This project contains a three day detailed unit design for my unit on how to teach the song, "El Barquito."
El Barquito Unit Design
I taught the song "I'm a Little Teapot" through video!
I am a firm believer of leading by example. This means setting high standards for myself now as preparation to maintain these expectations in my future classroom. I want to be a person who my students can look up to and see as someone who is applying their lessons to themselves. There are multiple kinds of leaders: quieter, persistent ones (like me) or those who have a bigger presence for example. One is not better than the other, but both kinds of leaders have the qualities such as compassionate hearts, servant mindset, and a willingness to care and guide others.
Since beginning my time here at JMU, I’ve allowed myself to think more creatively - I used to be more rigid as a leader and the kind of person who always had to follow the rules. However, in my freshman year of college, I learned that there is no one right way to do leadership. For example, I co-created a project that started out as an idea on the possibilities of experiences that I could produce using different technologies, which then became “Draw Your Own Music.” I could have stuck to what I saw everyone else doing, but I decided to take the extra time and work to produce a product I that made me proud. I realized that as long as I am pursuing my passions and dreaming big, I can help inspire my students to follow in my example and do the same.
Moving and Grooving to ME
The task was to create an experience design focused on a movement-centric based activity using a song of our choosing that we felt fit for a 4th grade class of students. We are going to share a 5-8 minute segment of our activity in our class. In the class, I will begin by having them walk/march in to the beat of a drum they hear. Then, I will do a quick call and response welcome song, some melodic solfegge patterns, and a couple of rhythmic pattern echoes. We will shake out our bodies to warm them up and then I will teach them the movements to the chorus of Taylor Swift's "Me" using Weikarts say, say and do, whisper and do, and think and do method. If we have enough time, I will ask the students to create their own movement for a part of this song. Then we will debrief the experience by discussing how the activity made them feel and what it tells them so far about a song, which will lead us next class to discussing further elements of a song. Afterwards, we will finish our time by singing a goodbye song and moving out of the classroom space.
Identifying a Goal
The main music goal I am focusing on is that the student will create a different pattern of movements for each different section of the song (i.e. verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, instrumental interlude) by the end of the class period. The music I selected was the song, "Me", by Taylor Swift because it is a fun, upbeat, and current song that I believe 4th graders would enjoy. The beat is also not too fast, so it will be easy to grasp the pattern of movements.
For this experience, I would begin by having them listen to the song and me saying the moves aloud for the first verse and chorus (ex. point both thumbs to self) and then have them say the moves aloud for the second verse and chorus. Then I would play the song again and have me say the moves and do them for the first verse and chorus and then have then say the moves and do them with me for the second verse and chorus. The next step would be to do the same thing as the second step, except they would whisper and do all the moves for the first and second verse, and chorus with me. Lastly, we would play the whole song and do the movements with it without saying the moves aloud at all. Once the students have done this activity, I would have them discuss what they did and eventually lead them into a conversation about the elements of a song and how our movements related to those sections and phrases. If there is extra time, a fun challenge would to have one student be the leader/conductor and make one thing different about the motions that the other students have to notice and copy.
In what ways did you involve learners in musical decisions and music-making?
For this assignment, I had to choose a children's book and create an experience where students could engage in creating the sound of the book. The emphasis of this assignment was to focus on a concept to teach the students, rather than just a fun activity.
In what ways did you involve learners in musical decisions and music-making?
Below is my course proposal document for a course I designed called "Musical Responses."
I am designing a course proposal and here is one project that I would incorporate into the course called "What's that Noise?"
Since entering the program at JMU, my teaching practice has evolved from a limited understanding of teaching to one that has fuller depth and breadth. I thought teaching meant telling a student what to do and consisted only of whatever I had seen my band teachers doing in class when I was in school. Coming to JMU and taking music education classes enlightened me and showed me that teaching consists of public relations, counseling, administration in addition to teaching. Ensuring students’ success means creating lesson plans that can be wound forward and backward with objectives, sequences, assessment, modalities, and standards. Teaching is not about what the teacher can do, but about how the teacher can create open spaces and facilitate discussions through asking good and appropriate questions to students to promote lifelong learning and music making.
In the fall semester of my sophomore year at JMU (Fall 2017), I wrote statements on leadership, musicianship, scholarship, and engagement and it was amazing to reread them and see how far I have grown and vast variety of activities I have completed since then. At the end of every statement I had written the phrase, “By the time I start student teaching…” and I have actually fulfilled every one of those hopes since then. The overarching theme for me was that I got out of my comfort zone. Music became much more than playing my flute in an ensemble, though I still love doing that. When it came to my thinking, improvement came as I became more knowledgeable in pedagogical topics and teaching methods (i.e. project based learning, assessment). I also became more articulate in my thoughts on certain methods and was better able to research specific topics of interest to me. For example, I wrote a reflection on project based learning my freshman year (Fall 2016) and another one this year (Spring 2019). The difference between the two responses is that I am now better able to synthesize the main points from the readings and write my own opinions on the topic, rather than just quoting what the book says what project based learning is. A similar relationship can be seen in my two posts (Post #1 and Post #2) on Dr. Hammel’s works on special education.
In my first year at JMU, I wrote a lot of ideas and had small activities such as the Makey Makey experience in my MUS150 course. My planning has improved since then as I have been more logistically prepared and written a significant amount more emails to coordinate events. I also have gone from writing single experience designs to a creating a full curricula with standards, objectives, questions, and expected outcomes.
I have improved in execution in the ways I have planned events and seen them occur from start to finish. Before I simply had ideas and thoughts of what I wanted to do, but had never actually executed them or they were done to a smaller scale. One example of this improvement is the Bridges International Thanksgiving Event that my MUED group helped coordinate and plan. Another example is that I got to facilitate and teach others how to facilitate a JMUke event. Musically I have gone out of my comfort zone by writing songs with secondary instruments and using my own voice. I have grown a lot since entering the program at JMU – I’ve become a more thoughtful, flexible, and intentional educator and I cannot wait to continue seeing where I will grow.
On this page, I will present examples of my leadership through videos, lesson plans, and reflections.