My initial thought when I hear the word scholarship is academic achievement and finding the right answer. I personally love searching for the one correct answer and finding success in that way. As a scholar, I love learning more about music education and making connections with it to other content. I enjoy reading and intaking new information, and then summarizing the content to share with others beneficially. For example, I searched the web for useful apps to use and wrote descriptions, pros, and cons for them so that music teachers could easily choose which resources they wanted to use without having to shuffle through superfluous information. I also like to reflect and ponder on my research and readings, which helps me understand the content and form meaningful questions that will further my scholarship. I have engaged in reflection through books, as well as through interactions and discussions on Twitter.
However, I've come to understand that scholarship goes beyond finding a correct answer. It actually should lead to more questions. Scholarship is engaging with the resources around you (i.e. books, articles, peers, faculty) and allowing them to stimulate curiosity to ask more thoughtful questions and seek more answers. This idea of scholarship sparking creativity and curiosity clicked for me during my Honors Capstone Project. I learned so much during the initial background research portion, but after my project and data analysis was completed, I realized I had more questions and more research to be answered. As a future educator, I hope to never run out of questions and to always be looking out for answers.
American Orff-Schulwerk Association (2018). More on Orff Schulwerk. Retrieved from https://aosa.org/about/more-on-orff-schulwerk/
American Orff-Schulwerk Association (2018). Watch children in Orff Schulwerk classrooms. Retrieved from https://aosa.org/about/what-is-orff-schulwerk/watch-children-inorff- schulwerk-classrooms/
Carl Orff was a German composer, conductor, and pedagogue known widely for composing Carmina Burana and his pedagogical method Orff-Schulwerk. Gunild Keetman was a composer, performer, and teacher who collaborated with Orff and helped spread Orff-Schulwerk, particularly in the instrumental area. They created Orff-Schulwerk as another way for all children to be actively creating music through singing, percussion instruments, speech, and movement.
Orff’s approach is meant for all learners and is intended to help them discover their artistic potential; key components of this method are integration, performance, and music literacy. Integration combines all aspects of the performing arts (movement, music, speech, drama) to encourage creativity; performance is a way for learners to refine and share their created material; and music literacy aims at the importance of being able to read music notation. An aim associated with Orff-Schulwerk is for learners to be spontaneously playing with music in a way that occurs naturally and unconsciously. The learning processes are preliminary play, imitation, exploration, and improvisation – these allow learners to play with music using elements of music and movement. Some activities associated with this are playing Orff instruments to a song the students wrote themselves or simply playing a hand slapping game (like Down by the Banks).
Some practical uses of Orff-Schulwerk would be creating tunes and improvising on said tunes in the music classroom using Orff instruments and recorders. Another practical use would be a method that allows students to learn how to read music. Some advantages of this pedagogical method are that it allows students to create and improvise in a safe environment. It also helps with the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills and the ability to transfer those items from context to context. Some challenges are that learning notation through instruments rather than by rote singing may be more difficult for students because the sound production is not as internalized.
mrfrederickmusic (2012, August, 3). Interview with Zoltan Kodály [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dow-m3BuuNk
Organization of American Kodály Educators (2018). The Kodály concept. Retrieved from https://www.oake.org/about- us/the-kodaly-concept/
J.I M (2015, July 7). Kodály summer school [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=VrTshUY1oko.
Zoltan Kodály was a famous music composer and conductor. In 1906, after an intense study of Hungarian music, he published 20 Hungarian folk songs. He created what is now known as the Kodaly approach because he believed that music is meant for everyone and wanted to make what was known as “high-brow” music more accessible to a larger amount of people.
His approach is the Kodály approach and it emphasizes singing as the primary tool to experience music, rather than through an instrument. Key components of his approach are that it progresses from simple to complex using small, attainable steps, it enables everyone the skills to do music, and focuses on the use of solfege to teach music. The aim of this approach is for students to learn basic musical skills aurally and then through reading and writing. The process of this approach is to sequentially teach materials starting with simple task and then developing skills through more complex experiences. Activities often associated with Kodály’s approach are simple melodies using solfege pattern sets (i.e. so, la, mi, do) that are then sung and played in conjunction with an activity.
Some practical uses of Kodály's approach are being able to use the different tunes he collected and have classroom activities that go along with the songs sung. Another practical use is the emphasis of solfege and learning songs aurally, so learning new songs is easier during class period. Students also have improved pitch when singing together and in parts because this approach emphasizes singing.
