your First Step” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM 

What’s stopping you from taking your first step towards your goal or dream? Have you ever wanted to try something new but were afraid to try?

When our oldest child was 4 years old, he was learning to ride a bike. When we told him that it was time for the training wheels to come off, he burst into tears and was convinced that he would fall over and get hurt.

But he didn’t. He took off and rode for 20 feet before he lost his balance. Then he got back up again with a smile on his face.

Zig Ziglar tells the story of a young woman who attended one of his seminars and told him about her Mother, who dressed her children in beautiful clothes that she hand made

While the woman mentioned that she would like to do the same for her children, she was convinced that she just didn’t have the raw talent that her mother was blessed with.

Zig urged her to take the first step. “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn to do it well.”

A year latter she came to see Zig Ziglar and brought her 3 children dressed in the beautiful dresses she had made for them.

Remember, “to change your life” you have to take that “first step”! It will not happen until you take that “first step.” After that first step take a “second one” and continue improving your skills by having an expert to get better and better each time you work on it!

Dave Sheffield, motivational speaker and coach says, “Be willing to be terrible. Be willing to overcome that fear.”

When I was preparing for a concert tour in Australia and New Zealand, I was learning a new piece on my viola by Ernst Toch, an Austrian composer. My husband came in and said, “What is that awful piece you are playing? You don’t plan to play it on tour?”

I replied, “It is a new piece by Toch that I am just learning.”

A month later, he came in and said, “What is that beautiful piece you are playing?”

I replied, “Do you remember that piece by Toch that I was just learning last month that you said was so awful?”

He said, “ Yes, but this doesn’t sound like it.”

I replied, “I was just learning it!” Arthur Rubinstein, the famous pianist called it “kitchen work.”  By working on the piece each day, I learned how to understand how to play it!”

When the famous Spanish cellist, Pablo Casals was in his eighties and nineties he was asked by reporters “why do you continue to practice your cello four and five hours a day?”

Pablo Casals said, “I think I’m making progress. I think I see some improvement.” He continued practicing every day to improve his cello playing. Mr. Casals lived to be 97 years old.

That first step begins the learning process. The next steps will lead you to progress, then mastery.

What is something that you would like to try, but you are afraid of?

1) Boldly begin.

Don’t over analyze the process. Just get started, and be willing to do it poorly.

2)  Take your second step and learn faster by having an expert guide you through this new skill. A coach or mentor can be a valuable model for you on your path to mastering your goal.

3)  Keep working to get better and better at your new skill just like the young women who at first was terrible seamstress. She took her second and third step by practicing and improving to sew beautiful dresses for her daughters.

Remember “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”

“Practice, practice, practice.” (C) 2016 Madeline Frank

Contact Madeline Frank for your next speaking engagement at [email protected] 


“Effective Teaching” Harry & Rosemary Wong “Orchestrating the Classroom” (Teacher, Nile Wilson’s Story : High school Orchestra Director:


“Effective Teaching” by Harry and Rosemary Wong: For Administrators & Staff Developers: “You Can Teach Classroom Management”


“Why Mozart Beats Abba When It Comes To Matters Of The Heart: Classical Music Found to ‘Significantly Lower Blood Pressure’” (June 26, 2016) by Colin Fernandez, Science Correspondent from the Daily Mail.

Mr. Fernandez wrote, “ The music of Mozart and Strauss has significantly lowered blood pressure and heart rates.”

“The researchers found the music by Mozart and Strauss lowered systolic blood pressure by 4.7mm hg and 3.7mm hg and diastolic blood pressure by 2.1mm Hg and 2.9mm Hg.”


“Dancing To Ease Disease: Tango With A Beneficial Beat” (June 25, 2016) by Joseph A. O’Brien , JR. from the Hartford-Magazine/Health-Living.

“At the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital in Canada, the researchers ..found that the Argentine tango seemed “particularly helpful for improving balance and functional mobility in patients. It seems that the “specific steps that involve rhythmically walking forward and backward” engage our “working memory, control of attention, and multitasking to incorporate newly learned and previously learned dance elements.”

“Dance instruction is based on a program developed by the Mark Morris Dance Group of New York.”

“The Secret of Teaching Science & Math Through Music” by Madeline Frank, Ph.D. is now available in book form, and newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook:


Barnes and Noble(Nook)


“Musical Notes On Math” by Dr. Madeline Frank teaches your child fractions and decimals, the fun way, through the rhythm of music, Winner of the Parent To Parent Adding Wisdom Award is now available in book form, newly updated as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, or iBook.


Barnes and Noble(Nook)


Tips on how to use “Musical Notes On Math”


Madeline’s Midnight Melodies- Music From around the World” . This CD complements her books with a blend of dance music, gigues, tangos, ballet and favorites including “Danny Boy”, Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro”, Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” and others. “Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” is music to relax by and to move by for music therapy. ”Madeline’s Midnight Melodies” CD is now available for purchase by downloading a song, downloading the album, or by CD by clicking below:

Download Your Copy Today!

Amazon | iTunes | CD Baby

Dr. Madeline Frank’s book “Leadership on a Shoestring Budget” is now available through Click on the following link to order your copy of “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget” is available as an e-book on Kindle or in book form.

Click on the following link:

For over 30 years, Dr. Madeline Frank has helped children and adults overcome problems through Classical music. Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an award winning teacher, author, researcher, speaker and concert artist. She has found a scientific link between studying and/or listening to musical instruments and academic and societal success. Madeline Frank earned her Bachelor and Master’s degree from the Juilliard School of Music. Her education has included scholarships at the Juilliard School, Indiana University, and the University of Cincinnati and she has a violin performance diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts. (C) 2016 Madeline Frank.