Category Archives: Inquisitive Thinker

Reflection on Aural Skills Development

Your initial ideas: What are your ideas on this topic? What do you already think about it? What have you learned from your own experience as a student? What have you learned from other sources, such as teachers, parents, friends, or research? Explain your reasoning.

I was never encouraged to learn how to play by ear; all of my instruction when I first began was all by reading off of a page, so at first I was mostly against playing by ear and developing aural skills as an instrumentalist.  I did not enjoy music theory at first because I had to rely on my ears and I had to sing, but I started to have more respect for the practice once I started to apply what I was learning to how I played and learned pieces.  I was always afraid of doing things by ear because I couldn’t be completely correct right from the start, but once I started developing the skills I needed I began to be more comfortable with it and now I do a lot of practice with playing by ear and trying to listen more.  Looking back, I definitely wish that I could have started aural instruction at the beginning because I now feel like I was missing something that could have helped me a lot.

I did not like the idea of teaching by ear when we were first introduced to it, because I have seen some musicians that won’t really learn how to read a staff or their note names because they can just get by through looking at those around them and just matching their pitch.  I have a lot of respect for those that can develop those skills so quickly, because it is still something that I struggle with, but I think that these skills should be learned at roughly the same time.  I would personally not like to just have students learn how rhythms and notes “feel” because once it comes time to reading a piece, they need to be able to know how things look.  I think that the skills can complement each other, and it is important to be comfortable with both because they help with being a good musician.  From taking this class and paying attention to students in my internship, I have learned that it is okay to start with learning by ear, because once the ear is trained, it is much easier to look at a page of music and already know what it sounds like.

The voice of authority: This will help you clarify what so-called “experts” have to say on this topic. You do not have to agree with their viewpoints, but you need to be sure that you understand them clearly. What do you know from classes or from research about this topic? In the last section, “Your voice,” you are encouraged to disagree with any of these “authorities;” in this section, try to simply report what they say.

From the time we have spent on this in class, I know that there are a lot of arguments for developing aural skills.  The time that we spent with the “Feels Like, Sounds Like, Looks Like” unit taught us that there are different ways of teaching aural skills, and that it is important to start off with getting students involved in their learning.  Having the ability to audiate is extremely helpful when sight reading, and being able to sing helps with listening and being more musical.  Being able to sing something and being confident in knowing what it sounds like helps with performance and having more control over musical decisions.  Feeling a piece of music helps with being able to connect more with the instrument, like playing a familiar piece and not having to focus on what the rhythms are and being able to audiate the pitches helps with being able to focus on the mechanics of the instrument.  It also helps when knowing if what you are doing is right or wrong, because you can feel it more, and you can listen to other sections and instruments to know how everything is supposed to fit.

Some of the readings we have had in class stress that being familiar with what music sounds like should precede what music looks like because the experience of music will help with understanding and being able to master and use musical concepts more.  When teaching aural skills, it is important to have a structure, and basing that structure off of a theory of learning and teaching styles, like the Gordon sequence, which starts with aural learning, following a series of steps that lead to being able to play and understand what is written on a page.

Learning to play an instrument is like learning a language: you start but listening, then imitating, then gradually go on to being able to read it.  Using this way of thinking, it is more beneficial to learn how to play the instrument and focus on that and gradually introduce reading rather than trying to learn how to play and read at the same time, because you have a strong foundation to build on and do not have to learn multiple things at the same time.  This approach also allows for more musical freedom because students will have the chance to express themselves and MBA aware of what they are playing rather than restricting themselves to trying to reproduce what is on a page.

Your initial observations: What do you notice in your field experience classroom that gives you hints about your mentor teacher’s ideas on this topic? Make your best guess about your mentor teacher’s ideas before you discuss the topic with him or her. Do you notice anything surprising or anything you didn’t expect?

My mentor teacher does not seem to put a lot of emphasis on aural skills, other than asking students to listen to each other for tuning. He seems to focus more in the mechanics of learning the instruments before anything, and uses written songs to help the students learn. His classes are so large and there are so many of them that he has to focus more on getting everyone to play, and I think that is why he structures his class this way. From what I’ve seen, he tries his best to incorporate aural skills, but there aren’t many opportunities to work on it. He also has somewhat of a discipline problem with some of his courses, not through any fault of his own. I think that his emphasis on literacy and learning the mechanics of the instruments is his way of dealing with this issue, and it seems to be effective. I wasn’t expecting him to work on aural skills starting out, because it is not something that I ever worked on.  I always thought that it is important to focus on instrument mechanics when first starting out rather than trying to teach aural skills and the mechanics at the same time, because that has been my experience with learning instruments.

