Category Archives: Flexible Musician

Humor in the Classroom

One thing that made me think that I could never teach at the elementary level was having to have a positive attitude and being willing to be silly in the class to keep students engaged in some way and get them back on track.  I am normally a very serious person and really struggle to find ways to talk to younger kids because I don’t understand how they think.  When I was reading these stories I started to think about my current mentor teacher, because she does a lot of things like this that get the students to enjoy what they are doing and to keep good relationships with them.  I have had comments from previous teachers and just people that I meet that say I need to not be so serious and smile a bit more.  That is something that I am working on, because I can recognize now some of the things that teachers have to do at times like the over-acting and dealing with the students that like to joke around.  One thing that my mentor teacher does with all of her grades is “sol-la-mi” (salami) and it is a game that they play, where they are practicing solfege and hand signs, but if she sings “sol-la-mi” and they echo it she gets a point and if they catch it and are silent they get a point.  They go crazy over this because she does a really good job at joking around with them because she “hates salami!” and they love the game, especially when they win.  At first I thought this was weird but she does stuff like this all of the time, like picking songs that have something silly about them or a movement that she can throw in because it keeps them interested and enthusiastic about music class.  It might be hard for me to keep up with the energy of the students all of the time and be silly when I need to be, but I think that as time goes on I can become more comfortable with it and just take note of the things that I see teachers doing that are effective.


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.

Folk Dancing

Lesson Plan:

Statement of understanding:

Songs, especially dance songs, must have a steady beat: a constant pulse that is held through the entire song.  Folk music is taken from different countries, and dances can be adapted from where the songs are from to match the style of the culture.  It is natural to want to find the steady beat of a song when trying to dance to it, and in this lesson students will be taught how to find the steady beat and dance to a folk song using simple locomotor and non-locomotor movements.

”I can” statements:

  • …move with the beat of the music
  • …find the steady beat
  • …dance with a group
  • …memorize a dance
  • …dance in place and moving around



  1. Pat legs and get the beat going
  2. “Watch me” – Model whole with music (students watch / tap steady beat)
    1. In-In-In-Touch-Out-Out-Out-Touch
    2. Turn (left shoulder)-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Stop
    3. In-In-In-Touch-Out-Out-Out-Touch
    4. Jump-Jump-Clap-Clap-Jump-Jump-Clap-Clap
  3. “Now echo me” Say (teacher says moves, students echo)
    1. In-In-In-Touch-Out-Out-Out-Touch
  4. “Say it while I do it” Say and watch (teacher says and models, students say)
    1. In-In-In-Touch-Out-Out-Out-Touch
  5. “Let’s all do it” Say and move (teacher says and models, students say and move)
    1. In-In-In-Touch-Out-Out-Out-Touch
  6. “Echo me again” Say (teacher says moves, students echo)
    1. Turn (left shoulder)-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Stop
  7. “Say it while I do it” Say and watch (teacher says and models, students say)
    1. Turn (left shoulder)-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Stop
  8. “Let’s all do it” Say and move (teacher says and models, students say and move)
    1. Turn (left shoulder)-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Stop
  9. “Now we’re going to put those together”
    1. Teacher says and models, students say and move
    2. In-In-In-Touch-Out-Out-Out-Touch
    3. Turn (left shoulder)-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Stop
  10. “Now let’s do that again and  repeat the first part after the turn”
    1. Teacher says and models, students say and move
    2. In-In-In-Touch-Out-Out-Out-Touch
    3. Turn (left shoulder)-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Turn-Stop
    4. In-In-In-Touch-Out-Out-Out-Touch
  11. “Now echo me” Say (teacher says moves, students echo)
    1. Jump-Jump-Clap-Clap-Jump-Jump-Clap-Clap
  12. “Say it while I do it” Say and watch (teacher says and models, students say)
    1. Jump-Jump-Clap-Clap-Jump-Jump-Clap-Clap
  13. “Let’s all do it” Say and move (teacher says and models, students say and move)
    1. Jump-Jump-Clap-Clap-Jump-Jump-Clap-Clap
  14. “Now let’s add that to the first 3 parts”
    1. Teacher says and models, students say and move
    2. Entire dance 1x
  15. “Now let’s do it and whisper”
    1. Entire dance 1x
  16. “Now we’re going to be silent”
    1. Entire dance 1x
  17. Listen to the music and find the beat: pat leg to start
  18. “Now let’s do it 3x silently and without stopping”
    1. No more leg patting

Assessment statement:

I will be looking at students individually and as a group to make sure that they are copying the dance movements, and are staying with the beat and are successful in completing the dance.

