Category Archives: Competencies

Song Teaching

Lesson Plan: 6 Feb 2018

Understanding Statement:

Music is about being creative, and sometimes that means taking a song that is already written and changing something about it.  This can be taking the lyrics away from a melody and making up your own, in their entirety or in small parts.  “Take Time in Life” is a Liberian folk song that has characters in it, and is meant to have one of the characters be changeable, and that will be up to the students.  The students will memorize the song and be able to change the name of the characters as a group and individuals as it repeats.

“I can…” Statements:

  • …improvise in a song
  • …memorize a song
  • …sing in a group
  • …sing with accompaniment


“Take Time in Life”

I was passing (EM) by, my [brother] called (AM) to me, and he

Said (EM)  to me you better take (BM) time in life (EM)

Take (EM) time in life, take (AM) time in life,

Take (EM) time in life, ‘cause you got far (BM) away to go (EM)


  1. Make sure iPad and speaker are set up and sit in a circle on the ground
  2. Listen for how many times you can hear the word “take” in this song, show me with your fingers
    1. 4
    2. Sing with iPad
  3. (No iPad, 2nd part of the song) Echo me:
    1. Take time in life
    2. Take time in life
    3. Take time in life
    4. ‘Cause you got far away to go
  4. I’ll sing all of it together, then we’ll do it as a group.  Can we try singing all of that together?
    1. Sing second part
  5. Who are the people in the song? Tell the person next to you
    1. First part only
    2. I/me and brother
  6. We can change who it is that is talking to us, does anyone have someone in mind?
    1. Change it to what a student says and sing again
    2. Sing whole thing with iPad
  7. Does anyone else have someone they want to include?
    1. Change it to what a student says and sing again
    2. Students should be singing some of it, if not the whole thing
  8. Do we think that we have that memorized?
    1. Yes, move on
    2. No, sing it again and get the students to continue listening singing
  9. Sing song a few times more, changing characters each time

Assessment Statement:

I will be looking for students at each step, making sure they are doing what I ask and responding to my questions, and are singing each time that we sing the song as they are learning it.

Musicianship (4 pts): I really liked the song that I chose, because it was somewhat repetitive and but still interesting because there was a lot that you could do with it.  It was easy to follow and easy to learn.  I didn’t always do everything perfectly (some mishaps with the iPad/guitar, but I quickly recovered from that and didn’t dwell on anything.  I was trying to focus on making this a fun song, even as it was really simple.  I also think that the key I chose was comfortable for everyone, and would be good for working with children.  I need to work on my singing a bit, because I am not very comfortable singing in the treble staff (I am an instrumentalist) and am working on singing in a range that is good for children.

Leadership (5 pts): I was really looking for making eye contact with everyone, and I think that definitely helped with me staying confident and making sure that everyone was getting it.  I felt that even though I was calm most of the time, I was still encouraging and engaging, though I think that I need to work on projecting a bit more.  It was fine for the small group, but in a larger setting I need to think more about saying everything a bit louder and clearer.

Preparation (5 pts): I felt very confident in my plan, I was a bit nervous at the beginning, but I did have the song memorized and pretty much all of the steps.  I had to compose myself a couple times when I was having trouble with singing because it was a little high for me and there was some difficulty with the iPad (GarageBand guitar, the app closed) but I knew how everything else was supposed to go and adjusted quickly.  I forgot to add the iPad in the first full run-through of the song, but it was still a success.  I had all of the things that I needed ready to go.
Facilitating the Experience (9 pts): Overall I think that this was a very good teaching experience.  I felt comfortable and was having fun, and I think that carried through, because even when I or someone else messed up we laughed it off and moved on or we just pushed through it and didn’t make it a big deal.  I did make some changes to my plan (I was originally planning on adding some sort of movement, but when I was getting to that point I just decided that we could still have fun sitting as we were) and it all still went well.  I think that I could work a little on how I question, and not have it sound so scripted/forced and work on incorporating better questions than yes/no things (or just don’t do it), but overall I think that the questions I did ask were good and productive.  I think that the pace was good, for the group I was working with, but maybe the sequence could use a little work, like not having the second part be the first thing we learn.  I didn’t really have a closure, mostly because I didn’t have any actual opening statements other than “we’re learning a song” and I just didn’t think about it.  I should work on giving specific feedback and find the appropriate time to give it.  Overall I think it was a success in terms of having success in the lesson for both the learners and me.