Students’ voice: What does the behavior of students in the class suggest to you about this topic? How do the teacher’s words or behavior seem to affect the students? Or, if you are teaching, how do your words or behavior seem to affect the students? If you have time, ask one or two students their opinions on the topic, and record their responses. Does anything you observe fit with your own experience as a student, or are there differences? Is anything surprising to you?

I think that the students would like more emphasis on aural skills, especially the more advanced ones that catch on to actually playing the instrument fairly quickly. A lot of them struggle with reading the notes on the page and the music he has with the fingerings written out, and seem to get confused when they are having to focus on both playing the instrument and reading the notes. When I teach, I instruct them to think about the song that they are playing, and to sing it in their head before they play and while they are playing in order to make sure they are playing the right thing, and it seems to help most of the students. When I first started to say that, it looked like they had not ever heard that, and a lot of them began to improve. When I teach individuals, and I sing while they play and have them listen to what they are playing, they do a lot better, and whenever I ask them if they like it or if it helps, almost all of them say it does. As a beginner student, I did not have any sort of emphasis on aural training, and even now I don’t feel comfortable playing by ear because all of the skills that I have now are still being developed. The way that my mentor teacher runs his classroom is very similar to the way that my first band class was, so it seems very familiar to me and I don’t think that is it necessarily a wrong way to teach.

Mentor teacher’s voice: Ask your mentor teacher about his or her point of view on this topic. You do not have to agree with this viewpoint, you just have to respect his or her opinion. Is anything surprising to you? In your observations, do your mentor teacher’s practices seem to match his or her ideas? Why or why not? In the next section, “Your voice,” you are encouraged to disagree with your mentor teacher’s ideas; here, try to simply report his or her perspective.

My mentor teacher has a good opinion of aural skills, and sees the benefits of teaching them to beginner bands, but because of his class sizes and requirements, he doesn’t have a lot of opportunity to emphasize them. He tries to emphasize the mechanics of the instruments so that no one gets left behind on that, and wants to give the students a strong foundation.  Once he gets the students where he wants them in terms of technical ability, then he is comfortable moving on to echoing, starting with just rhythms then eventually multiple notes, but this takes a while.  With his second and third year band students he is more comfortable with exploring aural skills, like having the jazz band vocalizing rhythms mostly and incorporating different articulations.  Very few of his students feel comfortable singing anything while vocalizing rhythms, but with encouragement from teachers and peers they being experimenting with their singing voices and trying to have fun with what they are singing.  He tries to do a lot of “air playing” where he has them listen to him play a piece (either himself or a recording) and watches them finger along with rhythms so that they can hear what it is supposed to sound like before they play.

He does not have a lot of opportunity to work on aural skills with his very beginner students, and doesn’t introduce how rhythms feel before he puts them with notation.  Any echoing and instruction comes when they are looking at what they are playing.  He teaches them how to visualize, count, and play what is on the page right away, and does not explore feeling things until students have been playing for a while.  He used to focus more on “musical moments before teaching at his current school, and enjoyed it, but at this school he is more limited in what they can do and wants to focus more on getting down the mechanics of the instrument.  He tries to gradually incorporate listening and feeling (toe tapping) when he can to teach his students about internal and external beats.  My mentor teacher sees the value in teaching aural skills, but his teaching style does not reflect that because he is still trying to figure out a way to incorporate that and not fall behind his requirements for each class.

Your voice: Summarize what you think you know at this point about the topic, based on your observations and the different voices. When you are the teacher in the classroom, what will you do, and why will you do it that way? (It’s ok to choose to do something different than your mentor teachers or the course instructors, if you can explain your reasoning.)

I think that aural skills are very important to learn because of the benefits that they offer for musicians, especially beginners.  Teaching students how to listen, I think, prepares them more for when they are reading.  Since I have been working on training my ears, I have found that my sight reading skills are much improved, because now I can hear what something is supposed to sound like before I play it.  I also feel more comfortable with playing “musically” because I practice singing what I am trying to play, because it is really hard to sing something boring, and that transfers to playing.  From my internship, I can see that these things have helped my students, and because of all of these reasons, I have changed my opinion of teaching aural skills and playing by ear.  Before I got to ASU I did not give any thought to the value of learning these skills because they were never taught to me, and I was always resistant to singing because I am an instrumentalist, and I did not think that I had any reason to learn.  I was always afraid of trying to learn how to play by ear because I am a perfectionist and I do not like making any mistakes, especially when it comes to playing, so I always relied on what was concrete: the music in front of me.  I now play simple songs by ear and memory at least once a week and I have seen a lot of improvement in the way that I perform.

