Category Archives: Flexible Musician

Final Teaching

Lesson Plan: 3 May 2018

Focus: Students will participate in “Musical Chairs,” an interactive game where they will learn and review tempo.  For this lesson students will learn Adagio and Presto using the game and songs assigned to each tempo.

“I can…” Statements:

  • …keep a steady beat
  • …define tempo
  • …define Adagio
  • …define Presto
  • …participate in a game

Materials

  • 1 chair per student
  • Speaker (bluetooth or aux)
  • Music player (phone or laptop)
  • Tempo terms and pictures (board)
  • Tempo songs:
    • Adagio: Over the Rainbow (Pentatonix), Lon Lon Ranch (Taylor Davis)
    • Presto: Hound Dog (Elvis Presley), Sing (Pentatonix)
    • Tempo Change (Bonus): Bare Necessities (Jungle Book)

Procedure:

  1. Keep the beat: who wants to be the leader (can do multiple movements)
    1. Sing (Pentatonix)
      1. Choose new leader
    2. Over the Rainbow (Pentatonix)
  2. Learn/review tempo on board
    1. Tempo is how fast or slow something is
    2. Go to board
      1. For today we’re going to work with Presto and Adagio
      2. Adagio = Super slow
      3. Presto = Super fast
    3. What do we think that first song was? (Sing = Presto)
    4. What was the second? (Over the Rainbow = Adagio)
  3. Review rules for Musical Chairs and set up (practice rounds)
    1. Everyone lines up chairs back-to-back
    2. Walk around the chairs like the tempo, being safe
    3. When the music stops find a seat
      1. A seat is taken out each round
    4. If you’re left standing, you’re out
    5. When you’re out, keep the beat somewhere on your body
  4. Play game
    1. After rounds what was the tempo
    2. Last round: Tempo Change: Bare Necessities (Jungle Book)
    3. If there’s time do it again, in 2 small groups, or just quicker round

Assessment:

In the beginning everyone is keeping the steady beat wherever instructed.  Everyone is participating in remembering the tempo markings. During the game they are always moving with the beat (whether patting or moving in the game) and identify it as Adagio or Presto.  

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Bell Horses Reflection

 

All semester I have been trying to work on being fun in my teachings, so at the beginning of each lesson I tried to keep everyone engaged and ready to have fun, by joking about being tired or something and getting them ready to pay attention.  These lessons definitely felt lighter and more fun than when I taught “Old Brass Wagon” because I tried to keep everyone engaged the whole time and come up with different activities that children might like to keep them from getting lost.  I felt like it was easier to take charge at times than in the past, and it is just getting more experience with these kinds of lessons.

I go into the lessons feeling scared because I fear that I will have trouble recalling the whole lesson (I memorize as much as I can) and with the last lesson it was kind of a combination of me needing notes and deciding in the moment that I wanted to go an easier route that I didn’t follow the exact lesson plan.  In the last lesson, I said “as a group” and “work together” but I just ended up telling everyone what to do and realized what I did as it was happening but I didn’t want to stop.  Overall I did a good job of keeping on track with the memorized plans, and by following the examples from class I was able to get through each lesson and have some sort of individual assessment, something else I have been trying to work on.

I need to work on my questioning a bit, because I don’t always know what is appropriate for younger students.  I have talked with my mentor teacher about my lesson plans from class to see what she thought of them, and she always thought that they were a little too difficult for younger students.  Looking at the first video I realized that the first question that I asked was a little challenging, unless I had sung the song a bit more, so I need to work on balancing things out and finding what will work.  I am trying to get more comfortable with learning through discovery, but I am trying to incorporate more of the teaching strategies that we learn in class and not talk too much.  I am doing better with having fun, but I need to keep the energy up, especially in my voice because I tend to get monotone at times.

In the Orff lesson, Dr. Stauffer suggested that I get more creative with the words that I used (i.e. giddy-up rather than bell horses for the tambourine part) and think about how I can improve the arrangement (have the xylo in 5ths and put the 3rd in the glock part to fill out the chords).  The arrangement that I had worked, but I would like to get better at making Orff arrangements of songs, and teaching them, and I think that it will just come with practice and looking at other arrangements.

I am not always sure how to break things down, because the exercises that we do in class don’t always match up with the songs that we choose (the elements that we teach are in good spots, at the end, but a lot of times not like that with what I choose, and I try to model my lessons after the in-class experiences).  I need help on where to place questions because it hardly ever feels natural to me, mostly because in my internship when we teach a song it is just repeating the teacher and having the lyrics projected.  I also don’t always know how to end a lesson, because it is usually “good job” unless there’s something specific that was being taught (Old Brass Wagon had 16ths and Bell Horses had la).

