Updated: May 5, 2022
This week, though arguably less productive thanks to the "rain bomb" that drenched Sydney from Wednesday to Thursday, was an exciting week in terms of job and performance opportunities. I was super lucky to book a couple gigs leading up to easter with an Anglican church, but even more excitingly, I've been asked to return to my prac school to design and run a music program for Early Stage 1 through to Stage 3, the support unit, and their affiliated preschool as a School Learning and Support Officer. I am so excited at the prospect of being able to start teaching in schools so soon, and being able to apply more of what is covered in my uni classes. I think it also means that I'll be able to bring a new vigour to completing my university assignments because I'll be able to reuse them in my teaching, and things feel just a bit more practical and real now. The school has also expressed interest in beginning a co-curricular program as well, including wind band, choral programs and potentially private lessons in the coming years. I'm excited to help facilitate this, but I'm also feeling a little out of my depth, so I'll be working hard over the mid-semester break to churn out some lesson plans and hopefully some super engaging units of work for the stage 2 and 3 students to complete.
We had an interesting example of Project Based Learning this week in Technology in Music Education. We were required to create a short podcast on Audio recording and multi-tracking, putting our newfound knowledge into practice immediately as a necessity to completing the task. I thought it was an incredibly clever and creative way to force (or gently encourage) us to engage with the content in a meaningful way. Coming into the task with almost zero prior knowledge I initially felt a little overwhelmed by the task, but the activity (being so well designed by Brad) allowed for plenty of differentiation. I was able to research the more basic concepts that would allow me to get a foot in the door to the world of audio recording, while the more experienced techies in the group were able to handle the actual recording and altering of the tracks where necessary. Even the concepts I wasn’t able to research myself were explained to me by my teammates inadvertently as we listened back to the podcast we had created.
It was a really great experience, and I think with some more independent study I would certainly have a more solid understanding of recording (at least in theory!) I've attached a link to our script, and hopefully in the future will be able to upload the actual recording (complete with relevant audio effects).
This is something I'm really interested in incorporating into my own classroom teaching - opportunities for students to choose their own level of challenge or differentiation as they complete an activity. There is a lot of value in this approach, as it allows students to challenge themselves where they feel necessary, however, there is a danger that students could use this tool as an opportunity to slack off if they haven't been helped to engage with the work properly. I think this would be especially useful in Middle School and Senior classes, however I'm concerned that primary classes could quickly lose focus and momentum if not properly monitored and kept on course.
Finally, the most exciting occurrence of the week has to be the arrival of my new piano, who has affectionately been named Cecelia. I'm so excited to welcome her into my rapidly growing family of musical instruments.