I had the opportunity this week to observe two piano classes, and a technology class. This allowed me to see a different teacher and curriculum from the normal band, or orchestra class we usually observe. The school I went to is only two years old, and is structured different from other schools in the county. You have to ability "major" in an aspect of fine arts (band, orchestra, chorus, dance, piano, music technology, etc.) This means that you are able to take more music classes. In both the piano classes i observed there were majors and non majors. There were also no levels. Every student had their own tasks for the day through google classroom. Everyday they get a new assignment, or one that continued from last class, and then if a student has already mastered the tasks the teacher can give them additional assignments. On the other side the teacher is able to simplify assignments for those who are still having difficulty. I thought one of the coolest aspects of his classroom was all the technology he had. All of the pianos were connected to a controller, so that he could sit at his own piano and listen to individuals throughout the room, as well as talk through a headset. This way during the class, he can check in and offer advice to whatever their working on, as well as use his own piano to demonstrate different concepts and melodies. This is a good way to assess student's progress without making them play in front of their peers. They also played together so the entire class wasn't spent working individually. If students felt comfortable they were able to play their pieces in front of the class.
The other class I observed was a music technology. This was very interesting because it was different from the other technology classes I had observed previously. All of the students had a website where they uploaded all of their work (songs, compositions, etc.), and then they were all linked to a website created by the instructor. The concept behind this class was one year long live concert. At any time you can look up their pages and listen to the music. Throughout the year students have learned how to use different websites and apps, as well as learn how to record and edit their own work. The student's are able to explore different outlets on their own. In some cases, the students were able to teach the instructor concepts about whatever they were learning.
Overall, I had such a great time observing at this school. I was able to see a different way of running piano and technology classes. Since the school was new they had access to more technology (pianos, computers, recording equipment) that allowed them to be more successful, and collaborate more with other classes. The student's learning was able to be personalized to them based on their skill level, so no student is left behind. These classes have made me realize that I want to teach a music technology class if I get the chance.