Personal Evaluation:

Musicianship (4 points):

The tempo for the song was good for the actual dance, but I let the tempo that we started off with get too fast.  It was not too fast for the dance, but I would have liked it to be slower.  Next time I will try to monitor that more.  The dance that I came up matched the music and I started with the phrase, but I think that I could have added a bit more to the stepping because it was not very fast and it would have been more interesting.

Leadership (5 points):

I feel like I did a good job communicating with everyone, and was loud enough and engaging for most of it and I felt confident in what I was doing.  Everyone seemed to be able to follow what I was doing, and I was able to help when needed.

Preparation (5 points):

I was confident in my plan, I had it memorized and I didn’t have a problem executing it.  I had everything ready to go, even with the little mix up with getting the music started.  I think that my plan was good and easy to follow.

Facilitating the Experience (9 points):

I think that I had a good attitude about starting and stayed on task the whole time, and I didn’t really lose focus.  I knew my plan and what I was doing at each step and kept going, and as I saw that everyone was able to follow me I adjusted the pace to the pace that they were learning.  I tried to use basic instructions so that there wasn’t a lot of unnecessary talking, and I was mostly successful.  I did notice that there was a time where I was confusing myself, but I just went through it.  I didn’t need to adjust that much, but I wish that I could have given some more feedback instead of just focusing on getting through my plan.

Total: 23 points

Personal Reflection:

The learners are watching me, waiting for my next instruction, but they don’t always look like they are enjoying the activity.  I think this is a mix of them concentrating on what’s going on, but also that my teaching from the beginning is not very musical.  Looking back I wish that I had done more with the music playing in the back to liven things up a bit.  I didn’t really give any feedback other than “that was good” because I didn’t see where anyone was struggling with the steps.  I didn’t adjust to them with the learning of the steps because I was just trying to get through my plan and not change the way that I had already started teaching the steps.  This was also because I thought it was good to have them know how each step was going to be taught so they could stay engaged and not get confused.  I thought that we would do a better job keeping time, but things got a little too fast and I did not correct them.  I think that I should have started the lesson with “let’s keep a steady beat” or something like that to make them aware of the tempo.  I think that my instructions were easy to follow, but my movements could have been more engaging because there was no music.  I think that if we had more time to be familiar with the language assisted motion that we were trying to work with I could have been more comfortable with the plan and making the necessary adjustments.  This is something that I want to work on, to be more flexible and not always stick to the script.  The dance was successful, but the tempo mix-up kind of messed everyone up a little bit.  I think that it would be beneficial for us to have more of these kinds of activities, perhaps more informal teaching, just to try it out and see how flexible we can be and get used to thinking about adjustments “on the fly” when things don’t go exactly as we are wanting them to.  I am not used to teaching without a script, or a given template, so it would be nice to have some more experience with teaching, anything really just to get rid of nerves and to not be so serious all of the time.

Goals for next time:

1. Be more flexible with directions/plan in general.  If they don’t need the extra steps, be comfortable with adjusting to the needs of the group rather than sticking to the plan.

2. Be more musical right from the beginning, generate interest right away and keep that up.  Don’t be afraid to go all-in with an activity.

Coordinated Movement to Music

Lesson Plan: 16 Jan 2018

Understanding:  Every song must have a steady beat, a pulse that is unchanging and is held throughout the entire song.  There are also a lot of skills outside of music that require, or at least benefit from, keeping a steady beat.  Learning how to recognize and follow a steady beat is helpful with learning other skills that require some sort of rhythm and it is a natural thing to want to learn with different parts of the body.  In this lesson students will learn how to recognize and follow the steady beat through a series of movements with their arms that follow the pulse of a song.  

