After reading different perspectives on learning and sequencing I have a better idea of several different techniques to use in my classroom in the future. I believe that by taking some of the ideas presented in each of the articles I can help my students succeed. I like the idea of sequencing that Duke introduces in his article. His idea for sequencing involves finding a goal for your student, and then coming up with a sequence of tasks for the student to reach it. I like this idea because then the student can feel successful by completing a series small tasks in order to reach a bigger goal. This also allows the student to go back each day and complete small tasks over until they have completely mastered all of them. I also like the idea of Rhizomes introduced by Brent Wilson. Put simply, he describes this as a bunch of different connections between subjects you may be learning. The important concept about Rhizomes is that if one connection is lost, it doesn't affect any of the other connections. This is similar to the concept introduced by Duke, whoever in Brent's case the connections are less sequenced so they can occur more naturally. I believe these are both strategies you can use in a classroom based on how structured you want to make a student's learning. I think Brent's rhizome allows the student more freedom to choose, and discover learning and concepts on their own. Another concept that was introduced, and that we've been focusing on a lot in class is known as Informal learning. This involves the student studying what they are interested in, and guiding their own learning. This strategy requires less involvement from the teacher. The student more or less gets to determine what they study based on their own interests. I think this could be something affective I use in my classroom, so my students can study and learn music they are interested in. Overall, I think as an instructor I can combine some of these ideas, and incorporate them into my own classroom. This way I can give my students a more comprehensive experience, and allow them to study more topics that they're interested in.
These chapters offered both perspectives on informal learning, the positives and negatives. For instance, this is good because it gets students thinking and talking about music in an environment where they feel more comfortable to share their thoughts. They were more open to singing in front of the class, and trying new instruments. However, when students were introduced to new instruments in the study, they had had no previously knowledge and therefore it took a lot longer for them to learn how to match pitches. I think it would be helpful if they had some base knowledge of percussion instruments, guitars, etc. before they were given this task.
I think one thing that really resonated with me in this reading was that progress doesn't show as a little improvement each time you play. Sometime progress involves trial and error. Students should be given the opportunity to figure out what does, and doesn't, work (especially in this type of project) without teacher interference. In the case of the study described most students were able to figure out what instrumentation and rhythms didn't work with their song, on their own. The same could go for band or other musical classes. Instead of just spoon feeding rhythms and notes, we can let students figure some of it on their own.
These chapters also mentioned using technology, to create music, and I think this could be effective in a classroom. We live in an age where technology is extremely prevalent and it would be unwise not to use it in the classroom. This would provide a way to create music other than just classical. Instead of just putting a piece of music in front of students, you can allow them to create their own piece using notation software or garageband. I understand that it would be difficult to incorporate this when in most instrumental classrooms you are preparing for some kind of assessment, or concert, but finding time for students to do a project where they create their own work could be very beneficial to students.
However, I do believe there are some drawbacks to informal learning. For one, students won't learn the technical terms associated with music. They'll be able to play but not know what they are playing exactly. This explains why student's may be unresponsive when asked specific music questions by a teacher. There have to be classes and lessons where the teacher instructs, otherwise students wouldn't have the information and definitions they need to discuss what they are doing.
I think informal learning is something that would be helpful to introduce in classrooms because it allows students to make music, mistakes, and learn in an environment where they feel comfortable. This reading emphasized how well the students worked with their peers, technology, and minimal teacher interruption. While i don't think this should completely replace the traditional classroom, I believe this is a good base point to use if we're going to implement informal learning in our classroom.
After finishing the reading I find myself going back and reflecting on my own educational experience. I found that, especially in Elementary school, my teachers used some form of informal teaching. I realize that some of the more informal lessons i've had were the experiences i remember the most. Instead of just spoon feeding me all the information I need, they allowed me to come to my own conclusions and figure it out myself. To me, this is more helpful for the type of learner that I am. While I know this doesn't work for everyone, I think teachers should find some way to incorporate informal learning in their classrooms, alongside the curriculum.
While I know it would be difficult to incorporate this in a band classroom, I think it would be affective to let students work and figure music out on their own instead of always giving us the answers. This would be different from just practicing on their own because they would work with groups and figure out the music, (rhythms, styles, etc.) within their groups. To clarify, this wouldn't completely replace a traditional music classroom, this would just offer students new and different ways to learn. I really enjoyed this reading because it allowed me to reflect on my own teaching experience, and think of ways I can incorporate this into my classroom.
I will share reflective essays, and philosophical documents on this page.