Total: 23 pts

Reflection: I think that this lesson went well for me because I didn’t stop.  One of my big issues is getting stuck with memorizing the plan and trying to make everything happen like it did in my head, but this time I just went with it and kept my confidence.  I think that not taking it too fast and being very clear on what it sounded like and what I needed them to do, and that helped the group to be confident.  I stayed encouraging and I think that was helpful in recovering from any mistakes.  As we went on and my pitch got better (mostly trouble with starting pitches and counting in, things started to sound better and by the end everyone knew the song and was able to sing with confidence.  There were a few moments where things didn’t quite match up, but they didn’t seem to care all that much.  I think that I need to mostly work on being confident in my singing, and think a bit more about the sequencing (learning whichever part first that fits the best) and having a bit more energy.  This has been my main goal from my first teaching and I think that I am slowly improving.  I think that if I were to teach this again I would keep the iPad in the whole time so that everyone stays on pitch and make it more interesting (because I altered the words and suggested chords a bit to make it all mix together) and everyone sang out more when they were confident in the key.

Goals for next time:

  1. Project more, be even more confident in singing and giving directions.
  2. Take some time to do more individual assessment and include some sort of closure.

Teaching at Internship

Lesson Plan


●  Sheet​ ​music

●  Pencil

●  Instruments

●  Baton

●  A​ ​Joyous​ ​Christmas


  • Students​ ​will​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​work​ ​through​ ​mm.​ ​5-15​ ​of​ ​‘A​ ​Joyous​ ​Christmas’​ ​by​ ​finding sections​ ​where​ ​they​ ​are​ ​having​ ​difficulty​ ​and​ ​bring​ ​out​ ​the​ ​melody
    • NOV.PE.P.4.b:​ ​Use​ ​repertoire​ ​to​ ​demonstrate​ ​a​ ​developing​ ​understanding​ ​of various​ ​musical​ ​structure​ ​and​ ​context​ ​in​ ​repertoire​ ​performed.
    • INT.PE.P.5.a:​ ​Develop​ ​strategies​ ​to​ ​address​ ​technical​ ​challenges​ ​in​ ​a​ ​varied repertoire​ ​of​ ​music.
  • Students​ ​will​ ​demonstrate​ ​proper​ ​playing​ ​technique​ ​by​ ​playing​ ​and​ ​blending​ ​with​ ​an ensemble​ ​led​ ​by​ ​conductor
    • NOV.PE.PFS-AI.4-6.e/INT.PE.PFS-AI.4-6.e:​ ​Respond​ ​to​ ​basic​ ​conducting​ ​cues (e.g.​ ​tempo,​ ​dynamics)
    • NOV.PE.PFS-AI.4-6.d:​ ​Perform​ ​independent​ ​parts​ ​while​ ​others​ ​play​ ​contrasting parts

Personal​ ​Objective:
I​ ​will​ ​give​ ​clear​ ​instructions​ ​and​ ​gestures​ ​for​ ​students​ ​to​ ​stay​ ​on​ ​task​ ​and​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to follow

Warm Up/Introduction:

Mentor teacher will run at the beginning of class


  1. Start at the end, to get used to the class and as a beginning to the piece
  2. Work on any sections that come up as a problem or requested by IMT


Remember to practice…

Remind them of anything that they need to work on


At my internship I only got a few chances to work with these students, as a full class, and this was the lesson I got to teach on my last day.  I think that this was a very good experience for me, because I was able to work on this entire piece with them and had the experience of memorizing an entire score.  I did not have a full lesson plan developed with a detailed procedure because my mentor teacher just asked me to run the piece down with them and fix anything that I thought we could accomplish.  He would run the class through their normal warm ups (some lip slurs and scales) because their bell schedule on these days was very short.  They also did not run through this piece every day leading up to this teaching because they were working on memorizing some music for a parade they had coming up.  I just tried to work with what I had, and took a lot of comments from him based on my last couple of times working with the students and just went through the few minutes that I had with them.  I started at the end because I thought they would benefit from getting a chance to think about it and so when we ran through the entire piece they would be able to improve on it and end the class on a good note.  It was very beneficial to be able to run through a short rehearsal, especially before I went to South Valley Junior High for my Final Teaching of the semester.

