Category Archives: Teaching

Folk Dance Lesson & Reflection

Folk Dance Lesson and Reflection 

In my Art of Teaching Children Music class we had to teach a lesson where we taught the class a folk dance that we created. In this lesson we were supposed to focus on how the students kept the beat, followed sequencing, and maintained their personal space throughout the folk dance. Following the lesson we had to reflect upon the experience of teaching.

Here’s my lesson plan for the assignment:

MUE 413 Lesson Plan- Movement/ Folk Dance

Name: Adam Peterson

Date: 9-8-15

Concept: Folk music has regular phrases and a strong and steady beat. Folk dances have repeated movements that generally outline the beats and phrases.

Skills:
-Listening to music and finding its beat
-Moving to the beat and the phrase
-Interacting with classmates/peers in folk dance
-Controlling personal movements and maintaining personal space while folk dancing

Objective (“I Can…”): “I can move to the beats and the phrases of music by doing a folk dance.”

Materials Needed: recording of “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars, piano cover by Rak Mak; computer for sound; phone for recording; chart of movements

Procedure:
*Introduction:
-have students stand in circle
-turn on music and start tapping beat on your shoulders
-class imitates
-“Check to see if your neighbor is keeping a steady beat with the music.”
-turn of the music

*First Section:
-“repeat after me, my turn”
just say it: right-touch-right-touch-right-touch-right-touch
-have them repeat it and do this a couple times
-“now I am going to say the moves while doing them, don’t do them yet, just say them with me and watch as I do them”
do them and say them: right-touch-right-touch-right-touch-right-touch
-“now let’s do them all together while saying them”
do and say them with everyone: right-touch-right-touch-right-touch-right-touch

*Second Section:
-“repeat after me, my turn”
just say it: kick-in-kick-in-kick-in-kick-in
-have them repeat it (do his a couple times)
-“now my turn to say the moves and do them, say them with me, but wait to do them and watch as I do them”
do them and say them: kick-in-kick-in-kick-in-kick-in
-“now all together, doing and saying them”
do and say them with everyone: kick-in-kick-in-kick-in-kick-in

*First and Second Sections Together:
-“now we’re going to put it all together and say that much’ repeat after me”
just say it:
right-touch-right-touch-right-touch-right-touch
kick-in-kick-in-kick-in-kick-in
-“now all together, doing and saying them”
do and say them with everyone:
right-touch-right-touch-right-touch-right-touch
kick-in-kick-in-kick-in-kick-in

*Third Section:
-“repeat after me, my turn”
just say it: back-2-3-touch-forward-2-3-touch
-have them repeat it (do his a couple times)
-“now my turn to say the moves and do them, say them with me, but wait to do them and watch as I do them”
do them and say them: back-2-3-touch-forward-2-3-touch
-“now all together, doing and saying them”
do and say them with everyone: back-2-3-touch-forward-2-3-touch

*Fourth Section:
-“repeat after me, my turn”
just say it: spin-2-3-face-switch-2-3-face
-have them repeat it (do his a couple times)
-“now my turn to say the moves and do them, say them with me, but wait to do them and watch as I do them”
do them and say them: spin-2-3-face-switch-2-3-face
-“now all together, doing and saying them”
do and say them with everyone: spin-2-3-face-switch-2-3-face

*Third and Fourth Sections Together:
-“now we’re going to put the last half together, repeat after me”
just say it:
back-2-3-touch-forward-2-3-touch
spin-2-3-face-switch-2-3-face
-“now all together, doing and saying them”
do and say them with everyone:
back-2-3-touch-forward-2-3-touch
spin-2-3-face-switch-2-3-face

*Whole Thing:
-“I am going to do the whole thing while saying it and you say it with me, but wait to do the moves”
do them and say them: right-touch-right-touch-right-touch-right-touch
kick-in-kick-in-kick-in-kick-in
back-2-3-touch-forward-2-3-touch
spin-2-3-face-switch-2-3-face
-“now let’s try the whole thing together!”
– right-touch-right-touch-right-touch-right-touch
kick-in-kick-in-kick-in-kick-in
back-2-3-touch-forward-2-3-touch
spin-2-3-face-switch-2-3-face

*Whole Thing with Music:
-add music, do whole thing with saying moves still
-do whole thing while whispering the words of the movements
-say it in your head (doing moves to music, but now without words)

Assessment: I will formatively assess the students, checking to see if they can keep beat, remember the sequences of the dance, and maintain their personal space. I will watch to see if the students can keep a steady beat throughout the introduction activity and throughout the folk dance. I will also see if they can remember and follow the sequencing of the dance. Finally, I will observe to see if the students can maintain their personal space when doing the folk dance in the circle with their classmates.

