An element of teaching that seems somewhat daunting to me is how to set up an elementary music classroom in a cohesive and functional way that will best maximize the students’ learning. I am very familiar with the setup of an orchestral ensemble and how to put that in a classroom. I had much experience setting up chairs and stands throughout middle school and high school, but when I think of the wide variety of items used and subjects covered in the elementary music curriculum setting up all the necessary materials for this poses a particular challenge. Here are a few ideas for how to meet these challenges.
Image of Elementary Music Classroom:
This image is a great example of an elementary music room set up. The piano is at a perfect angle for the teacher to play on and keep their eyes on the students at the same time without facing the other way or having the piano blocking the visual between them. This classroom is clearly very organized with the shelves holding different instruments and other materials. Everything has a designated place and is carefully kept in this place.
There is plenty of open space in the classroom which is crucial for a music room so that the children can easily move for one are to another and be able to move if they are doing an interactive activity, as students often do in music classes. The rug in this class is also a wonderful visual that can be used for the benefit of both the teacher and the students. The students will see common music symbols on a regular basis in this rug. Additionally, the teacher can use it as a way assess the students and to help classroom management. A student could be instructed to sit or stand on a red half note for example, and this would assess their knowledge of the note types and this instruction could be used for management purposes.
Blogs of Elementary Music Classrooms:
These three blogs all serve as fantastic guides to follow when setting up an elementary music classroom. They are all actual music teachers who have taken pictures of their own classrooms and explained their means of setting up these classrooms. They are credible sources with experience in setting up these classrooms. These teachers have successfully set up their classrooms in cohesive manners by posting national standards, learning objectives, and classrooms expectations. Their rooms are also positive and welcoming learning environments, are very organized, include aspects for classroom management, and throughout the room display common music terms and concepts that they want their students to be familiar with in a variety of ways.
Mrs. Miracle’s Music Classroom: http://www.mrsmiraclesmusicroom.com/2012/12/setting-up-your-music-classroom-august.html
Mrs. Dennis’ Music Classroom: http://musicwithmrsdennis.blogspot.com/2012/08/tour-my-classroom.html
Mrs. Swedberg’s Music Classroom: http://madeformusicteachers.blogspot.com/2012/07/setting-up-music-classroom.html
Video of Elementary Music Classroom:
In this video an elementary music teacher gives a tour of her classroom and how she has set ip up. She has done an excellent job of creating a highly functional classroom for her students to work in and learn in. The classroom has plenty of open space giving the students space to move from station to station easily and provides them with sufficient space for interactive activities. The room itself is overall very well organized and the individual stations this teacher has set up are nicely organized as well. She has great elements of classroom management incorporated into the set up of her room by posting general expectations in the front of the room and station specific expectations at each station area. The room has great visuals for learning all over the room. I especially like the wonderful floor staff she has!