04/02/13 The MusicLaunch Mosaic – Entry #3
This week was even better than last week and the week before! I can tell that there’s a real connection being built with the kids and there’s a nice dynamic starting to develop where we’re all learning from one another.
I introduced the concept of teaching one another as well as me teaching them and them teaching me, creating an El Sistema type thing where we are a community. The kids really liked that idea because it empowered them to take ownership of what they’re learning so that they can help teach one another. The brothers and sisters certainly didn’t mind bossing each other around – haha!
The kids all remembered the guidelines from last week when I asked them to remind me. I taught them the whole C major scale and got them to compose their own piece with the information that they learnt.
I taught about conducting and then we played the conducting game where they needed to follow one another in order for the game to succeed. It was good to see them grasp the concept clearly and have a stack of fun in the process.
Looking back now I realise that there was some decent vocabulary being built up between the kids and I. I would use words like “groove” and “time” and they knew exactly what I was talking about.
There were also moments when I used “chunking” to teach them the next section of their own compositions. This was effective in watching them pick up the patterns of the piece and figure out how to play the sequences. Lastly, there was a lot of “GPS” encouragement going on. Both “chunking” and “GSP-style teaching” are Daniel Coyle concepts.
It’s really interesting for me going back an analysing what I’m doing in the classroom. In all of my experience, I’ve never had to dissect and analyse my interactions with students or the methods I use to convey a concept to people. It’s encouraging for me to finally put a label on all of the instinctive methods of teaching that I use.
Lastly, I brought in gold stars for the kids as rewards and they LOVED them!! I made sure that I told them at the beginning of the class that if they focus and zone in with me for the lesson, there’ll be a reward. These kids really respond to incentives and it certainly makes my job so much easier!