 

Here is the video of me teaching this lesson:

Finally, here is my reflection of the experience:

Folk Dance Lesson Reflection

Your Name: Adam Peterson

Lesson: Movement/ Folk Dance Lesson

*Primary Criteria: Quality Musicianship and Quality Thinking

Musicianship (5 points): 5
-In tune, accurate pitch
-Accurate rhythm
-Appropriate tempo
-Phrasing
-Expression
Comments: I think that I did a good job being accurate with the beat in my lesson. I made sure to follow clear 8 beat phrases and I thought the expression I used in the movements throughout the lesson were appropriate.

Leadership (5 points): 5
-Body language
-Facial expression
-Voice tone and volume
-Eye Contact
-Intensity (energy)
Comments: I think that I had very clear body language, and I also think that I used god facial expressions. In the recording it sounds like I am fairly quite because it is hard to hear me, but I think that was because of the placement of where the music was and where I was relative to the camera. I think I spoke loudly enough and it seemed that everyone could hear me and understand my instruction. I also made sure to have good eye contact with the class throughout.

Preparation (5 points): 5
-Knowledge of music
-Knowledge of plan
-Written plan
-Instruments/equipment ready
-Recordings/charts/materials ready
Comments: I made sure to have a good understanding and preparation of all my materials. I knew the song and where I wanted to changes motions and what phrases. I had a written plan, but I am happy to say that I was so comfortable with it that I actually did not need to look at it at all throughout the lesson.

Facilitating the Music and Learning Experience (10 points): 9
-Motivation, capturing attention
-Sequencing of steps
-Verbal instructions
-Questioning
-Pace of lesson, flow, transitions
-Flexibility (ability to diagnose and adjust)
-Feedback to the learners
-Continuity/focus of lesson
-Assessment of learning
-Closure
-Effect
Comments: I think that this went very well. I think that I sequenced the lesson well, and I knew that we were on a time limit, so I made sure to adapt some elements of my lesson plan in order to get us moving along faster. The only thing I was a bit unsure of was my approach as a whole to teaching this lesson. I saw other approaches that were vastly different from mine, and I just wasn’t sure if mine was the most effective. I liked how I sequenced my lesson, it just really made me think about what other options I could have pursued and other approaches I could have taken to the lesson.

Total Point: 24/25

*Reflection Component (10 points): As you watch the video of yourself facilitating this experience, look and listen for how the learners are responding. How are they doing? What did you do to respond or adjust to the learners, if anything? Then think about your own words and actions. What worked? What didn’t work as well as you expected? Set one primary goal and one secondary goal for your next teaching experience.  Tell us anything else that is important to you, or that you think we should know.

My Response: The class seemed to respond quite well. I think that they were understanding my instruction pretty well. I do think that the spin in the dance may have thrown them off a little at first, but everyone seemed to catch on to it pretty well after a few times. I did adjust to the learners! I actually omitted some scaffolding steps of my lesson plan that I would have used for actual elementary-aged students because I saw that the class was catching on very quickly and so did not need some of these steps. I think that I was very clear with my instruction and how to present the steps of the dance. I was a bit surprised at that several times throughout the lesson the class had trouble with the words that went along with the motions. I think that may have had to do with the fact that we had to come up with all of our own words for movements in structuring our lessons. For my primary goal I would like to possibly add in more creative and exciting motions but keep the learning of these motions just as natural. For my secondary goal I would like to work on closure. I had intended to do more specific closure at the end of the lesson, but I accidentally forgot to do that this time.

Moving to the Beat Lesson & Reflection

Moving to the Beat Lesson & Reflection

In my Art of Teaching Children Music class we had to teach a lesson focusing on keeping a steady beat and following the teacher through movement. Following the lesson we had to reflect upon the experience of teaching.

Here’s my lesson plan for the assignment:

MUE 413 Lesson Plan- Moving to the Beat

Name: Adam Peterson

Date: 8-27-15

Understanding: Music generally has a steady beat or pulse that we can identify and follow.