Some advantages of this approach is that the student always has a way to feel successful because it is broken into such simple tasks; in addition to this, the teacher will generally not move on to a more complex task in this approach until the student has accomplished the previous step. Another advantage is that the learner is always composing in some way because they have a set of pitches that are at their disposal and can easily sing through them, even though their compositions may be simple.
A challenge of this approach is that the teacher must be good at sequencing and knowing when a student is prepared for the next step; it can be also be a long process because there is a decent amount of sequencing involved. Another challenge is that because of this amount of sequencing it can be difficult to fit all this knowledge into the little class time designated for music instruction. The teacher must also feel confident in their ability to sing and guide the class using their voice.
If you were to adapt Kodály's approach to be sensitive to contemporary contexts, you would have to address the issues of nationalism and classicism. He took these songs used in his approach from Hungarian folk tunes, which was music of the more “lower class” people. As a teacher, you would have to address the backgrounds of these songs and that these songs were originally just intended for a Hungarian background. As a result, when we want to sing these songs in foreign countries, we must be respectful and understand the songs’ origins, as well as recognize that we must collect and sing our own country’s musical motives and background to be more well-rounded and aware musicians.
This post summarizes Chapter 1 and Chapter 4 of Hammel, HIckox, and Hourigan's book, Winding It Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble settings and provides application for discussion based on this text.
Hammel, A. M., & Hourigan, R. A. (2016). Winding it back: A framework for inclusive music education. In A. M. Hammel, R. A. Hickox, & R. M. Hourigan (Eds.), Winding It back: Teaching to individual differences in music classroom and ensemble settings (pp. 1-14). New York: Oxford University.
The term "winding it back" is a process that a teacher can use where they change the skill level requirements of the objective to one that is more attainable and meets the individual needs of the learner. Winding it back is important because it allows students to feel successful and safe to explore music in a classroom environment. It provides them multiple learning access points and meets their individual needs, helping them feel competent and constantly challenged in a way that is best suited for their learning. As a general music teacher, winding it back is extremely beneficial for my practice because students of all different musical backgrounds will be in the same music classroom. I cannot treat a 3rd grade class at a "3rd grade level" of music competency because some students will be further than that and some may not be as skilled. This allows me to meet the individual's learning needs and constantly keep all students engaged in the musical activity at hand.
Russell, H. A., & Hickox, R. Y. (2016). Using movement to foster creativity and deepen musical understanding. In A. M. Hammel, R. A. Hickox, & R. M. Hourigan (Eds.), Winding It back: Teaching to individual differences in music classroom and ensemble settings (pp. 85-106). New York: Oxford University.
This chapter emphasizes movement as a means to demonstrate and strengthen musical understanding, and helps foster musical creativity. The chapter then provides examples of activities to do this in a elementary or secondary setting. It also explains how to create a safe classroom environment where students feel free to do whatever movement they feel represents the music. This is important because students should be using multiple means, such as kinesthetic learning, to reinforce the musical concepts they already know or to explore new ones and then label them as a result of their movement. As a general music teacher, movement would allow students to physically engage with music and develop motor skills outside and potentially inside a music setting. It would also be an easy means to differentiate learning for students because they have the choice of what movements they would like to use.
Allsup, R. E., & Baxter, M. (2004). Talking about music: Better questions? Better discussions! Music Educators Journal, 91(2), 29-33.
In Allsup and Baxter’s article “Talking about Music: Better Questions? Better Discussions!” they explain different questions and frameworks teachers can use in classroom discussions. There are three types of questions they address: open, guided, and closed. An open question is one that has no definite answer and helps the teacher understand what the student knows musically after the listening or activity. For example, in my past class teaching I might have asked “What does this song sound like to you?” or “How would you describe this musical activity to someone who was not here?” A guided question is one that focuses on a more specific part of the music that the students may not have initially brought up. Two examples of guided questions are “What similarities or patterns did you hear throughout the song?” or “How would you describe the style of the piece?” A closed question is one where there is one that only have a single answer and is used by teachers to address an important topic the students may have missed. Examples of this are “What was your first movement in the chorus section?” and “What instruments are playing in this song?”
Allsup and Baxter also discuss three different frameworks: analytical, judicial, and creative. The analytical framework is where students can learn musical vocabulary on the spot by talking and understanding about how musical elements and feelings interact. An example question in an analytical framework is “How does the chorus fit into this song?” The judicial framework is more subjective and allows students to share their feelings and reactions. A question could be “What did you like about this song?” The creative framework is the application portion where teachers encourage students to take what they have learned and use it in a different context. An example question would be “What instrumentation would you change in this song?”