I am surprised that my mentor teacher doesn’t try to incorporate his ideas more into the classroom because I think that some of the things that he has talked with me about could actually help his students learn more quickly, and I think they would enjoy it more.  I think that once I am a teacher I would like to try incorporating aural skills right away, alongside literacy.  I think that it is important to work on these skills at the same time because I think that if just one is worked on, that students will begin to fall on one skill and rely on it to get them through the other.  I think that these skills should complement each other, so I think that I would use them mostly when sight reading like we have been in class.  I felt comfortable with organizing a lesson plan that started with aural skills, and when I applied some of that to students in my internship, they really caught on and felt more accomplished when they were able to successfully play something they might have been struggling with.  There are a lot of students that ask if we can sing through a piece before they play it because they like the way that they can get an idea of what it is supposed to sound like, and because it helps them with anything they might have been struggling with.

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20160427_185724

Flexible Musician

How do you deal with different levels of musicians within an ensemble?

Every ensemble is going to have a gap in the experience and abilities of the members, and as a director it is your job to be able to deal with that.  Green said that “Having clear focus and discipline is essential” (Green, 2003, p. 68), and this is applicable to both the students and the director because they have to work together to make the progress that they need.  Students often are not able to bridge the gaps between them on their own, so it is best to be able to address these issues in a large ensemble setting and give them the tools to be able to work on the gaps.  Ways to do this are to get different types and levels of repertoire, enough to challenge the students with lower abilities but also at a good level for the students with higher abilities.  Having a balance with the repertoire is important because it shows the students that you care about them building their skills, and also shows that you are helping them get the most out of their musical experience. Ayers said that “The root word of “evaluation” is “value,” and authentic assessment includes understanding what students value and building from there” (Ayers & Alexander-Tanner, 2010, p. 81), and I think that this ties in with different levels of musicians because you are helping them build a balance between their music and their skills.

Innovative Practitioner

How do you incorporate theory into ensemble classes and also show students the benefit of it?

In order to successfully incorporate theory into an ensemble setting, the students must be taught the very basics from the beginning.  This can be done in the first few minutes of class every day, for repetition, and should be applied to repertoire as much as possible.  Once the students begin to recognize and understand the basics in the context of the repertoire then you can move onto things that are slightly more complicated.  In a study, “Eleven participants described progressing methodically from simple to complex in classroom instruction” (Paney & Buoniviri, 2013, p. 407) when teaching melodic dictation to their AP Music Theory classes, and this approach can be applied to any teaching of music theory.  This approach would work well with the basics, especially when put into certain contexts, because it worked well when teaching students to listen to and dictate both rhythms and notes, and even at a complex level, when they had little to no experience.  Approaching theory like this, or any music in general, and putting it into a context is when students will begin to comprehend, and see the importance in what they are learning.  Being able to understand the mechanics behind music will make them better musicians, because they will be doing more than just playing the notes on their page, they will be actively engaged and finding exactly how they and their part fit into and function as part of the whole ensemble.

Inquisitive Thinker

How do I know that I am teaching well? That I am comfortable with the way that I teach?

I think that at some point every teacher will begin to question whether they are doing things the right way, and they need to be able to think objectively about what they are doing in order to evaluate themselves.  It is important to look at both the teacher and the students.  One thing that might get in the way is a teacher’s unwillingness to change simply because they themselves are comfortable the way things are, even if the students are not.  Teachers need to be able to think critically about themselves, and this can be done by first observing others teach.  In a study, undergraduate students began teaching and “soon found themselves not only observing other teachers but critically analyzing the teaching methods and outcomes they observed in order to assess what strategies were effective and what teacher actions they may later integrate into their teaching” (Haston & Russell, 2011, p. 386).  This is something that every teacher should do, because by observing others objectively and then turning around and doing the same thing to yourself you can begin to see what direction you want to go from there.  Another way to evaluate your own teaching style is to simply look at the students and see how they react to your teaching style, see how much progress they have achieved since you started teaching them.  This can be done after observing other teachers and their students, and compare the way their students react versus your own.

Community Leader

How do you keep students motivated when music gets more difficult and they might feel discouraged?

Barry Green (2003) said that “Music is one of the most powerful sources of truth that we have: it has the power to change lives” (p. 271) and this is something that teachers and students need to remind themselves of when things get hard.  When students are struggling with something, it is important that both the student and the teacher take the time to address the problem and approach it carefully.  There are people that shut down when they don’t understand something or begin to have problems, and teachers have to be able to deal with them.  Sometimes it is as simple as slowing things down in ensemble rehearsal, not singling anyone out, but working things out as a group in the hopes that the student will catch on or those around them will help.  Sometimes students require more focused or individual attention, like working with a particular section or pulling them to the side and focusing solely on them until they start making progress.  When I have problems, I simply remind myself that “All musicians have bad days” (Green, 2003, p. 275) and that because music is so important I should work hard to keep it a part of me, and this is something to remind students of.

