Welcome IMEA peeps, make sure to look around while you’re here!
The Lessons page might be a good place to start.
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Thank you to everyone who had a chance to check out my presentation this past Thursday! I apologize for not having more handouts, but I didn’t want to waste paper AND I didn’t expect nearly that many people to show up (and I wanted to avoid that sad moment when you see how many leftover handouts you have).
I have included most of the slides for my presentation in a .pdf file below. I apologize that not everything is cited properly. If you have specific questions about where you can find something, please contact me.
Here is why you should keep me informed:
At the conclusion of the All-State convention I became the VP-Elect of Secondary General Music (SGM) for the IMEA Board of Directors. As I tried to imply during my session (but maybe didn’t explicitly state), I think that in order for music education to flourish in the 21st century, secondary general music will have to lead the way. I want to know what teachers are up to and help find ways to actively engage in the conversations that we need to be having. ALSO, I just want to hear how things turned out if you’ve tried some of the lessons on here! I’m also open to just talking through ideas… so, no excuses for failing to get in touch.
Notes from “Teaching Music Through Technology (And Not the Other Way Around)”:
(Click “Read More” to read about the steps to planning a project, Music as Identity, The Meet The Beatles project, and presentation slides.)
Steps to planning a project
For those who simply want to know what my steps were for unit planning, here is what I discussed during my presentation:
- Ask your “Big Question” - remember that you don’t need to have an answer.
- Why is this question important?
- What do I want as an outcome?
- What do I have? What will I need?
- How do I combine all of this into a project/unit?
Music as Identity
The BIG Question:
How do I get students to engage in a wide variety of musical styles?
I have written about the Music as Identity project on a couple of occasions already.
- Click here for the original posting describing both how and why.
- Click here for the most recent post that includes work from middle school and college students.
- Click here for the original documents I handed out to my high school students.
In exchange for using this stuff, I simply ask that you let me know! (See a theme, developing?)
The book that I talked about is called Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste by Carl Wilson. I HIGHLY recommend it. I discuss it at greater length in my original posting about the Identity project.
Meet The Beatles
This is a project that I would like to write more extensively about in the future. So, if you were not able to attend the session, these notes might seem incomplete.
The BIG Question:
How do I capitalize on our modern “Beatlemania”?
What I was able to do with that simple question:
- Introduce The Beatles (videos, Rolling Stone article)
- Introduce song forms (verse, chorus, bridge) by using track one from Sgt. Pepper’s.
- Split the class up into groups and assign each group a different song from the album - they will use this song for much of the semester.
- Have students analyze the song form, instrumentation, recording techniques.
- Create an “American Idol” remix of their song - maintaining an overall sense of the structure.
- Compare 1987 recordings to the 2009 remasters
- Investigate individual parts and vocal harmonies using Beatles: Rock Band.
The one thing that I would like to clarify is that the Meet The Beatles project was running concurrently with other units I was teaching. My kids were learning how to read music, play guitar, write and analyze lyrics and chords, and record their efforts. (For an example of the collaborative songwriting process, go to this post.)
By request, here are the slides from my presentation. If you weren’t there, they won’t mean that much to you. However, keep your eye on this site for more detailed discussions of some of the ideas discussed.
Download the slides here.
Closing thoughts and questions
On the handout I included a short list of questions to ponder:
- How do we, as music educators, close the gap between student participation in school and their engagement with music in their personal lives?
- What role does popular music play in your curriculum?
- How can you promote your students’ work in the community?
I’m sorry if not having more handouts caused problems for anybody, but I AM pleased that we filled that room up. Let me know what you think and please come on back!
AND, just for fun, here is Celine Dion’s “That’s The Way It Is”! Enjoy it as much as I do.