Category Archives: Flexible Musician

Teaching at Internship

Lesson Plan

Materials:

●  Sheet​ ​music

●  Pencil

●  Instruments

●  Baton

●  A​ ​Joyous​ ​Christmas

Objectives/Assessments:

  • 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

Procedure:

  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

Closure:

Remember to practice…

Remind them of anything that they need to work on

Reflection:

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.

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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

Concepts:

  • 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

Introduction:
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

Procedure

  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
Closure:

  • 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

Materials:

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

Objectives/Assessments:

  • 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.

Introduction:

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

Procedures:

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.

Closure

I really like how you…

One thing to keep in mind or work on…

Reflection:

Timeline

_____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.

Feels Like Sounds Like Looks Like

Reflection

Watch the video of your teaching. Rate yourself on each element. Circle both Y and N if you were successful some, but not all, of the time.

Aural/Oral – Feels like (Movement)

(Y)   N         I modeled basic patterns that the class could easily follow.

(Y)   N         I changed patterns with the musical phrases.

(Y)   N         I chose appropriate music (no text, clear pulse, clear phrases, few harmonic implications).

(Y)   N         I used facial gestures to forecast a change in patterns and encourage the class.

Verbal Association – Sounds like (Movement and syllables)

      (Y)   N         I had the class echo me singing each pattern.

(Y)   N         I sang on an appropriate pitch.

(Y)   N         I used syllables that help students accurately read the rhythms.

Symbolic Association – Looks like (Flash cards)

(Y)   N         I sang each pattern with syllables (no flash card), and then the class sang the rhythm while I flashed the card and pointed on the beats, repeating each card twice.

(Y)   N         I flashed each pattern in rhythm, then put it down while the class sang it.

(Y)   N         I flashed each pattern in rhythm without stopping (lightning round).

(Y)   N         My flashcards could be seen by the entire class.

General Presentation Skills

(Y)   N         I showed good energy in my face, voice, and movements.

(Y)   N         My voice could be heard and it was commanding.

(Y)   N         My voice and movements provided a good musical model.

(Y)   N         I made eye contact with each class member.

(Y)   N         I monitored the class and repeated patterns they had trouble with.

(Y)   N         I recovered and kept going even if I made a mistake!

(Y)   N         I had an appropriate closure to my lesson.

Best aspects of the lesson:

I tried to pay attention to each student, and was mostly successful in seeing when they were doing well or struggling. I was also able to quickly transition between sections of the teaching, which I feel was one reason why the whole class was successful and engaged the whole time. I was a lot louder and more confident than last time, because I chose to sing an octave up, even if it was not completely comfortable for me. I was also able to come up with good closing comments from my observations.

Aspects to improve:

I need to think more ahead about my setup so that I am not having to make adjustments during the teaching, I had to move the stand because I realized some people could not see my hands. I would like to be more efficient in showing the cards during the echo portion, by either moving back or moving the card around. I
also need to work on my singing voice, becoming comfortable in a range that I am not used to, because it carries better. I would also like to find something that I can have the students “work on” for next time, or just something to think about to improve in some way.

Secondary Instruments and Reflection

How did you choose a piece to perform?

I searched the internet for a free solo for beginner trumpet with a piano accompaniment.  I found a lot of good ones, but I decided to go with the Sleeping Beauty Waltz because it offered me an opportunity to play something that I would enjoy, and would challenge me, but not too much, and would also be fun for a beginner trumpet player because it was recognizable.  I also looked for a piano part that would be simple enough for me to play, in the case that I had to accompany a student at their recital or my partner wasn’t too comfortable with piano.

What flexible musicianship skills did you use in preparing for your solo performance and for your accompaniment?

I had to work a lot with reviewing my trumpet skills and getting comfortable transferring my musician skills to another instrument, and actually focusing on making music while trying to not think so much about how to play the instrument.  It was difficult to get used to tuning another instrument and having to listen to piano.  It was a different feeling in performing because I was nervous at the fact that this is not my primary instrument and just had to go through with it.  I practiced a lot with the long phrases, getting used to having my embouchure correct and building endurance.  I had to be conscious of my musical decisions, and work hard to try and get those to come through, because the change of instruments made me want to focus more on playing it correctly than musically.  I had to think about how articulation was different on another type of instrument and learn how to deal with that and how it applied to my piece.

What was your favorite part of working on this project? What was your least favorite part? What was the biggest challenge?

I really enjoyed that we had a choice in what to play because it gave me the opportunity to improve on an instrument that I want to play more, and have fun while I was doing it.  The song I chose is one of my favorites, and I loved getting to play it and also work with a pianist to get feedback on how I was treating the piece, and ideas that they had on how to shape the phrases and also on tempo for the style of the piece.  I also liked how we could form a small ensemble and work with some other beginners on how to navigate a piece as a group rather than as an individual.

My least favorite part of this project was having to find my own piece with accompaniment.  I liked that we had the choice of song and instrument, but it would have been helpful to have had suggested songs for different levels of players to help guide decisions and not have to search in different places for something that we could play.  I feel like choosing a piece was the biggest challenge because I wasn’t sure what an appropriate piece for the recital would be.

The biggest challenge for me in this project was getting ready for performance. I was practicing as much as I could, but I did not have a lot of opportunities to play with the accompanist. Group projects for me are always hard because they require communication outside of class, and this was a bit of a problem with my partner for his solo performance. We were able to work things out the best that we could, and I feel that we both had successful performances. I did feel nervous to perform, because I wasn’t sure how my lips were going to feel and if I would be able to last, as my air support kind of goes away when I perform on my primary instrument.

What did you learn from doing this project? How was performing on a secondary instrument similar to and different from performing on your major instrument (voice)?

I learned the importance of having solo and small ensemble performances as a beginner instrumentalist, because it helps with having more responsibilities when learning and being comfortable with performing for an audience.  I did not have opportunities like this until high school, and by then I was afraid of being more exposed as a performer, and did not enjoy performances like that.  I was somewhat able to get over the anxiety that I had when performing out of a large ensemble, but this is still something that I struggle with.  I still got nervous playing a secondary instrument, but I was more comfortable with it than I would have been on my primary instrument at that level, and I think it was because I had to prepare a lot and I was playing for other beginners.  Performing on a secondary instrument is similar to performing on a primary instrument is a bit more intimidating, but I don’t think that it is that different because as long as the work is put in, the result should be good.  I felt like it was harder to “make music” with my pieces because I was focused more on the mechanics of playing the instrument, something that I don’t have to worry so much with my primary.  One thing that helped with performing was the support of another person, having an accompanist or an ensemble helped with my nerves, much like when I perform on my primary.

What might your future students learn from performing as a soloist or in a small chamber group? Would you try a project like this with middle or high school students? Why or why not?

I would hope that my future students would enjoy solo and small ensemble performances because they allow them to explore more music opportunities.  This is something that would allow them to focus on themselves and develop their skills and get them comfortable playing for others and with others.  This is a setting for them to work on their communication skills, verbally and as musicians, and to connect more with their peers.  I would like to do a project like this because it is something different from just a regular band or orchestra class, and something that I feel would keep students interested in improving themselves as musicians.  This kind of project allows them to get feedback from their peers, in a different way than a teacher telling them what to do.  With a solo or small ensemble, they are able to play different types of music that offer different types of challenges and make connections with other musicians.