Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Getting to Know You BLOG HOP

Dear readers, I am so excited to share that I've decided to join a FANTASTIC group of music educators to form a blog tribe called, "The Mix Tape." In this group we will be blogging about the benefits of mixing various musical methodologies and teaching practices. Before we delve right into educational content, we are sharing a little bit of information about ourselves with this blog hop! Check out my responses below, and then hop over to the next blog!

  • What state/region are you in?
    I live and teach in the state of Maryland! My husband and I recently bought our first house in a great Baltimore neighborhood and I'm so happy to call Charm City my home.
  • What is your background education/experience?
    I received my bachelors degree in Music Education from Westminster Choir College in 2011. While this degree qualifies me to teach band, orchestra, chorus, and general music for K-12, my preferred instrument is my voice! I am a singer primarily and I use this skill as I teach elementary general music. I have been teaching for three years and am gearing up to start year number four in the fall.
  • What is your favorite musical concept to teach? 
    My county curriculum breaks the school year down into five main units: rhythm, melody, form, harmony, and tone color/timbre. If you've been following my blog this past year, you've probably noticed that I center many of my posts around teaching each of these five units. I love it because I teach the same unit and concept to every single grade at the same time.

    For example: In the melody unit, while I'm teaching treble clef notes to third grade, I'm prepping that with reading a two-line staff in first grade, and identifying high and low sounds in kindergarten.

    ANYWAY, of the five main units, my personal favorite to teach is form. This is my favorite because there are so many ways to engage multiple learning styles. I use a LOT of movement activities and folk dances to get students listening for changes in between musical sections. I use listening maps that are great for my visual learners. And, as in all of my teaching, I have students singing and playing instruments. Form can be tricky since it is kind of an abstract concept, especially for young students with little to no musical background. However I think that approaching it from multiple angles is great fun and helps students to make meaningful musical connections. 

NEXT STEPS: Thanks for reading my post! If you're planning to enter our giveaway, be sure to comment on my post with your answer to this question: What is your favorite musical concept to teach? 

Then, head on over to your next stop, Mrs. Stauffer's Music Room!



16 comments:

  1. I don't know if this counts as a "concept" but my favorite thing to teach is my focus on a particular country. I have a country of focus for each grade level and we study the music of that culture pretty in-depth each year. I love the connections that students make, the musical skills that are reinforced by applying it to different contexts, and the stretching that happens as they learn about something that is so far removed from their daily lives.

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  2. I love to teach improvisation, specifically on the Orff Instruments! It is the perfect example of differentiation in the music classroom. Students can control their level of difficulty and no one can provide a wrong answer! The most basic student can stick to quarter notes and stepwise motion. More advanced students will choose to include more complex rhythms and more melodic skipping. No matter what they goose, everyone has a different, unique melody!

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  3. I too really loved teaching about form. It was a chance to add in lots of movement, as well as composition. I had a program from Daydream Education that I used for form in which the students could create their own composition using different layers of a sandwich. They loved it, and it really helped them understand the concept :)

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  4. I think my favorite thing to teach--isn't necessarily a concept, but I love to do performances. I put a lot of effort into my school programs, composing and recording the songs for many of them. I expect a lot from my students and the parents appreciate the quality of the programs...it's what I do best!

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  5. My favorite thing to teach is composition! I love helping my students process, think and present their musical ideas through composition. I am always so amazed and inspired by what they can create. It's often times so much more complex than what they can express through notation. It takes a lot of patience and preparation to teach composition in the elementary music room, but it is time so well spent!

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  6. My favorite thing to teach isn't technically a "concept" either. I have come to love teaching my unit on New Orleans Jazz & the Harlem Renaissance. One of the reasons that I love this unit is that it coordinates with the 5th grade social studies curriculum and students get excited when they already know some of the historical facts. The musical reason that I love it is that we can work on improvisation, through singing scat and improvising on a blues bass line. I also love it because my students actually get very engaged in watching the short YouTube clips of some of the famous musicians of the day. This is a HUGE win with 5th grade students! The music is just fun to sing and play.

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  7. Ohhh, that is a hard one! My favorite concept to teach is probably anything history related in music. Whether that is a composer of the month, or just the history behind a folk song. I am HUGE into story telling in music! :)

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  8. I love to teach rhythm! My comfort level is greater here than any other concept. I guess it's my band background, but rhythm has always come quite easy to me. I think a good rhythm piece can put everybody in a good mood.

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  9. Hmmm everyone has great answers to this question. I like to teach in units life just flows better that way... (I hate planning!) I think one of my favorites is my Nutcracker Unit. We listen, take notes, move, learn how to distinguish between different sections and I even have a chapter book that I read throughout the unit. Fun times!

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  11. Note reading! I enjoy teaching recorder and watching the progress the students make as the school year progresses.

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  12. I love teaching rhythm, reading, writing, and identifying, as well as multi-layered music where there are several ostinato's going on at the same time as the song:)

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  13. Boy, that is a loaded question because I have lots. But I think the most fun is improvisation and composition. It is just neat to see students explore with sounds and music!

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  14. Oh wow. I don't know! I love everything differently. I love when something really gets my kids going!

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  15. I love any activity where I can see students taking their previous knowledge and experiences and putting it into something they can call their own. This could be anything from composition to movement to anything, really! I love getting to be a part of their creative process and then seeing what emerges from that.

    Malinda
    My Musical Menagerie: Kodaly and Orff Classroom

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  16. My favorite is folk dancing. It is so much fun! And the skeptical students end up loving it!

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