This project is a set of twelve lessons written for the Creative Kids Cooperative, which is a group of homeschoolers who meet weekly and receive music lessons from parents. This particular curricular guide is written for Fifth Grade. I wrote the first three days of class as well as one of the extension days. I also wrote the overarching goals, skills and knowledges for the entire Guide.
Original Post 12/1/16
Teachers are important because they provide the tools for student’s learning. This means that teachers should be able to give their students the best chance for success. There are several traits, or abilities that teachers should have in order to allow their students to learn, especially with regards to music. For example, a teacher should have a variety of knowledge within the specific area they are teaching. If they are teaching band they should be familiar with all the instruments, so they can offer feedback, and advice to their students if they are having trouble. The same applies for strings, and choir. A teacher who isn’t knowledgable in different areas will have a hard time reaching all of their students because they won’t be able to help with what they don’t know. I also believe teachers should be proficient in piano, so they can demonstrate to the class different passages and rhythms that they might be having trouble with.
I believe students also deserve a teacher who is passionate. If the teacher doesn’t want to be there, or isn’t interested in the content they are teaching, then the students aren’t going to be able to engage in the lesson. In my experience, I have had teachers who come to class with an attitude and I find that those are the times when I don’t take anything away from the class.
Teachers should also be able to use different strategies and techniques in the classroom to help students understand the music, or content discussed in class. Being able to approach teaching in different ways allows teachers to reach more students then if they only used one specific type or method of teaching. In class we talked about different methods of teaching, Kodaly and Orff, and this is a good example of how instructors can use different techniques in their classrooms, to help students understand the material. Teachers should be able to wind their instructions forward and backwards to meet the needs of every learner in their classroom.
Through all the experiences and classes I've been lucky to have during my time at JMU, i've been able to reflect on what kind of teacher my students deserve. I believe all the things I said two years ago are still true; my students deserve a teacher who is passionate, knowledgeable, and is able to use a number of strategies in the classroom.
Students also deserve a teacher who is willing to change and adapt to the times. Every year new technology is coming out, and with that new ideas and methods of teaching, and even new genres of music. As teachers we should adapt to the times because our students aren’t going to get a lot out of our classroom if we learn the same things year after year. This is especially true for music teachers because every year new compositions are coming out and new styles of music are constantly being created. If we aren’t adapting to new music our students are going to only be playing Bach or Handel. They won’t have the opportunity to learn and grow through different and more modern genres of music, this could mean that they miss out on a well-rounded, and diversified education.
In addition one of the most important things i've heard from various professors and mentors is to "meet students where they are." As teachers I believe it is our responsibility to adapt and prepare lessons that can be altered for every student in our classes. Each lesson should be wound forward and back based on the needs of our students.
As teachers we should have the knowledge, and ability, to provide a safe, welcoming, and engaging environment for our students.
Original Post 10/11/16
Because I have been their teacher, students should be able to understand basic musical concepts. Once they graduate and leave my classroom they should be able to engage in different music making. As their teacher, I will have given them the right tools to help them succeed in learning They will also be able to identify different instruments and their sounds (including percussion).
Something else I want my students to have when they leave is learning accountability and responsibility. They will be responsible for learning their individual parts and coming to rehearsal prepared. This is especially important for music because an ensemble doesn’t work if no one knows their parts. This is helpful for other classes/situations as well as music. My students will know how to play in an ensemble and work as a “team” to make one coherent sound.
In addition to knowing notes, and how to play in an ensemble they will understand basic music theory concepts. I believe in order to truly understand music you need to know the fundamentals. This means my students will be able to identify chords, and their qualities, as well as different rhythms in different time signatures. They will know what part of the chord they are in any piece of music. Lastly, I will make sure they know the history, context, and story behind whatever piece we are playing. This will teach them how important other information besides what is on the page is crucial to the performance.
Students will not only learn how to play an instrument, when they move on from my classroom they will understand responsibility, how to work as a team efficiently, and how to blend as an ensemble. What I think is most important is both the skills they will learn about music (notes, theory, etc.) but also skills that come from being in an ensemble (responsibility, teamwork, etc.) that will be useful in other aspects of their life.
After my experiences teaching and working with various students the past three years I have adjusted and added to what my students will learn because I have been their teacher.
By going through my classes students should learn how to engage in music with themselves and each other. They should be able to discuss and compare and contrast different genres of music, as well as the composers/writers that are associated with those different genres. Lastly, they should be able to collaborate and create music through many different mediums including garageband, finale, and makey makey.
In addition to all the curriculum based learning they're going to receive I hope my student's learn team-work and cooperation. In my classroom there will be numerous chances for students to make music together that will give them the skills to work with other people outside my class. They'll learn responsibility and accountability to come to class prepared by learning their part or completing an homework their might be.
As a teacher I hope that my students learn how to engage in music with other people, as well discuss and analyze different genres of music from various time periods. In addition to all the musical skill skills they'll learn in my classroom, I hope they'll acquire teamwork and cooperation skills they can use outside of my classes.
Original Post 9/11/16