Final Lesson Plan: Voodoo Dance (7th grade brass only)
- Sheet Music, Score
- White Board/Markers
- 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
- 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)?*
- 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|
- Do you recognize what rhythm this is? Show me by giving me a number on your chest (rhythms written on board prior to class)
- Let’s verbalize this while looking at it [rhythm]
-Guide on board, then conduct
- 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?
- 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]
- 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
- 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
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.