January 25, 2012 at 1:09 AMI spent my recess with a handful of 9th graders.
No, it wasn't detention.
Instead, I invited a few of them who I know love music and happen to own instruments to come have a jam session with me. A couple of students play the guitar and one plays the piano. None of them know how to read music, but they beg me to teach them how. I have a couple of ideas, and I will put them to use this week.
They all have different styles. I was sort of expecting that, but they weren't exactly sure what to do with it. After today, I have a better idea of how to handle the sessions. It's interesting to hear what some of them play. They are actually really good at solfege. I think in a few weeks I want them to be able to understand each others' styles and then we all can create our own style.
Being in the classroom with other students who aren't musicians at all sometimes makes for a lesson that doesn't really reach the musicians. My class is more of a "music appreciation" class because so few students play instruments. Sometimes teaching music with such few resources is a little strange, but I'm getting the grasp of teaching older students who know nothing about music a little bit about music. A few lessons have worked, and even though some days most of the students are disengaged, I have to remember the ones that are engaged.
But if the musician students stay after school or in during recess, we can have a group session that has a lot less pressure and a lot more fun for music.
For the rest of the year, I am encouraging these students to bring their instruments and have a smaller group session. It's important that they learn how to listen to each other and work with each other because the most important resources that these students have are each other.
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