Sunday, August 26, 2012

"How is this "boring" for you?"

So, this is my new favorite quote from one of my students. One of the two (yep only 2) trumpet players in my 6/7/8 grade band said this after I stated that, "This is a 'learning' process for all of us."... I made clear to him that it definitely was not boring lol! I have decided that boring is probably the last word I would use for the wonderful and incredibly fulfilling and demanding career of teaching.

I have realized that one of my strengths in teaching is keeping the younger kids engaged and quickly changing the direction of the class. For example, instead of repeating myself many many many times to tell the students to sit "crisscross applesauce", with their hands in their lap, and with their mouths closed..." I instead, told them that my marker is a magic wand and after I wave my magic wand and open my eyes, my entire class will be seated and quiet. It is indeed quite magical to see how well this works.

Granted, there are many times that I find myself repeating those directions, but then I receive great inspirations to make it a game. It is just amazing the difference!

I just love to see kids falling in love with music and to see them start to understand the concept. It is also amazing to see how quickly the little ones pick it up. I was teaching the preschoolers (3 year olds to be exact" and I had them repeat "do-re-mi" and to follow what I did. I was singing "do" and leaning forward with my hands on the floor, and then as I raised the pitch to "re" and moved my hands a little of the floor, and then with "fa" I moved them even further off the floor... The little ones followed me AND they were singing on pitch, it was the coolest thing! I then had them listen to Vivaldi's Spring and act like "big strong trees" when the dynamic (volume of the music) was forte (loud) and then shrink to little bugs when the music dropped down to piano (quiet). The kids began to tell me when to get bigger and smaller when they started to understand the concept, I just loved seeing their enthusiasm.

Now on the other side of the spectrum, my junior high elective, I am definitely having a harder time figuring out how to teach them. If anyone has any suggestions on how to make a unit of Careers In Music (which includes a small unit on Music in Movies and a short composition project) incredibly enjoyable and applicable for the 7th and 8th graders, I would LOVE to hear it. For some reason I can teach and relate to the little ones so much better... lol. I think in a way, I am intimidated by the junior high schoolers... Don't get me wrong, the kids are really great kids. I just only have them once a week, so it is hard to get to know them and figure out how to teach them.

So, as you can see, my career is definitely NOT boring! ;)

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