lesson planning

Music Group Class Round 1 Reflections

Well, students and teachers of Musespeak Studio and To the Wind Studio have survived the first round of music group classes with this new format.  I learned three main lessons:

  1. I have gotten too complacent as far as teacher-student communications go. My students, their parents and I have an established rapport. I'm starting virtually from scratch with my brother's students. Sure, we've chatted at recitals, but a five-minute chat and teaching in 90-minute stretches are two totally different things.
  2. It is important to over-plan and have several back-up activities up your sleeve. My pacing for one of the group classes was perfect. One was all right but could use a few more activities, while the other - well we raced through my lesson plan and I wound up flying by the seat of my pants for a very long time. I have Divine inspiration to thank for the "Let's Make Up a Story with Sound" exercise that I did with yesterday's students when improvising. 
  3. When teaching at another studio, have a studio contact list on hand in case you need to contact a parent in the case of an emergency or behavioural issue. 

Overall, it was a positive experience. I've learned which students I need to be firm with and which ones I can recruit to take more of a mentoring role with the junior students.

I enjoyed teaching four lovely girls basic conducting gestures and beat patterns.  They giggled a lot and had a great rapport with each other.  

The "Get into The Groove" class challenged me the most. I will need to plan more rhythm exercises, especially ones where they split off into smaller groups. As for the stubborn ones - let's just say that I'm just as good, if not better at digging in my heels. "The Art of Practicing" also wound up being a great group of music students who were very engaged. In discussing how to practice music, we discussed stretching as well as their learning styles and practicing challenges (e.g. "When I Don't Feel Like Practicing"). The conversation also lead to areas I had not thought of incorporating into my presentation - and they should be. Thanks to them, talking about how to practice when injured and speed learning will be incorporated into my presentation. I look forward to the next round of music group classes.

Drowning in Music Lesson Planning

Once again, summer has flown by. My big list of summer projects? Pfft. Don't ask me about them and we'll be fine.

I'm currently in the throes of planning the group class schedule for my music studio. One idea launches into another idea and so forth and so on. The result is that I can barely get my ideas committed to paper (or in this case, the screen) quickly enough.

I'm quite excited about the activities that I have nailed down so far. Thanks to the staff at Caffe Crema, our first Studio Winter Music Showcase will be held there. My students will perform a set of contrasting selections. They will have to script their patter. I can hear them now, "It'll be like, a real gig!" Well, yes, kids. You'll be performing in public, so it will be a real deal gig. They'll have two "Open Mic Days" at my studio to get a feel for it all.

The year-end recital has been booked too. We have a few things planned to make it less recital-ish.

My students also be heading off-site for a few studio events too. So far, St. John's Music and Steinway Pianos of Calgary are booked.

But now, it's back to planning for the music group classes happening next week. My brother will be teaching my students about all the multimedia projects they'll be working on throughout the year, while I'll be doing a few interactive workshop-style classes with his students on practising, conducting and rhythm.

I suppose I should get back to figuring out why Libre Office refuses to print my handout with my stick-girl conductor properly.

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