References

Ayers, W., & Alexander-Tanner, R. (2010). To teach: The journey, in comics. New York: Teachers College Press.

Green, B. (2003). The mastery of music: Ten pathways to true artistry. New York: Broadway Books.

Haston, W., & Russell, J. A. (2011). Turning Into Teachers: Influences of Authentic Context

Learning Experiences on Occupational Identity Development of Preservice Music Teachers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 59(4), 369-392. doi:10.1177/0022429411414716

Paney, A. S., & Buonviri, N. O. (2013). Teaching Melodic Dictation in Advanced Placement Music

Theory. Journal of Research in Music Education, 61(4), 396-414. doi:10.1177/0022429413508411

Final Paper and Poster

20160427_185724Final Paper (Intro)

Flexible Musician

How do you deal with different levels of musicians within an ensemble?

Every ensemble is going to have a gap in the experience and abilities of the members, and as a director it is your job to be able to deal with that.  Green said that “Having clear focus and discipline is essential” (Green, 2003, p. 68), and this is applicable to both the students and the director because they have to work together to make the progress that they need.  Students often are not able to bridge the gaps between them on their own, so it is best to be able to address these issues in a large ensemble setting and give them the tools to be able to work on the gaps.  Ways to do this are to get different types and levels of repertoire, enough to challenge the students with lower abilities but also at a good level for the students with higher abilities.  Having a balance with the repertoire is important because it shows the students that you care about them building their skills, and also shows that you are helping them get the most out of their musical experience. Ayers said that “The root word of “evaluation” is “value,” and authentic assessment includes understanding what students value and building from there” (Ayers & Alexander-Tanner, 2010, p. 81), and I think that this ties in with different levels of musicians because you are helping them build a balance between their music and their skills.

Innovative Practitioner

How do you incorporate theory into ensemble classes and also show students the benefit of it?

In order to successfully incorporate theory into an ensemble setting, the students must be taught the very basics from the beginning.  This can be done in the first few minutes of class every day, for repetition, and should be applied to repertoire as much as possible.  Once the students begin to recognize and understand the basics in the context of the repertoire then you can move onto things that are slightly more complicated.  In a study, “Eleven participants described progressing methodically from simple to complex in classroom instruction” (Paney & Buoniviri, 2013, p. 407) when teaching melodic dictation to their AP Music Theory classes, and this approach can be applied to any teaching of music theory.  This approach would work well with the basics, especially when put into certain contexts, because it worked well when teaching students to listen to and dictate both rhythms and notes, and even at a complex level, when they had little to no experience.  Approaching theory like this, or any music in general, and putting it into a context is when students will begin to comprehend, and see the importance in what they are learning.  Being able to understand the mechanics behind music will make them better musicians, because they will be doing more than just playing the notes on their page, they will be actively engaged and finding exactly how they and their part fit into and function as part of the whole ensemble.

Inquisitive Thinker

How do I know that I am teaching well? That I am comfortable with the way that I teach?

I think that at some point every teacher will begin to question whether they are doing things the right way, and they need to be able to think objectively about what they are doing in order to evaluate themselves.  It is important to look at both the teacher and the students.  One thing that might get in the way is a teacher’s unwillingness to change simply because they themselves are comfortable the way things are, even if the students are not.  Teachers need to be able to think critically about themselves, and this can be done by first observing others teach.  In a study, undergraduate students began teaching and “soon found themselves not only observing other teachers but critically analyzing the teaching methods and outcomes they observed in order to assess what strategies were effective and what teacher actions they may later integrate into their teaching” (Haston & Russell, 2011, p. 386).  This is something that every teacher should do, because by observing others objectively and then turning around and doing the same thing to yourself you can begin to see what direction you want to go from there.  Another way to evaluate your own teaching style is to simply look at the students and see how they react to your teaching style, see how much progress they have achieved since you started teaching them.  This can be done after observing other teachers and their students, and compare the way their students react versus your own.

Community Leader

How do you keep students motivated when music gets more difficult and they might feel discouraged?

Barry Green (2003) said that “Music is one of the most powerful sources of truth that we have: it has the power to change lives” (p. 271) and this is something that teachers and students need to remind themselves of when things get hard.  When students are struggling with something, it is important that both the student and the teacher take the time to address the problem and approach it carefully.  There are people that shut down when they don’t understand something or begin to have problems, and teachers have to be able to deal with them.  Sometimes it is as simple as slowing things down in ensemble rehearsal, not singling anyone out, but working things out as a group in the hopes that the student will catch on or those around them will help.  Sometimes students require more focused or individual attention, like working with a particular section or pulling them to the side and focusing solely on them until they start making progress.  When I have problems, I simply remind myself that “All musicians have bad days” (Green, 2003, p. 275) and that because music is so important I should work hard to keep it a part of me, and this is something to remind students of.

