This year has been a very difficult struggle with my chorus. It is a tough situation for all of us, half the group wants to sing, half doesn’t want to be in band so they choose chorus. We rehearse 26 kids in a room built for about 10, after recess, needless to say it is generally physically uncomfortable and mentally taxing.
With the concerts for the year almost officially over, we have had three classes to make a 180 departure from our singing. The students are researching music from a variety of era’s from the 1940’s-1980’s and creating power points to present the information to their peers.
I have seen these children completely change. For the most part, they are motivated and focused. They are realizing how much work they have to do before our last class on Thursday, when they present.
They used the tech lab (thanks ABD!) and today my puny room became a tech lab with laptops and wireless for them to work on their projects. I was able to monitor their progress by watching the documents saved to the shared folder. They all had the chance to request music from my itunes library and if I didn’t have it, I bought it for them (the best three bucks spent all week).
The last two months have created a world of possibilities for how I can improve my teaching and use technology to help kids learn and experience music. I have become almost possessed with the desire to use “it all right now”. Given the reality that school ends in 5 days, I think that I will just have to get all the ideas down and look forward to a great year next year.
I am taking Orff this summer. It is a standard and time tested pedagogy for teaching music. I am really looking forward to it as I think it will help me understand the process for musical knowledge acquisition on a deeper level. I hope, however, that I will still find a way to integrate my new love for using web 2.0 tools in the context of classical pedagogy.
I have never left a school year so exhausted yet at the same time very excited to return and start anew!