Final Teaching at SVJH


Andrea Henderson

MUE 481

Final Lesson Plan: Voodoo Dance (7th grade brass only)

Materials Needed

  • Sheet Music, Score
  • Instrument
  • Pencil
  • White Board/Markers
  • Baton


  • Rhythm patterns:
    • 4/4 |Q-EE-Q-Q|EE-Q-Q-Q|
    • 4/4 |Q-EE-Q-Q|EE-Q-EE-Q|
    • 4/4 |EE-EE-Q-Q|Q-EE-EE-Q|
  • Follow the conductor

Objective/Assessment/State Standards:

  • The students will be able to play mm. 34-43 in Voodoo Dance and put it into context.  They will be able to identify where else in the piece they have similar parts and be able to start at m. 34 and take the Coda.
    • PE.PFS-AI.4-6.b: Utilize musical symbols (e.g. fermata, repeat signs, double bar lines, note names)
    • PE.PFS-AI.4-6.c: Perform fluently with key signature and accidental encountered in the repertoire
  • The students will be able to verbalize and play the following patterns in 4/4 as a class:  4/4 |Q-EE-Q-Q|EE-Q-Q-Q|, 4/4 |Q-EE-Q-Q|EE-Q-EE-Q|, 4/4 |EE-EE-Q-Q|Q-EE-EE-Q|
    • PE.PFS-AI.4-6.a: Maintain a steady beat, with auditory assistance, while playing individually and with others the following note and rest values: whole, half, quarter, eighth, in simple meters
  • The students will be able to follow the conductor and keep a steady tempo
    • PE.PFS-AI.4-6.e: Respond to basic conducting cues (tempo)

Personal objective: I will give clear instructions and conducting patterns to keep students focused and engaged

1. Good morning everyone my name is Andrea Henderson and I am a clarinet player and a student at ASU, learning how to be a music teacher, so thank you for helping me out today.  We are still working on Voodoo Dance, and we are going to start with some vocal echoing, so put your instruments down and repeat after me [aural]

*Whenever I ask a question from now on we are going to answer by giving me a thumbs up or down as yes or no, this will be how we answer, okay (thumbs up or down)?*

  1. Verbalize on ‘da’ while patting quarter notes varying patterns and adding accents:

4/4 |Q-Q-Q-Q|               4/4 |Q-EE-Q-Q|             4/4 |EE-Q-Q-Q| 4/4 |Q-Q-QR-QR|

This one’s going to be twice as long: 4/4 |Q-EE-Q-Q|EE-Q-Q-Q|

  1. Do you recognize what rhythm this is? Show me by giving me a number on your chest (rhythms written on board prior to class)
  2. Let’s verbalize this while looking at it [rhythm]
    -Guide on board, then conduct


  1. Now let’s try these rhythms:

4/4 |Q-EE-Q-Q|EE-Q-EE-Q|                   4/4 |EE-EE-Q-Q|Q-EE-EE-Q|
2. Let’s look at our music starting at mm. 34-43. How many of you have these rhythms or at least part of one?