References

Ayers, W., & Alexander-Tanner, R. (2010). To teach: The journey, in comics. New York: Teachers College Press.

Green, B. (2003). The mastery of music: Ten pathways to true artistry. New York: Broadway Books.

Haston, W., & Russell, J. A. (2011). Turning Into Teachers: Influences of Authentic Context

Learning Experiences on Occupational Identity Development of Preservice Music Teachers. Journal of Research in Music Education, 59(4), 369-392. doi:10.1177/0022429411414716

Paney, A. S., & Buonviri, N. O. (2013). Teaching Melodic Dictation in Advanced Placement Music

Theory. Journal of Research in Music Education, 61(4), 396-414. doi:10.1177/0022429413508411

Thinking As A Professional

1.) Yelling:

What do you do when a classroom teacher is a yeller and that is the only way the kids listen? I hate raising my voice but these kids are out of control. I have a quiet sign and a quiet bell. My lesson is age appropriate and interactive. Kids are just so so loud.

-A lot of the responses revolved around changing the way that the classroom is run, having different signals and methods of getting the attention of the students, or having a consequence system for those that don’t listen and follow directions.

-In this situation I would sit down with the students (whole class) and have a talk about classroom expectations, the difference between the way that their regular teacher and music teacher run their classroom.  I might explain that I don’t want to have to yell, and that if I do I would implement some kind of consequence system for the students that refuse to listen.

 

2.) Kindergarten Class:

I have one K class that for the life of me I can’t get to sing as a group. When we do solo stuff and improvised patterns/songs, almost all of them are singing at least part of the time with a singing voice. But, whole group singing just doesn’t happen with this particular class (it’s only one class). Pleasant kids and happy to be there, but they just look back at me and don’t sing. Anyone experience this? Ideas?

-Most of the responses were suggestions for different ways to do the singing activity, breaking up the groups or doing more echo and call-and-response songs to increase participation and give more help to the students that need it.  There were also suggestions of separating the students according to different levels and/or turning the activity into a competition of sorts with the teacher.

-I would break the class up into groups, according to skill level and get them to help each other to encourage more participation.  If they still don’t participate then I would try and change the activity to something that they would enjoy more or make some slight changes about things that they may not like about it.

 

3.) Disruptions:

Does any one have extreme anxiety over one class they see? This is my first year teaching and I have one group of fifth graders that I am struggling with. I’ve done bucket drums, boom whackers, and recorders this year so far. I have about 5 students that continue to disrupt the class and I feel like I don’t have much support. Any lesson ideas that I could do to help with this?

-A lot of the responses had to do with consequences, like calling students out in class or calling home, some had suggestions for different types activities that the students might enjoy more, and there was one that suggested that the teacher take a different approach with the class.

-In this situation I would start with talking to the class, not specifically calling anyone out, just say that some of them are causing problems and that it needs to stop or there will be consequences.  In the case that this approach fails, I would then call them out or talk to them separately and find out why they are causing problems and see if there was a way that we could work together to solve this issue.

 

4.) Discipline:

OK…here we are at the end of the year and I have a question for you. This year I have encountered several students who are just plain discipline problems and disrespectful to my face. Have any of you ever asked a student to not be in band the following year due to their behavior problems? I feel like I may be sacrificing the success of my band if I keep these type of students in my band just for the sake of numbers…just wondering what you guys think….

-There were different types of responses to this question, one was to look into the cause of the behavior, ask the student and/or call home to see why they act that way and maybe find a way to deal with it, and another was to kick the students out of the class.

-Personally I would talk to the students first about their behavior and explain that it is affecting everyone, not just them, and see if there was anything that we could work out for them to start behaving themselves.  If that didn’t work then I would contact home and see if there was anything on that end that would get them to be better in class.

Research and Resources

Articles:

  1. Andrew S. Paney and Nathan O. Buoniviri, Teaching Melodic Dictation in Advanced Placement Music Theory, Journal of Research in Music Education. Principles: Innovative Practitioner.  Abstract: In this study approaches to teaching melodic dictation skills used by Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory teachers were examined. Twelve high school teachers from four states were interviewed. Four themes emerged from the interview transcripts: cognitive frameworks, processing strategies, rhythm, and course design. Participants generally confirmed established understandings of aural skills pedagogy, particularly in areas of pattern instruction, connecting aural and written theory, connecting sight-singing and dictation, incorporating scale degree function, targeting melodic “bookends,” focusing on the big picture, sequencing curricula, and incorporating familiar melodies. Unique to the findings of this study were participants’ positive attitudes toward a standardized test and their concern for the students’ psychological barriers inherent in learning aural skills. A general indifference to rhythm counting systems and a common acknowledgment of students’ difficulties with rhythmic notation also were found. Recommendations for further research include a large-scale survey of melodic dictation strategies taught by AP Music Theory teachers, empirical investigation of the efficacy of specific counting systems, comparison of students’ reported dictation strategies and their success with dictation on the AP exam, and exploration of the influence of psychological fortitude on the dictation process.  Rationale: This article can address the Innovative Practitioner principle because it describes a way of teaching, and from it teachers can draw ideas from the study and apply them to their own classroom or adapt new ideas from the methods.
  2. Warren Haston and Joshua A. Russell, Turning into Teachers Influences of Authentic Context Learning Experiences On Occupational Identity Development of Preservice Music Teachers, Journal of Research in Music Education. Principles: Inquisitive Thinker. Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the occupational identity development of undergraduate music education majors as they participated in a yearlong authentic context learning (ACL) experience situated within a professional development school (PDS). Five undergraduate music education majors enrolled in either a string pedagogy class or an instrumental methods class were required to teach in the band or string projects at the PDS. The authors utilized a multiple case study method and collected data from interviews, observations, and participant written reflections. The transformation of data included transcribing interviews and indexing student reflections. The authors identified four emergent themes: the development of general pedagogical knowledge, knowledge of self, performer/teacher symbiotic outcomes, and professional perspectives. The impact of the perceived positive or negative ACL experiences as well as interactions with peers was mediated by either adaptive or maladaptive participant responses to ACL experiences. Participants’ descriptions fit the framework of an extended apprenticeship of what the authors labeled a critical apprenticeship of observation. Based on these findings, they developed a conceptual diagram in order to describe the impact of the ACL experiences on teacher occupational identity development.  Rationale: This article addresses the Inquisitive Thinker principle because it offers a way to analyze different aspects of a teacher, and apply that to one’s own identity as a teacher.
  3. Franscesca Comas Rubi, Xavier Motilla-Salas, and Bernat Suerda-Garcia, Pedagogical innovation and music education in Spain: Introducing the Dalcroze method in Catalonia, Pedagogica Historica. Principles: Innovative Practitioner.  Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse how the Dalcroze method was introduced to Spain and became known there, more specifically in the Catalonia of theNoucentismemovement, and why it made the greatest impact and was more widely disseminated in this particular region of Spain. Following a summary of Dalcroze’s contributions to music education, an outline is given of how the Junta para la Ampliación de Estudios or Committee for Extended Studies (the JAE, in Spanish) became a springboard for the method’s introduction in Catalonia through a grant awarded to Catalan musician and teacher Joan Llongueras Badía, even though the JAE had not shown much interest in its diffusion. It goes on to explain how the method’s use spread in Catalonia, partly thanks to the efforts of Joan Llongueras and his Institute for Rhythmic Gymnastics and partly as a result of the support that these efforts received in the political, philosophical, moral and aesthetic context of theNoucentismemovement – which, the paper argues, explains why the method’s impact was much greater in Catalonia than in the rest of Spain.  Rationale: This article addresses the Innovative Practitioner principle because it is about a method from one place being applied to another, something that teachers are always doing.  It shows the method, how it was introduced, and effects from the experiment, and teachers can either try this exactly or they can use the way it was done with other methods.
  4. Heidi Partti and Sidsel Karlsen, Reconceptualising musical learning: new media, identity and community in music education, Music Education Research. Principles: Innovative Practitioner, Flexible Musicianship, Community Leader.  Abstract: Societal and technological progresses have created a multitude of new ways for people to engage with music, and as a result music can nowadays be learned from an ever-expanding variety of sources. In this article, we engage in a theoretical exploration of the underpinning societal forces that have enabled this expansion, as well as its significance for the development of musical identity and knowledge. The exploration proceeds through sociological theories of modernity and theories of sociocultural learning. Examples from a recent ethnographic study of the Finnish online music community Mikseri provide insight into how musical identities can be constructed and maintained in web-based reality, as well as how online music sites may function as communities of practice where the members, through sharing and discussing their own music, develop music-related knowledge. A discussion about the implications of the current media-musical situation for music education practice and research is provided.  Rationale: This article addresses the principles of Flexible Musician, Innovative Practitioner, and Community Leader because it shows how technology can be applied to music communities and how knowledge of and exposure to different musics affect those communities.

