Green Response (chapters 3&4)
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.
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