“I can” statement:  

  • “I can find the steady beat in the song”


  • Chairs
  • Caribbean Soca In D mp3


  1. Get class in position so they can all see the teacher, “Get ready to copy what I am doing” and start music.
  2. Wait 8 counts for intro to get everyone paying attention and ready for moving.
  3. Cue in with 8 counts of patting on lap with both hands, then fist pumps, tap shoulders, tap head
    1. All movements with both hands and 8 counts each
  4. Patting lap for 8 counts to reset
  5. Cue in with 8 counts of patting on lap with alternating hands, then fist pumps, tap shoulders, tap head
    1. All movements with alternating hands and 8 counts each
  6. Patting lap for 8 counts to reset
  7. Cue in patting lap then fist pump (2 movements) with both hands for 8 counts
  8. Cue in patting lap then tap shoulders (2 movements) with both hands for 8 counts
  9. Cue in patting shoulders then tap head (2 movements) with both hands for 8 counts
  10. Patting lap for 8 counts to reset
  11. Cue in patting lap then fist pump (2 movements) with alternating hands for 8 counts
  12. Cue in patting lap then tap shoulders (2 movements) with alternating hands for 8 counts
  13. Cue in patting shoulder then tap head (2 movements) with alternating hands for 8 counts
  14. Patting lap for 8 counts to reset
  15. Cue in tapping lap, shoulders, fist pump, head (4 movements) with both hands until everyone is doing it
  16. Finish with patting lap (both hands) fist pump, patting lap
    1. All movements with both hands and 8 counts each

Assessment: Throughout the activity I will be looking at the students and watching for them, making sure they are keeping the steady beat and following directions.  I will know that they are understanding the activity when they are watching me for the movement changes and are keeping their movements in time.

Personal Evaluation:

Musicianship (5 points) ____5_____

I stayed in tempo the entire time, and kept my rhythms consistent and movement changes were with the musical phrases.  The motions that I chose were simple enough to follow and followed the style of the piece.


Leadership (5 points) _____4______

I felt comfortable leading because I knew the sequence, but my face did not project the energy that I wanted.  I was able to maintain contact with everyone and make sure that they were staying with me, but I started to get too focused and my face started to rest too much at times.  I was able to start and end with the positive energy.


Preparation (5 points) _____5_____

I knew the piece I was working with, memorized my sequence, and all of my materials and my plan were prepared ahead of time.  I did have a moment where I was looking around too much at everyone that I forgot to change my motions (the phrase was 16 counts instead of 8) but I recovered and everyone kept going.


Facilitating the Music and Learning Experience (10 points) _____10_____

I made sure that I had everyone’s attention, and made sure that they were watching me the entire time, and at the beginning I was clear on what I was expecting them to do.  I planned my lesson to set everyone up for success, I kept the movements simple and in the same order to allow them to get back on track if they got lost somewhere.  I kept everything going, even when I made a mistake, and was always looking at the students to make sure they were on track.

Total ____24____


Overall I feel that my lesson was executed successfully, and I had fun planning and teaching it.  When I was planning it I would run everything by one of my younger brothers (9 yrs old) and he had a lot of fun doing it with me before I brought it to class.  Everyone responded well and liked the movements that I chose, especially the “fist pumps” that resembled playing the cowbell in the song.  The song had a clear groove and I think that is what kept up the energy when I was not expressing it with my face or my motions.  I would like to improve my personality, and I think that this is something that will happen as I get used to leading these types of group activities over the semester and in my internship.  I would like to explore this type of activity more, and get the chance to become more comfortable with it so it feels more natural.  I felt comfortable enough leading it because I knew my plan, and everyone was very receptive and was willing to participate.  I found myself wondering if speaking or singing parts could be added to this activity, or if the sole focus of it would be only movement, and in what context I would use an activity like this.  I think that doing things like this would help me get out of my comfort zone of sticking to a strict plan and coming up with fun things to do that make me get out of my serious personality.

Goals for next lesson:

  1. Keep up the energy and be able to project it with my face
  2. Step out of my comfort zone and do something a little more creative

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.