Books:

  1. Barry Green, The Mastery of Music: Ten Pathways to True Artistry. Principles: Flexible Musicianship, Community Leader.  Abstract: Barry Green turns his expert hand to the artistic qualities that make an extraordinary musician. Culling advice from dozens of interviews with legends including Joshua Bell, Dave Brubeck, Jeffrey Kahane, Bobby McFerrin, Christopher Parkening, Doc Severinsen, Frederica von Stade, the Harlem Boys Choir, and the Turtle Island String Quartet, he reveals that it’s not enough to have a cerebral and emotional connection to the notes. Green shows how musical excellence, exhibited by true virtuosos, requires a mastery of ten unique qualities of the soul and the human spirit, such as confidence, passion, discipline, creativity, and relaxed concentration, and he discusses specific ways in which all musicians, composers, and conductors can take their skills to higher levels. He carefully incorporates all instruments and techniques in his rejuvenating discussions, inspiring the stifled student to have fun again and the over-rehearsed performer to rediscover the joy of passionate expression.  Rationale: This book addresses the principles of Flexible Musician and Community Leader because it offers ways for musicians to grow, and includes something for all instruments so that all musicians can grow and this is a book that both teachers and students can refer to.
  2. William Ayers and Ryan Alexander-Tanner. To Teach: The Journey in Comics.  Principles: Community Leader, Inquisitive Thinking, Innovative Practitioner.  Abstract: To Teach is a vivid, honest portrayal of the everyday magic of teaching, and what it means to be a “good” teacher—debunking myths perpetuated on film and other starry-eyed hero/teacher fictions. Illuminated by the evocative and wry drawings of Ryan Alexander-Tanner, this graphic version of To Teach will engage while it instructs. It is a much-needed reminder of how curiosity, a sense of adventure, and a healthy dose of reflection can guide us all to learn the most from this world as we educate the next generation. Teacher educators and professional developers will want to use this dynamic graphic novel alongside the traditional text for a unique teaching and learning experience.  Rationale: This book addresses the principles Innovative Practitioner, Inquisitive Thinker and Community Leader because it is all about how to run a classroom.  It shows the different roles of a teacher and new ways to teach.
  3. Hildegard Froelich and Carol Frierson-Campbell, Inquiry in Music Education: Concepts and Methods for the Beginning Researcher. Principles: Innovative Practitioner, Inquisitive Thinker.  Abstract: This textbook covers topic formulation, information literacy, reading and evaluating research studies, and planning and conducting original studies within accepted guidelines, based on research conventions in music, the other arts, education, and the humanities… Skills in research and scholarship introduce students to the language and protocols by which to succeed in today’s competitive market of grant writing, arts advocacy, and public outreach as a contributing member of the community of music educators.  Following the legacy begun by Rainbow and Froehlich in Research in Music Education, published in 1987, the objectives of this book are:  to expand what is meant by music education and research, to help students find their niche in those definitions, and to teach tangible skills that are useful for music educators with diverse instructional goals and career aspirations.  Rationale: This book addresses the principles Innovative Practitioner and Inquisitive Thinker because it shows people the importance of learning new things about the field and teaches new skills.
  4. Margaret S. Barrett, Collaborative Creative Thought and Practice in Music. Principles: Innovative Practitioner, Inquisitive Thinker, Community Leader, Flexible Musician. Abstract: Focusing on the domain of music, the approach taken in this book falls into three sections: investigations of the people, processes, products, and places of collaborative creativity in compositional thought and practice; explorations of the ways in which creative collaboration provides a means of crossing boundaries between disciplines such as music performance and musicology; and studies of the emergence of creative thought and practice in educational contexts including that of the composer and the classroom. The volume concludes with an extended chapter that reflects on the ways in which the studies reported advance understandings of creative thought and practice. The book provides new perspectives to our understandings of the role of collaborative thought and processes in creative work across the domain of music including: composition, musicology, performance, music education and music psychology.  Rationale: This book addresses all of the principles because it is about collaborating, learning new things, and being creative.

Websites:

  1. Band Director.com, http://www.banddirector.com. Principles: Innovative Practitioner, Community Leader. Description: This website offers teaching resources, fundraising sources, and ways for music educators to connect with each other.  Rationale: This website addresses the principles Innovative Practitioner and Community Leader because it gives resources to teaching methods and also connects teachers to the community of music education.
  2. K-12 Resources for Music Educators, https://sites.google.com/site/k12musicresources/. Principles: Innovative Practitioner. Description:  This website is a resource center for both music educators and students of any area and education level.  It has resources ranging from places for sheet music to fingering charts to articles, a large variety.  Rationale: This website addresses the Innovative Practitioner principle because it offers resources to teachers that are looking for something that they need for their classroom.
  3. Band World, http://www.bandworld.org. Principles: Innovative Practitioner, Flexible Musicianship. Description: This website offers different resources for band directors, like access to magazines, information about clinics, teaching resources, and computer software.  Rationale: This website addresses the principles Flexible Musician and Innovative Practitioner because it is a teaching resource for both teachers and students, and offers resources to different types of music and instruction methods.
  4. National Association for Music Education, http://www.nafme.org. Principles: Innovative Practitioner, Community Leader. Description: This website offers teaching resources, fundraising sources, and ways for music educators to connect with each other.  Rationale: This website addresses the principles Innovative Practitioner and Community Leader because it gives resources to teaching methods and also connects teachers to the community of music education.