Song Teaching (C) – Bell Horses

Lesson Plan: 19 April 2018

Focus: The main purpose of this song is to teach the notation and solfege of the pitch “la.”

“I can…” Statements:

  • …remember a song
  • …sing in a group
  • …sing the song in solfege
  • …remember the pitch “la”
  • …remember the hand sign for “la”
  • …notate the pitches, including “la”

Materials:

  • Felt boards and notes
  • Bell horses cutouts
  • “Bell Horses”

Bell horses, bell horses, what time o’ day

1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, off and away

Procedure:

  1. Review the song (1-2): hum, sing as a class and with steady beat
  2. Sing song with tapping out words on our laps
    1. Sing song with different parts of body: Shoulders (sol), Lap (mi), Head (la)
    2. Teacher once, then students join
  3. Break down song: “bell horses, bell horses”
    1. Repeat after me with motions (bell horse, bell horses)
    2. Repeat after me with motions (sol-mi-mi, sol-mi-mi)
  4. Hand out boards and cutouts
  5. Put it down on our boards
    1. Sol is going to be on the first space, where does mi go?
    2. Sing on note names and point with horses
  6. Go to the next part “what time o’ day”, and
    1. Repeat after me with motions (what time o’ day)
    2. Repeat after me with motions (sol-sol-hum-sol)
  7. Write down what we know
    1. Does that note we don’t know go up or down? Is it close or far away?
    2. Put it on the line because it is close, it’s called la
    3. Sing part with motions
  8. Sing whole line on note names, pointing
  9. Sing whole line on note names with hand signs
    1. Review sol and mi
    2. For our la hand sign let’s keep doing what we were, but bring it in front of us
  10. Review last line, singing, maybe add motions or hand signs to get started
    1. Get with a partner and see if you can figure out the rest of the song (on staff)
    2. Keep one of your boards the same and work on the other
    3. Check with another group to see if you have it right
    4. Try what we have using our bell horses
  11. Sing whole song with our hand signs
  12. Sing the song (words) with horses

Assessment:

Everyone is participating at each step, doing the motions for each part, singing throughout, keeping the beat and the rhythms, participating in the felt board exercises and hand signs.  At the end of the lesson they are able to identify “la” on the staff and hand signs.

Song Teaching (B) – Bell Horses

Lesson Plan: 17 April 2018

Focus: The main purpose of this song is to teach the pitch “la”  that can be applied to instruments and notation in later lessons.  This lesson is to recall the song and game and perform an Orff arrangement of it, with a bordun part on the xylophone, a color part on the glockenspiel, and an ostinato part on tambourine.

“I can…” Statements:

  • …memorize a song
  • …keep a steady beat
  • …memorize parts on instruments
  • …play an instrument

Materials:

  • Bass xylophone
  • Glockenspiel
  • Tambourine
  • “Bell Horses” Orff arrangement

Bell horses, bell horses, what time o’ day

1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, off and away

Bell horses, bell horses, what time o’day

3 o’clock, 4 o’clock, off and away

(can continue counting)

Bell_Horses_Orff_Arrangement-1

Procedure:

  1. Intro: recall the song
    1. Try humming it and see if anyone catches on
    2. Sing it together (1-4)
    3. Sing and pat the steady beat
  2. Everyone say “bell” and clap it (bordun)
    1. Clap bell-rest, until everyone is doing it, then sing the song (1-2)
    2. Who wants to play the xylophone?
    3. Find 2 A’s and play the bell part and sing the song
  3. Everyone say “horses” and clap it (color)
    1. Watch me for the next part
    2. Clap: rest-rest-rest-horses, until everyone is doing it, then sing the song (with bordun)
    3. Who wants to play the glockenspiel?
    4. Find A and D (left hand on A, right hand on D) and play horses starting with the A and sing the song with all parts
  4. Everyone say “bell horses” (ostinato)
    1. Clap bell horses, until everyone is doing it, then sing the song (with bordun and color, 1-2)
    2. Whoever is left grab a tambourine
    3. Play bell horses the whole time, adding parts slowly
  5. Play and sing the song (1-8)
    1. Everyone starts at the same time

Assessment:

Everyone is participating at each step, doing the motions for each part, singing, keeping the beat and the rhythms, playing the instruments.  Everyone can play their own parts on the Orff instruments and recall the others.