Skill Development (“I Can…”): “I can keep a steady beat and follow the teacher by watching for signals and signs.”

Materials Needed: recording of “Jump in the Line” instrumental track by Harry Belafonte, computer for sound, phone for recording

Procedure:
-check for comfortable seating positions and good posture
-say “Watch me and do what I do.”
-Single Coordinated Motions:
-16 pat
-16 ears
-16 toes
-Single Alternated Motions:
-16 pat (r/l)
-16 ears (r/l)
-16 toes (r/l)
-Double Coordinated Motions:
-8 pat/snap
-8 ears/shoulders
-8 toes out/in
-Double Alternated/ Complex Motions:
-8 pat/snap (r/l)
-4 ears/shoulders/pat/toe (r/l)
-Single Coordinated Motions:
-16 pat
-16 ears
-16 toes

Assessment: I will formatively assess the students by checking visually and aurally to see if they are keeping a steady beat and successfully performing the movement activities.

 

Here is the video of me teaching this lesson:

Finally, here is my reflection of the experience:

Moving to the Beat Lesson Reflection

Your Name: Adam Peterson

Lesson: Moving to the Beat

*Primary Criteria: Quality Musicianship and Quality Thinking

Musicianship (5 points): 5
-In tune, accurate pitch
-Accurate rhythm
-Appropriate tempo
-Phrasing
-Expression
Comments: This lesson was, clearly, focused on beat, so the primary musical aspects of this lesson include beat, tempo, phrasing and expression. I felt that I did a good job keeping an accurate and clear beat. Additionally I think that the piece I chose had a good tempo that was upbeat, but not too fast for the lesson. I was very conscious of making sure I followed the phrases of the song in a clear and sensible way.

Leadership (5 points): 5
-Body language
-Facial expression
-Voice tone and volume
-Eye Contact
-Intensity (energy)
Comments: I think that I did a good job with leading the class throughout my lesson. I utilized facial expressions to give clear cues when I was changing where we were keeping the beat. I also made sure to look excited and engaged to encourage the students to be engaged throughout the lesson.

Preparation (5 points): 5
-Knowledge of music
-Knowledge of plan
-Written plan
-Instruments/equipment ready
-Recordings/charts/materials ready
Comments: I felt very well prepared for my lesson. I practiced running through this lesson several times and I even practiced teaching it to two separate people. I had a written plan that I knew well and felt comfortable with. I had it printed out and sitting on the stand next to me in case I needed it for any guiding help. I also had my recording pulled up and ready to go and my phone ready to record the lesson.

Facilitating the Music and Learning Experience (10 points): 9
-Motivation, capturing attention
-Sequencing of steps
-Verbal instructions
-Questioning
-Pace of lesson, flow, transitions
-Flexibility (ability to diagnose and adjust)
-Feedback to the learners
-Continuity/focus of lesson
-Assessment of learning
-Closure
-Effect
Comments: I think that I did a good job of catching the attention of the class through my body language and facial expressions. I had made sure when planning to strategically place the changes in the beat pattern with the phrases throughout the song. I was careful to make the changes happen with phrase changes that were clear, making this activity and the movements very musical. I also made sure to assess how the class was doing throughout as I watched them to see if they were understanding the movements of the activity. The one main thing that I felt could have improved upon was the execution of some of the transitions. I messed up a little on two of the transitions between movements, and I think this may have confused the class.

Total Point: 24/25

*Reflection Component (10 points): Watch your teaching video and score yourself on the items above. Make at least one note in each category. Then provide a brief description of why you scored yourself as you did. Consider what went well as what you’d like to change. Set one primary goal and one secondary goal for your next teaching experience.

My Response: I really enjoyed this teaching experience. I think that overall it went quite well. I was very happy with my teaching and leadership throughout the lesson. I planned it clearly and intentionally and I think this really helped with the success of the lesson. I think that I also did a good job of portraying the musicality aspects of doing this lesson that I had hoped to portray. The main thing that I would like to improve would be the transition between the different movements. There were a couple that I messed up on slightly and I would like to do those ones more clearly. Another element that I think I would like to add to this if I were actually teaching this to a class of children would be to have a discussion after the lesson about what the musical reasons would be for doing this lesson. I would love to get the students thinking about what musical skills they were learning throughout the lesson. I would also love to get some of the students up in front of the class leading some of this so that they could be in the position of leadership and get them creating and improvising.

