Art of Teaching Musicianship Project- Autoharp

Autoharp Musicianship Project

For my Art of Teaching Children Music class we had a musicianship project where we had to record ourselves singing a children’s song that was new to us while playing the chords to the song on an autoharp. I did the song Hop-a-la. Here is the video of my song. 

We also had to reflect upon the experience of doing this project which also included an in class group component. 

Reflection

What was the experience of this project like for you?:
I though this experience was interesting and helpful in several ways. For the group component of this project we had to learn two other songs in addition to this one. In our groups we all got to choose our songs, and at least two of them had to be songs that were new to us. We ended up deciding to use all new songs in our group, and I think that element of the project personally challenged me a bit to figure out how the new songs went and what the chords would be for them.

What did you learn from the experience of this project?:
Well, first and foremost, I learned three new children’s songs from this experience. Something that I didn’t necessarily learn from this project , but rather further developed was assigning chords to a melody line. I have already done a good deal of this, but this definitely heavily used that skill and helped further develop it. Something else interesting I learned was that in our three person group, we all seemed to have very different ways of mentally thinking through the process of learning the song and assigning chords. I thought that was rather interesting to see how we each had different approaches to the same material. That clearly demonstrates how different each person is in how they learn.

In what ways might you draw on your experiences from this project in your current/future teaching? How might you apply what you experienced or what you learned to working with children?:
There are many things I could take away from this project and apply to the classroom. For one, I could use these three new songs with my classes, and I could now use these songs with the autoharp accompaniment that I now know how to play. Also, because this project helped develop my autoharp skills, I now can use autoharp in a variety of ways. One great use of the autoharp that I could apply to my work with children immediately would be in accompanying private students. I teach private strings lessons, and if there is not a piano available where I am giving my students their lessons I could do a basic accompaniment on autoharp. Finally, I will keep in mind what I observed throughout the project about how different my group members and I approached various aspects throughout this project. It is always good as a teacher to recognize that different students learn differently and teach in ways that will get across to all of these different learners.

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