-Everyone should

  1. I am going to play the Trumpet 2 part at m. 38, and we’re going to have everyone finger along with your parts [tonal]
  2. Now let’s try playing this together.  Find your starting pitches, does anyone need help? (everyone should have a concert Bb or Eb) [combining]
    -Conduct the rest of the lesson with baton

-Play through under tempo fixing anything along the way, until comfortable

  1. Now let’s go back to m. 34 and practice this whole section together, remembering to put in those accents and not rushing those rests

-Briefly discuss accents if necessary or have time
6. EXTRA TIME: Now let’s practice transition into the Coda
-D.S., or Dal Segno, means “from the sign.” It directs the player to return to a spot earlier in the score that’s marked by the symbol. If the marking says D.S. al Coda, then the player is supposed to play from the to a “To Coda” marking, then jump to a coda section at the end of the music.
-Practice until the end of the lesson, running all the way through both sections, until playing at tempo

  • That was a good read-through of the section
  • I really appreciate your participation in the activities that we did
  • Let’s remember to try and keep a steady pulse every time we play that because it is the main beat of the piece, and keep an eye out for the D. S. al Coda

Self Assessment:

After watching my video, I think that the junior high class was successful in achieving my objectives: they (mostly) played their parts correctly from measures 34-43 and the Coda, they were able to stay together and with the conductor once it was established, and they were able to verbalize the rhythms on the board and put them into the context of the piece.  What I meant by putting the measures into context was to be able to play similar parts from measures 34-43 throughout the piece, and they were able to do so in the Coda.  They did a good job with following my conducting cues, and whenever they played together they kept the pulse steady.  I say that they played their parts mostly correct because there were a few wrong notes throughout the ensemble, but my main focus was getting them to stay together.  When thinking of a plan, I wanted to find something that might be a problem, and when I came across this unison section with some rests I thought it would be appropriate.  One of the students said at the end that they were happy that I wanted to focus on staying together because it was a problem sometimes for them.  In terms of my personal objective I think that I have made a lot of progress towards it because the students were with me almost the entire time and there was only one time where the students were confused by something that I said.  Overall I think that I talked less than I have in the past, at least in terms of “telling isn’t teaching”, which is one of my biggest issues.

The students said that they liked that I was confident, and my talking style, that they got to play a lot, and tat the aural exercises were short, and that the entire lesson seemed very organized.  I think that the strongest point of my lesson was being able to go back and repeat a lot of things that allowed the students to get used to what we were doing, like in my “feels like sounds like” part that opened the lesson (1:09-2:03).  I was able to get the students to fall into the beat together and stay with each other and eventually with the conductor to emphasize my objective of staying in tempo.  I think that one of the best things from my lesson was my conducting, because I think that I was giving a clear pattern that they followed, and I was working on giving them breath cues so that they could come in together.  I think that this is one of my biggest growths over the semester, that came from the practice in class and at my internship.  I think that having my lesson organized and almost timed out right for the class was what made is successful, and even the students noticed that it went smoothly so that we could get a lot of playing in.

I think that teaching this lesson felt comfortable for me because I was able to work out a lot of things that would and wouldn’t work, and also I was able to think more about what students would want and how they would respond to how I would explain everything.  It was very different teaching my peers than actual students because I am comfortable with my peers and they can already anticipate the direction that I am going in, and they were sight reading a piece that the junior high was actually working on.  It was easier to plan for a piece knowing that the students were going to know their parts, and when teaching it, it went a lot faster because they weren’t having to go back and look at the notes (on a secondary instrument) and they could just play, and I was actually able to accomplish things.  It was helpful to practice the sequencing of my lesson and they were able to respond honestly to my conducting and instructions, and the feedback that they gave was very helpful.  I ended up changing the section that I wanted to work on because the class that I taught was only brass, and I wanted to be able to get more playing in because I noticed in my internship that with pieces like this tempo maintenance is hard when there isn’t a lot of opportunity for rest and breaths.  I did feel more comfortable teaching the junior high students because I think that the teacher in me was able to come out more, it felt a lot more natural than teaching my peers.  I found myself using more simple and honest directions and feedback and adapting to my environment more.  I think that the students felt this as well because they seemed very comfortable as the lesson went on.