Final Teaching at a Local High School

As one part of my final for my Art of Teaching Advanced Instrumentalists class I taught a short lesson at a local high school. This was a wonderful experience. Unfortunately I had very little time to complete my lesson because of time constraints, but I was happy to get the experience working with them that I did.

Connolly Lesson Plan

On Thursday, December 4, 2014 I went to teach at Connolly Middle School in the Tempe District. This was part of a final for my Art of Teaching Beginning Instrumentalists class at ASU. We had to teach them a part of a piece that they would be sight reading, and we had to make sure to guide them through the process of sight reading the music. Here is my lesson plan for this lesson.

Lesson Plan for Connolly

We had a great time at Connolly and with the students there. I was very fortunate to have the experience to work with these kids and with Ms. Benitez.

“The Project” (for 3-28-14)

This project went much more smoothly than the last one I did!

The first thing I did was to work to figure out what went so terribly wrong with my last project. I believe the issue was that the flash drive I was using to save my project on the whole time was too small for to hold this project. I worried that if I used the same flash drive again the same thing would happen. I asked a classmate (Jenny) for help on how to save these projects in other places. She helped inform me about Google Drive and how to save tracks in garageband as individual audio tracks of their own that I would work with in different versions of garageband on different computers. This was all very helpful. I also did get a new flash drive that has quadruple the space that my old one did! Throughout the project I was saving every version of the project in three different places. I zipped the file each time and saved the zipped file on the pin drive, in the google doc, and attached it in an e-mail to myself. I did NOT loose it this time!

Process:

I chose to do a mash-up (which I will go more into later) so I needed to pick some songs to mach-up. I had been searching for songs for a couple days and trying to mash-up a couple pairs, but none of them were really speaking to me. As I was doing a different assignment Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity” came on my Pandora. I sang along with it because I love the song so much, and then I thought about mashing-up that one with something. I thought of songs that had similar topics to this song and then Adele’s “Someone Like You” crossed my mind. I looked into the two songs and how the vocals would mix and I first figured out how the entire mash-up would work with the vocals.

The next step was to figure out how the instrumental components of the songs would mix. I realized that they both use primarily piano and then I tried a few things and then began to figure out how to mix them and what I could put over what in what ways and at what times. I was very pleased that I was able to figure this out with relative ease. So then I stared the midi.

I did the midi through playing the piano this time and was quite pleased with the success I found in doing this. I did sections separate from each other and repeated what I could. I also, in almost all cases, did the right hand separate from the left hand for accuracy. After doing the midis I went in and edited them to clean them up. I did all of the midi work first and then added in the audio afterward at the end. I sang over the midis and with the metronome on to help me keep time well. I call the final product “Gravity Like You”. I am pretty happy with it. I would like to sometime rerecord the vocals because I am out of tune for a lot of it. I had a lot of time hearing myself sing as I had headphones in for recording.

Here are the two videos of the songs I used material from:

 

What I Had to Know:

-Technologically:
I had to know about how to properly save my files so that I would not be in danger of loosing them. I thought I already knew how to do this, but I realized there was so much more to it than I thought. That was a huge piece of knowledge that I learned from this project. I also had to know how to do editing with midi so I could make the midis more accurate and give the recordings the best quality possible. I had to know all of the same content that I did for the last project concerning how to connect and use a microphone to record my audio and how to adjust the levels so that it sounded its best.

-Musically:
There were certain concepts I needed to understand to be able to make the mash-up work. In picking the two songs I needed to make sure that they were pretty compatible so that they would mash-up together easily. If they weren’t then I needed to know how to make them fit together well. I looked to see if the meters of the pieces were compatible and if the keys and chord structures could work well with each other so that I could put one melody over an instrumental line from the other song . This all went quite smoothly for me. I knew that I wanted to overlap the two songs at one point, so I had to figure out that one of them at to being at half the speed of the other one for them to line up well.

 

What My Future Students Could Learn From This:

-Technologically:
I could use this project or something like it to help teach my students all of the different elements of technology that I had to learn to be able to do this. I would teach them how to use the microphones with the computers and all of the elements of Garageband that we needed to learn through the last couple projects. I would teach them about midi and how to use it with a keyboard and through Sibelius or Finale. I would teach them how to edit midis. I would also go through and teach them several different ways of saving it just to be safe so they don’t lose any material and so that they have the knowledge of how to do that.