Allsup and Baxter state that a good reason to use questioning in teaching rather than only direct instruction is because “discussion includes the kind of critical-thinking skills that invite students to defend or redo their work” (Allsup & Baxter, 2004). I agree with their statement and also believe that questioning allows students to discuss the topics for themselves and discover new vocabulary as they are articulating their thoughts. Questioning can be potentially problematic in teaching when the students do not feel comfortable enough in the setting to speak out and answer the questions or if there is a single student who answers the questions all the time. It can also be difficult from a time-management perspective because you can never be certain how much time they will take to discuss, especially if the conversation gets interesting and more time should be spent on it.
I created a timeline infographic to illustrate general childhood physical and movement developmental milestones. It is useful to me because it helps me visualize what each learner is typically physically capable of at each age, which will then guide my curricular planning and teaching.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). CDC's developmental milestones. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html
Cliffnotes (2016). Issues of developmental psychology. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved from https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/psychology/development-psychology/introduction-to- developmental-psychology/issues-in-developmental-psychology
Houlahan, M., & Tacka, P. (2015). Kodály today: A cognitive approach to elementary music education. New York: Oxford University Press.
Malina, R. (2003). Motor development during infancy and early childhood: Overview and suggested directions for research. International Journal of Sport and Health Science, Vol. 2, (50-56).
Weikart, P. S. (1982). Teaching movement & dance: A sequential approach to rhythmic movement. Ypsilanti, MI High/Scope Press.
Dalcroze Society of America 2014, August 9). Dalcroze eurhythmics with Lisa Parker [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEyyeoc_t-U
Frego, R, J. D. (n.d.). The approach of Emily Jacques-Dalcroze [blog post]. On the Alliance for Active Music Making. Retrieved from: https://www.allianceamm.org/resources/dalcroze/
Émile Jaques-Dalcroze was a musician whose most well-known work was his musical philosophy based on combining solfege with rhythmic movement, which was influenced by his childhood musicking of singing, playing, and dancing. He created “rythmique” because he believed that all musicians should be able to express the music they knew intellectually in a more kinesthetic manner, encapsulating the mind and body in a musical experience. Rythmique, also known as the “Dalcroze Method,” is made up of three major components: rhythmic solfege (ear training), improvisation, and eurhythmics. Rhythmic solfege is the ability to hear what is written and vice versa, and it combines rhythm with some kind of movement. Improvisation in the Dalcroze Method encourages students to react quickly to changes in the music. Eurhythmics is the ability to respond with movement to the music you are listening to. The aim of this method is to have student-oriented learning where they can be creative and improvise to music through movement.
Practical uses of Dalcroze rythmique include being able to visually assess if students can keep the beat and can express music through movement. It also is a great opportunity to wind forward and backward based on individual needs and capabilities. For example, the goal is for students to be able to walk to the beat and gesture on the downbeats. Winding forward could them also saying or clapping the subdivisions while walking to the beat and gesturing on the downbeats and winding backward could just be walking to the beat. One major advantage of this method is that students can experience the music they hear and can play when sitting into movement, thus giving their music more expression and life because they understand what it is to move to the music. Another advantage is that there are an infinite amount of new, creative activities relating to phrasing, meter, and beat that can be made. A disadvantage is that students must feel comfortable and safe in their environment to move and be creative before this method can be effective. Also, if there is limited space, the activities can prove to be slightly difficult.
This is an inquiry project where I researched the impact of team teaching on students in elementary general music classes. I used research databases such as GoogleScholar and JSTOR to find scholarly research articles on my inquiry topic. Below you will find a document and poster that summarize my findings.
Abril, C. R., & Gault, B. M. (2016). Untangling general music education: Concepts, aims, and practice. In C. R. Abril & B. M. Gault (Eds.), Teaching General Music: Approaches, Issues, and Viewpoints (pp. 5-22). New York: Oxford University Press.
I understand the “amorphous and problematic” nature of general music to be that it encompasses such a wide range of musical activities and skills that no one quite knows how to describe it. Abril and Gault suggest that it is “possibly explained by the wide range of pedagogical approaches, with diverse principles and beliefs about music, teaching, and learning” (p. 6) and that the fact that it “does not assume a particular philosophy of teaching and lacks a cohesive philosophical underpinning” (p. 5). Several Methods have come about from teaching general music (i.e Orff, Kodaly) as a result of different goals that there is no singular philosophy to encapsulate the term “general music.” To me, general music in my elementary school experience meant musical activities and singing and listening to songs. A lot of the musical experiences connected to what we were learning in our history and English classes. However, I believe general music classes should be much more than just activities and singing – there should be a purpose to each activity so that students can increase in their musical skills of performing, connecting, responding, and creating. The general music classroom is a place where all students are exposed to music and these classes should encourage life-long music engagement.