 

Song Teaching (A) – Bell Horses

Lesson Plan: 12 April 2018

Focus: Teaching the song well enough to recall in future lessons for teaching solfege (la).

“I can…” Statements:

  • …memorize a song
  • …play a game
  • …keep a steady beat

Materials:

  • Sets of bells (or jingly instrument) for each student
  • “Bell Horses”

Bell horses, bell horses, what time o’ day

1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, off and away

Bell horses, bell horses, what time o’day

3 o’clock, 4 o’clock, off and away

(can continue counting)

Procedure:

  1. Intro: learning a song and a game
  2. Listen to the song (1-4) and find the words that rhyme
    1. If they can’t find them, sing it again
  3. Keep a steady beat and listen again, this time for words what repeat
    1. Answers: bell horses, o’clock (accept whichever)
  4. Keep with the steady beat and see if you can sing along
    1. Keep singing until everyone is singing
  5. Sing the song with tapping the rhythm on palms
    1. Everyone stand up and get a set of bells (or other jingly instrument) and sing the song and play the rhythms
  6. Game: now we know the song, let’s do something fun with it
    1. We’re inside so no running (on heels, slow gallop)
    2. You can be with a partner or by yourself
    3. Sing the song while going around the room and play the instruments
      1. On the steady beat or the rhythm of the words
      2. Sing it (1-8)

Assessment:

Everyone is participating at each step, answering questions, singing, keeping the beat and the rhythms, playing the instruments, participating in the game.  

 

Old Brass Wagon Reflection

I think that overall I need to be a lot more engaging, and look like I am having fun so that they can have fun.  Throughout my videos I did a fairly good job with being a good model so that they could sing the song (fairly accurately based on what I was singing) with confidence.  A lot of times I think that I just needed to be more confident, at almost every stage of the teaching.  I think that sometimes I am focused more on being accurate with my plan than keeping everyone engaged than making it fun and musical.  When teaching the Orff arrangement I tried to get them involved as much as possible and getting everyone to learn each part to kind of help with teaching the rhythm notation, but there were a lot of times that I felt I shouldn’t have talked so much.  In that video my back it to the camera, but I know that I was not showing a lot of energy, and that is something that I am still trying to work on.  When I said “we’re going to do our game” I realize now that I should have tried to be more fun with everything.  From my teachings I think that I made it seem like music was not always consistent because I did struggle with some parts of the song, and watching everyone’s faces when I would get to those parts makes that more apparent.  In the last video I think that I did sing the song a bit lower than the previous lessons, because I forgot to get a reference pitch.

As each lesson went on I tried to be specific when addressing everyone, the last one was the best one I think with talking to everyone and making sure that everyone was involved and got attention.  I was trying to be conscious of my word choices, and making sure that I didn’t use things like “I want you to” and just trying to be encouraging when I was teaching the different parts and the note names.  I tried to use phrases that made us more of a group and participating with everyone than just taking a leadership position and telling them what to do.  Granted, I still need to work on doing some more showing than telling, mainly from the Orff video, I don’t think it was necessary to explain as much as I did, and even then I still could have shortened some of the showing/experiencing parts before playing.  There was an instance with Charlotte where I took time to get her to repeat something a few times to make sure that it would stick (like we were in a real general music classroom) and would try to do that kind of stuff when necessary.  I think that my last lesson was the best, because I thought about getting everyone involved as a class but also tried to give them some more freedom than they had in the previous two lessons.  I tried to take approaches that I have seen in class and in my internship, with all of the repetition when playing and saying rhythms.  I don’t think that I had a lot of questions that were “yes/no” other than when transitioning and checking that every one was ready to move on.  I didn’t ask that many questions except at the end when I was reviewing with everyone at the end of the Orff and rhythm teachings.
My plans were good from a scaffolding standpoint, I tried to model them as much with what we did in class as possible because I knew that it would help me stay organized and it would work as long as I was confident.  I memorized my plans before teaching them, because I don’t like having to stop things to refer to something, and when I did get confused or mixed up I just went with it because I don’t think that it mattered that I could stick to a plan as actually teach.  I did have to stop occasionally to remember where I was and figure out where I was going, but I don’t think that it negatively affected the lesson plans.  Looking back I would like to have included some more questions in earlier plans that made learning interesting, especially with the Orff arrangement because it was just a lot of showing and telling rather than getting them involved.  I probably wouldn’t change much about ordering, just doing more to get everyone involved and not focus on just getting the teaching done but making it a musical experience.
I think that my pace was good, everyone seemed to get it with each lesson, and I adjusted where necessary.  I think that sometimes there was a bit too much repetition, like in the Orff teaching where everyone was saying and clapping “old” I think that it was not necessary to keep doing it different ways, I probably could have just done it one way and moved on right away to playing it.  Repetition worked best in the last lesson, I think that at some point they could have picked up on how we were figuring out each beat, because I tried to keep it as consistent as possible.  I started to get better with giving feedback other than “good job” and “we all did this…really well” and addressing individuals rather than the whole group all of the time.  The icon teaching was a bit tricky at times, with everyone focusing on giving me a real teaching experience and testing how I would react to them asking questions, and I wasn’t quite comfortable with getting them to feel what sixteenth notes felt and looked like.  That is something that I was thinking about, on when exactly to have them feel the rhythm versus knowing the beat and be able to identify the amount of “sounds” in each beat.  Overall my last lesson felt the most successful, especially at the end when I could check their individual levels and knowledge (also happened with the Orff parts) and not just say that we all did a good job.  My goal was at the end of each lesson for everyone to feel good about how they did in the group.