-Musically:
Through this project I could teach the students about time signatures and which ones are similar and different. I could teach them how to adjust time signatures if needed to fit two songs together. I would also teach them about keys and how they could possibly mix minor and major in a mash-up. i would teach them about transposition because this is an important element  in mashing-up songs so that they are not incredibly dissonant.

 

What Was My Project?:

I consider my project a ash-up. In my opinion a mash-up consists of material from a few songs (about 2-5), usually two, and the material form these songs is consistently used throughout the work. If it’s more than about 5 songs and the material is only used once and then the work moves on to the next piece without coming back to the previous one that it more of a medley to me. My project uses material from two songs and they are both used throughout the entire project. I go back and forth from one to the other constantly throughout and I even overlap them at one point.

Vivaldi’s Autumn

Our Project Situation

Our project’s situation is a middle school orchestra teacher who has a split orchestra class, violins in one class, and violas, cellos, basses in the other class. This is a common problem experienced in this setting because of scheduling issues with public schools. In this situation the two classes would ultimately perform live in a concert together, so it would be crucial for the two groups to rehearse with the other part playing. What we would do is record the classes rehearse and use the recordings for the other group to rehearse with. Another benefit of this method would be that each class could provide feedback for the other class based on listening to their recordings. We would have them turn in a comment of assessment for a grade to the teacher and then the teacher would put the recording and the selected comments on soundcloud.com.

How We Demonstrated This

We recorded two examples of rehearsals, one from each group. We purposely recorded them with obvious mistakes that would be common errors that a middle school orchestra group would make.

Finally, we made a recording of the two groups combined. This serves two purposes. First, it is a representation of the end result at the live concert where the two groups would finally play together after rehearsing together with the recordings. Additionally, this could be another method of assessment for the students. If we were to take the rehearsal recordings of the two groups and put them together then they could assess other elements such as the blend and balance between the two groups and their abilities to stay together rhythmically.

My Reflection (TPACK)

Pedagogy:
-I found that there were some very helpful ways of teaching certain elements of musicianship through this process. By having the students listen to the recordings of the other class and asking for them to provide feedback for their improvement this requires a few things from them. This helps them learn how to assess and analyze music and helps them remain more aware of the musical aspects they are critiquing in their own playing.
-(TP) The way in which we would facilitate the feedback is an important element of the process. I learned how to use soundcloud.com and feel comfortable with the basic uses of the site. Before, I had literally never even heard of it. This is a great way for the students being assessed to see the feedback as it applies to the music. This project also helped me to think about how to make it so that this feedback is as effective for the students as possible. I find it important to receive this feedback from their peers, but they are not trained educators and so do not have that formal training on how to give feedback, unlike the teacher. I feel the best way to handle this is for the teacher to take written feedback as an assignment and then review these and use the most applicable ones to put up on soundcloud.com.

Technology:
-I learned a lot about the technology side of this throughout this project. I had no previous knowledge of how to connect a microphone to my computer and record myself playing on Garageband. I learned how to connect the microphone to the audio interface and how to get the audio interface running through the computer by going to the sound settings under system preferences and changing the settings for the input. I also learned how to fade out and change the volume throughout individual tracks in Garageband.
-(TC) Through learning about all of these different elements of technology I realized that I could also use this material as content to teach my students. It would be helpful for them to learn how to use all of the materials that I have learned how to use throughout this project and how to use them toward a musical goal.

Content:
-I felt quite comfortable with the content we would need for this project. The main content we needed was the appropriate music for the age group of children we would be working with, and I felt quite confident that I understood what level of music is appropriate for middle school orchestra students. I used this content knowledge to help decide on a piece for our group to use for this project. We went through a few ideas for music and through the use of our content knowledge were able to make an informed decision for the music we would use.
-(PC) I also felt confident in the Pedagogical Content Knowledge aspect of this project. One main element of this was the knowledge of common mistakes that this age group would make with this kind of music. I knew that this group would have trouble with key signatures and the practice of using high second fingers as opposed to low second fingers. I knew that they would have trouble making the dynamic contrast that the music calls for. Another common problem this group would have would be that they would not be able to properly execute the correct stylistic articulation of the music.

PLN Project: Elementary Music Classroom Setup

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!