Teaching a New Melodic Element

New Melodicic Element Lesson and Reflection 

In my Art of Teaching Children Music class we had to teach a lesson where we taught the class a new melodic element through a Kodály-based lesson experience. I chose to teach the melodic element of re. Following the lesson we had to reflect upon the experience of teaching.

Here’s my lesson plan for the assignment:

New Melodic Element Lesson

Name: Adam Peterson

Date: 11-10-15

New Music Concept/Objective:
-The students will be able to sing, read, notate, and do the hand sign for the note “re”.

“I Can…” Statements:
-I can sing the song “Sea Shell”.
-I can sing re.
-I can read the note re.
-I can do the hand sign for re.
-I can put re on the staff.
-I can put the second half of the song “Sea Shell” on the staff.
-I can read the second half of the song “Sea Shell”.

Materials Needed:
-song, “Sea Shell”
-felt staffs, solfege latter, and other manipulatives for the class to use throughout the lesson (provided by Dr. Stauffer)
-white board + markers + eraser

Notes to Myself:
-have the little solfege latter thing up on the board set with D,M,S, and L
-make sure that with the felt staffs there are at least 11 notes in each group of 2

Procedure:
-have class sit in a circle
-listen to the song and see if you can figure out who am I asking to sing for me
-sing the song with the motions
-who was I asking to sing? à the sea shell
-listen again and see if you can figure out what I am asking the sea shell to sing about
-sing it with motions
-what was I asking the sea shell to sing about? à the ocean and the sea
-listen to this again but this time figure out what words I am clapping on
-sing with motions
-what words did I clap on? à “song for” and “-bout the”
-this time can you sing with me and do the claps; don’t worry about the other motions, just join me on the claps
-sing with the motions, and students sing and do the claps
-now let’s do that again and this time listen to the ends of the lines and see which one ends up and which one ends down
-sing with the motions, and students sing and do the claps
-did line one end up or down (do motions with hands to show them how to show me)à up
-and what about line 2 à down
-so now sing with me and do the last three motions of each line with me (demonstrate endings for them so they know)
-sing and do motions and have them join on the last three motions of each line
-now listen to the beginnings of lines, one line has faster notes and one line has slower notes, see if you can figure out which is which
-just sing the beginnings of the lines for them à “sea shell sea shell” and “sing about the ocean”
-which one has faster notesà 2
-and slower notes? à 1
-now try doing all the motions with me
-sing and do all the motions all together
-everyone turn to face the board and I pass out the felt staffs
-get into groups of two with your staffs and you should have 11 notes between the two of you
-we’re going to focus on the second half of the song for the rest of class, let’s sing it together, starts with, “Sing about the ocean”
-sing it together
-refer to the solfege latter and remind the class that we know do, mi, sol, and la
-let’s figure out what the first part of the second line starts with “Sing about the ocean”
-is it do-mi, or do-la, or do-sol à sing for them and demonstrate
-which one do you think à do-sol
-so we know that “Sing about the ocean” is do do sol sol do sol
-can we sing that together with the motions à do it
-okay, so this is where do is on our staff and this is where sol is, can you and your partner make your staff look like what the song sounds like? à they do this
-good, now look at your little staffs and sing it with our do and sol hand signs, can you remind me what do looks like? à they show me; and sol? à they show me
-sing solfege with hand signs reading the notation
-now we need to figure out the last part
-after we sing “Sing about the ocean” we have “sing a-”
-sing a- is lower than sol, so what do we have that is lower than sol? (gesture to the solfege ladder)à mi
-so we know that “sing a-” is mi, so can you add two mis to your staffs on the second line up?
-now let’s read our staffs and sing the solfege with the hand signs, can you remind me what mi looks likeà they show me
-sing solfege with hand signs
-now listen to the last note, see if it sounds the same as any other notes in the songà sing for them
-what part did it sound the same as? à beginning; so we know it is do! Put a do at the end but leave a space for the “-bout the”
-so we know out last note is do, and we know that “sing a-” is mi, and then “-bout the” is in between mi and do, but we don’t have anything between mi and sol! (gesture to the solfege ladder)
-well we are going to add one now! This is a new note for us called re, everyone say that with meà “re”
-and this is the hand sign for re à show them and have them do it as well
-and re is between mi do, so then where on the staff will that be? à on the space between them
-good, so add two re’s there
-so this is how this is going to go with solfege and hand signs à demonstrate
-try it with me this time, read your staffs and sing the solfege and do the hand signs à do this
-let’s sing the words now and keep doing the hand signs à do that
-now let’s sing the whole song, back at the beginning with “Sea shell, sea shell” and then when you get to the second half start doing the hand signs à do this

Assessment:
-Throughout the lesson I will be assessing the class through the questions I am asking them and by watching them to see if they understand how to do the movements and how to sing the song. I can visually see if they understand how to notate the song. I will also listen to them to see if they are singing the right solfege notes, and I can watch them to see if they are doing the correct hand signs.

Here is the video of me teaching this lesson:

Finally, here is my reflection of the experience:

New Melodic Element Lesson Reflection

What you were thinking during your lesson? Where were you focused (yourself, the learners, the song, the materials)? How did your focus shift or change during the lesson? What adjustments did you have to make?:
I was thinking about several things throughout my lesson. I was thinking about the process that I wrote and planned and what key elements I needed to incorporate to make sure I led the class to the new concept in a natural and effective way. I suppose I was focused mainly on the concept and the process for this lesson. I don’t think I was focused too much on myself, and I think I did a pretty good job on focusing on the students as well throughout the lesson. I made sure to check to make sure they were understanding the concepts before I moved on. An adjustment that I did make was upon my professor’s request at the end of my lesson. She asked me to ask some closure questions to tie the lesson to the end and refocus the class’ attention on what it was that we learned.

All of us grow into our teacher selves gradually over time, and we take our musical selves, our playful selves, our thinking selves, and our ethical selves with us as we go.  These “selves” combine and overlap in interesting ways. As you watch yourself facilitate this experience and think about yourself in your placement settings, what “selves” are you conscious of? In what ways are your selves overlapping, bumping into each other, changing?  Where do you want to go next?:
I am very much interested in being a welcoming and approachable person to students. That is a self that is very important to me and that I have worked hard to develop already. I want to make sure that I am a comfortable person for the students and that they feel like they are safe around me and that they can trust me. I feel that if this is the case then that lowers their affective filter and really opens their minds to learning. I also focus a great deal on a self of mine as a role model for the students. I always want to make sure that I act like a person I would want the students to look up to. I am very interested in educating the whole child, and I want to teach them more than just music in music classes. I want to teach them how to treat people and how to treat themselves. One of my biggest selves that I focus on is being myself. I never want to be someone I am not when I am teaching or just in general in life. I think it is so important for students to see teachers and role models who are confident in who they are to help show them that they should always be themselves and be confident in who they are.

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