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Week Five

Updated: May 5, 2022

After catching COVID in Week Three of the semester, I've recovered and finally managed to rejoin my peers in classes. This week I had a few assessments to complete, including Introducing Jazz in the Curriculum, and a peer teaching assignment on starter activities.

My lesson plan is based on the premise that over a unit of study students will be constructing their own band to perform pop songs, with this lesson being an introduction to drum kit and the rock beat. I ended up changing my lesson plan last minute from using body percussion to allow students to make themselves into a drum kit, to using chairs and drumsticks to let students practice playing a rock beat on a kind of make shift drum kit - using the seat as a snare, the back of the chair as a hi-hat and their foot to imitate a kick.

I think with some more planning and a few tweaks this would be a great starter activity to engage students and get them musicking in the very beginning of the lessons.

Improvising and being flexible during my lessons has always been one of my best skills and usually benefits my teaching enormously (and certainly did on prac and in my own teaching), however in assessment tasks I need to learn to trust the preparation I've done and stick to the plan.

One of my favourite activities from this week was cutting together the recordings we did in MUED4002 Week 3 of Taylor Swift's Love Story to make a mini music video. I've really been enjoying this approach in both Technology in Music Education and Popular Music of mini project based learning assignments and learning skills on the go with real incentives. I haven't quite finished putting the video together but hopefully I'll be able to post it here soon!

I've also been enjoying using more technology in my own teaching. This weekend one of my students came in with the hiccups and was having difficulty singing, so we took the opportunity to use the FlipSamples app James had introduced to me in week 1 to make a backing track for one of the songs she is singing. I was able to give her a brief run down of a rock beat and the different parts of the drum kit, but I also noticed that it really made her listen to more of the song than just the melody, and she began observing claps and clicks in different parts of the song. She also was paying more attention to the structure of the song, observing the varies chorus, pre chorus and verses which was really awesome to see. In one activity, she was able to perform, compose and listen to create a final outcome she was able to then show her parents.

This is my mini performance (and a little demo on how we put it together) of the loops we made for Welcome To New York.

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