Song Teaching (C) – Old Brass Wagon

Lesson Plan 5 April

Focus:

“Old Brass Wagon” is a song with a dance/game.  The main purpose of this song is to teach sixteenth notes (“Tikatika”), by helping the students to feel the rhythm and be able to read it.  This lesson (3 of 3) is to recall the song and figure out the new rhythm (sixteenth notes) through discovery of the different rhythms that make up the song and translate that into notation.

“I can…” Statements:

  • …remember a song
  • …tap rhythms
  • …keep a steady beat
  • …read rhythms
  • …read and say sixteenth notes

Materials :

  • “Old Brass Wagon”

[Circle to the left] Old brass wagon

[Circle to the left] Old brass wagon

[Circle to the left] Old brass wagon

You’re the one my darling

1.Circle to the right

  1. Come into the middle
  • Note cards:
    • Whole beat
    • Quarter notes
    • Eighth notes
    • Sixteenth notes

Procedure:

  1. Review the song
    1. Sing “Circle to the Left”
  2. Feel the rhythm
    1. Sing and tap the steady beat on legs
    2. Sing and tap the words on our hands
    3. Sing and tap the words on our legs (alternating hands)
    4. Hum and tap the words on legs
    5. Think and tap the words on legs
  3. Get out rhythm cards and lay out whole beat (4)
    1. Only separate quarters, eighths, sixteenth
  4. Sing the rhythm
    1. Sing the first line only
      1. Tap steady beat pointing at the cards
    2. How many sounds in the second beat (“left”)? Let’s sing and find out
      1. Pat the song if necessary
      2. What do we call that rhythm? 2 names: Ta and Quarter
      3. Put it down on its beat
    3. How many sounds in the third beat (“old brass”)? Let’s sing and find out
      1. Pat the song if necessary
      2. What do we call that rhythm? 2 names: TiTi and Eighth
      3. Put it down on its beat
    4. How many sounds in the fourth beat (“wagon”)? Try and figure it out on your own
      1. Ask someone what they put down
    5. Let’s say the rhythms that we have down, leaving the first beat silent
      1. Say the rhythms on Ta’s and TiTi’s pointing to the beats
      2. Say the rhythms on Ta’s and TiTi’s patting the words out
    6. How many sounds are in that first beat (“circle to the”)? Let’s sing and find out
      1. Pat the song if necessary
      2. We don’t know that rhythm yet, do we have a card that has that many sounds in it?
        1. Look at cards provided, indicate sixteenth
      3. Put it down on its beat
      4. Now we have to have a name for it, let’s say TikaTika for now
      5. The other name for that rhythm is a Sixteenth note, like our Ta’s and TiTi’s are called Quarter and Eighth notes
    7. Let’s do the whole line on Ta’s and TiTi’s and TikaTikas
      1. Say and tap the words on our legs (alternating hands)
      2. Whisper and tap the words on legs
      3. Think and tap the words on legs
    8. Review the rhythms as a class
      1. Call on individuals for different beats: give both names
  5. Do the dance one time (Left, Right, Middle)

Assessment:

  • Ongoing: Students are singing the song, doing the rhythm exercises and are answering the questions that are posed at each step.
  • Final: Students are able to perform the rhythm with little to no help from the teacher and are able to identify the names and sounds of the rhythms, focusing on sixteenth notes.