This is one of the main things that I have been working on throughout the semester and in my internship.  The biggest thing that I was able to really put into practice was the “telling isn’t teaching” idea that I hear a lot.  When teaching in class, my peers all kind of know what they are doing, and are already anticipating what is coming next, so I feel that I can talk however is comfortable for me, but when I get in front of actual students I quickly adjust how I talk to fit the environment.  I have improved a lot with having more personality, in terms of smiling more and being more confident in what I am doing, and being able to make a lot of eye contact.  My lessons have become more efficient, from my Do It! lesson where I only got one run-through of the music to this final teaching where I was able to get over half of the lesson where the students were making music.  My directions have become louder, and clearer, and a bit shorter, though this is something that still needs to be worked on.  I realize that there are still moments where I ask questions at the end of my sentences/directions that do not require any sort of answer, but I think that I have made a lot of progress with this and having the students give me the “thumbs up/down” thing really helped keep me in check this lesson.  I think that my conducting has gotten a lot better as well, with my pattern being clearer and being able to use the baton, and really working on a section of music.  I think that there is still a lot that I need to work on, but I am happy with the growth that I have had this semester.  The main thing I want to work on for next semester in terms of teaching is not asking so many questions, it is just a habit of mine that I need to get out of.  In terms of conducting, I want to continue to work on my patterns and cues, and be able to listen critically to the ensemble rather than just trying to get through the lesson.

Teaching a Line

Do It! Sight reading Lesson Plan:

Andrea Henderson


  • “DO IT” books pg. 9, #1, Au Claire de la Lune (minor tonality)
  • Instruments
  • White board
  • White board markers


  • Aural objective: The students will be able to sing the song using “du” as a class
  • Rhythmic objective: The students will read the rhythms on the board and will be able to find the rhythms within their music.
  • Tonal objective: The students will sing the note names as they finger/air bow along.
  • Combining tonal and rhythmic objective: The students will airplay while fingering the pitches.
  • Sight Reading: Students will be able to play through the piece as a class.

Personal Objective:

  • I will focus on giving clear enough instructions to keep students focused and engaged in activities.


  1. “Good morning everyone”
  2. “Keep your instruments in resting position and get ready to sing”


Aural objective:

  1. “Echo me, sing what I play”
  2. I play on instrument first note of Au Claire de la Lune (minor), students sing/match pitch
  3. I repeat note, articulating, students sing on “du”
  4. I play note 3 times, then move up whole step, students echo
  5. I play first 3 notes (do-re-me) in a row ascending, students echo
  6. I play 1-3 (do-me), students echo
  7. I play first 3 notes (me-re-do) descending, students echo
  8. I play do-me-re-do, students echo

Rhythmic Objective:

  1. “Open Do It! Books to page 9 and look at number 1, Au Claire de la Lune”
  2. (Have this written out before class starts) Point to the first rhythm set (first two measures) and the second rhythm set (third and fourth measure) on the board.
  3. Students will count the first rhythm using the number system (1-2-3-4) or du-de’s (ask for preference) as a class as I point to the rhythm on the board (then instruct accenting the articulations on long notes).
  4. Students will see if they can locate the first rhythm in their book.
  5. Students will count the second rhythm as a class as I point to the board (then instruct accenting the articulations on long notes).
  6. Students will see if they can locate the second rhythm in their book.

Tonal Objective:

  1. I give starting pitch, students match.
  2. Students will sing note names while fingering the notes.

Combining Tonal and Rhythmic Objective:

  1. I play the first line of the tune and students airplay while fingering the pitches

Sight Reading Objective:

  1. Everyone plays the beginning pitch to check correct fingering and partial.
  2. The students will sight read notation, playing the correct rhythm and pitches.


I really like how you…

One thing to keep in mind or work on…



_____0:31______ Ear-training experience (without notation, focusing on melodic or rhythmic).

_____1:43______ Rhythm experience (reading notation)

______3:36_____ Tonal experience (reading notation)

_____3:56______ Practice with melodic and rhythmic components together (reading notation)

_____4:45______ Sight reading on instruments (reading notation)

______5:16_____ Appropriate closure

How successful was the plan in helping the class meet the objectives the teacher planned?

The plan was very successful, it was sequenced in a way that kept the students engaged and also gave them the tools to play the song correctly, or as correctly as they could, because this was a sight reading lesson.

Refinement (one thing to improve for next time):

Work on being more engaging and confident, using more active words and not things like “cool” as an assessment or reinforcement.  Try to be more familiar with the plan so there are no moments where things aren’t happening, and keep eye contact with the students.