 

 

Questions Project

  1. How do you encourage musical creativity in every student?
  2. How can you deal with conflict between students?
  3. Can you connect teachings of academic/core classes to music education?
  4. How do you keep students focused during long rehearsals?
  5. How do you teach students to balance their academics and their music?
  6. How do you cater to each student’s musical styles?
  7. How do you choose the best music for any performance?
  8. How do you keep students from getting discouraged when music gets more difficult?
  9. What is the best way to keep competition within an ensemble at a minimum?
  10. How do you balance your personal life with your work life?
  11. How do you deal with parents that have a problem with the way you are running your program?
  12. How do you support each student without showing favoritism?
  13. What if you have to teach a type of class that you are not used to teaching?
  14. How do you devote enough time to each ensemble or class?
  15. How do you establish good relationships with students?
  16. What is the best way to deal with disruptive students?
  17. What procedures do you need to establish to run effective rehearsals?
  18. What is the best way to run effective rehearsals?
  19. How do you use technology to help with teaching?
  20. How much technology can you have in the classroom?
  21. How much freedom do you have in choosing teaching materials?
  22. If you are not completely familiar with an instrument how are you going to be able to help students?
  23. How many students am I going to have?
  24. How do you dedicate time to each student?
  25. How are you going to be able to teach students one-on-one?
  26. How do you teach the importance of basic technique?
  27. How do you teach the basics of each instrument?
  28. How do you encourage students to practice at home?
  29. What is the best way to keep students motivated?
  30. How do you keep students involved with the program?
  31. If a program is struggling what is the best way to help it?
  32. How do you organize fundraisers to support your music programs?
  33. How do you teach theory without having a separate class for it?
  34. How do you teach students to take care of their instruments?
  35. Would the ideal situation of students be to have one instrument at home and one at school?
  36. What if students don’t have a way of getting the instrument they need?
  37. How do you teach students how to practice at home?
  38. How do you show parents and students the importance of music education?
  39. Why is music education important?
  40. How do you deal with different levels of musicians within an ensemble?
  41. Does competition help/hinder music education?
  42. How do you keep percussionists on task during full ensemble rehearsals?
  43. What is the best way to chose suitable repertoire for an ensemble?
  44. What is the best way to teach the concept of tuning?
  45. What are some classroom management techniques that will allow for a more effective rehearsal?
  46. What percentage of a rehearsal should be designated toward technique and what percentage toward music rehearsal?
  47. Is it enough to use repertoire alone to teach technique?
  48. How do you effectively teach an ensemble with students of vastly different playing abilities (some play at a 6th grade level, some at a 10th grade level, etc.)?
  49. How do you keep a booster program separate from the band program (the running of them)?
  50. How do you determine if you need more staff/help for particular ensembles (like jazz and marching band)?
  51. How do you determine the best people to hire should you need additional staff?
  52. How do you teach students the importance of balancing school and extracurricular activities like music?
  53. How do you evaluate each student’s progress?
  54. How often to music standards change?
  55. How do you keep up with new music standards?
  56. How do you build lesson plans?
  57. How do you keep up with lesson plans?
  58. How do you deal with ensembles not being ready for performances?
  59. How can you teach students with learning disabilities?
  60. With students’ constantly changing musical styles and tastes, how do you keep them interested in a program that may require them to perform music they don’t particularly like?
  61. How do you cater to and respect each students’ cultural backgrounds?
  62. How do you convince students that the skills they are learning through music education will carry on and help them through their lives?
  63. Depending on the socioeconomic status of the student, will they be responsible for supplying their own instrument?
  64. How much support will schools give to music programs in order to keep students from being put out financially?
  65. How can you help students stay in a program if they are struggling financially?
  66. How much can you expect students to supply, in regards to performance dress code?
  67. How effective will practice logs be, signed by the students’ guardian?
  68. What would the ideal amount of practice time be outside of full ensemble rehearsals?
  69. How can you be strict without coming off as rude or controlling?
  70. With the end result of a performance in mind, how do you hold each student accountable for being prepared?
  71. How do you encourage students that are struggling to keep working?
  72. How can you give feedback to students with combining constructive criticism and encouragement?