I appreciate the distinction between the terms “approach,” “Method,” and “eclecticism” that Abril and Gault provide in their book. I believe each of these terms are good and beneficial for the general music teacher; however, they can be problematic if taken to an extreme or remain unquestioned. For example, Methods are useful and help to provide direction in music teaching by providing a philosophical underpinning. But left unchallenged, they can become dogmatic and result in a loss of adaptability to the everchanging musical world. Similarly, eclecticism is good – borrowing ideas from others and combining them is a way for students to find a style of music learning that best suits them. However, when all these methods are combined, a teacher can lose a sense of purpose for why they are using them.
I believe it is extremely important to know “what was” and “what is” in order to “pave the way for what can be” (p. 19). We are to study history so that we can understand the foundation of the subject and then look forward with ideas of what to do and what not to do based on what was successful in history. Abril and Gault describe it as being a teacher who “navigates without a compass” (p. 19) when we do not look back. I think a general music teacher needs to make sure that their methods always have a purpose, specifically a short term and long-term goal that supports their curriculum, to be efficient and effective. Their musical activities should not just be a “bag of tricks” (p. 18) because that is not effective for their students if there is more purpose to a general music class than engaging in fun activities. I also believe that the methods a general music teacher uses must constantly be questioned and reassessed, as well as adaptable to each student’s individual needs.
Two questions I have from this reading are, “In what ways do current general music philosophies that need to be challenged and questioned in order for them not to become dogmatic?” and “In what ways are general music classrooms actually providing spaces of access and equality for all students? In what ways are they not and how can we improve this?”
This post is a response defining project-based learning (PBL), as well as listing key elements, affordances and constraints, and important aspects to consider about it based on various readings.
Project-based learning is a type of learning where students are critically thinking and actively engaged in questioning, understanding, and solving real world problems and typically results in a project as the product. The five elements of PBL are real world connection, core to learning, structured collaboration, student driven, and multifaceted assessment (Edutopia, 2014). Some key characteristics of real world connection is that students need to understand their audience outside the classroom; for core to learning, the teacher must be incorporating standards and providing academic rigor; for structured collaboration, scaffolding learning is key; for student driven work, the teacher must ask facilitate discussion through thought provoking questions; and for multifaceted assessment, students must be assessing themselves and the teacher should continuously have small check-ins on students’ progress.
Affordances of PBL include students becoming self-directed learners, learning how to make connections and apply their knowledge in new situations, collaborating well with other students (Edutopia, 2014). Tobias, Campbell, and Greco (2015) state that students can think more deeply and working in the real world allows for authenticity in student learning. As a teacher, PBL empowers teachers to design original curriculum, work together with students on projects, and integrates standards well (Tobias et al., 2015). Some constraints of PBL are the difficulty of working with the school’s current schedule or pre-set curricula, involving and connecting with the community well, and getting out of comfort zones both as a student and teacher (Provenzano, 2018).
A PBL designer needs to consider how to integrate standards into the process. They also need to understand the basic framework for PBL design (i.e. choosing a worthwhile topic, real-life context, questions, etc.). Planning ahead how to create rubrics and how to assess students through a process of feedback and reflection throughout the project is also key (Provenzano, 2018).
Edutopia (2014, June 2014). Five keys to rigorous project-based learning (video post). Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnzCGNnU_WM
Tobias, E. S., Campbell, M. R., & Greco, P. (2015). Bringing curriculum to life: Enacting project-based learning in music programs. Music Educators Journal, 102(2), 39-47.
Provenzano, B. (2018, November 27). Project-based learning and the research paper [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/project-based-learning-and-research-paper
A possible PBL-based project for my end of semester course proposal on songwriting could be students writing their own songs from the perspective of one of their classmates who is culturally different from them. The goal of this project would be for students to learn about empathy, gain skills in interviewing and generating thoughtful questions, and learning how to understand and converse about harder topics like race, gender, culture, etc. Students would choose a partner, then they would have to generate interview questions, interview their partner, analyze and define aspects of a good song, write lyrics (decide if there should be some initial format), and then combine it with music. Students could add different instrumentation or choose what genre or style they want to write in and research depending on their interests. As the teacher, I would mainly be the facilitator of songwriting and question asking, with some mini-lessons on parts of a song and interviewing.
On this page, I will present examples of my scholarship in the form of reflective essays and philosophical assignments.