Keeping the Music Alive
for Music Educators
by Debbie O’Shea
There is much uncertainty and fear around Covid 19, and rightly so.
As Music Educators, we have to get our head around how to teach our very social, hands-on, interactive subject.
I would like to point to some of the downloads for Crescendo Members that might provide you with some useful assistance. I will highlight ten for you in this Blog post.
In this terrible situation, the silver lining is not obvious. Yet, I can see some advantages. I do not mean to belittle your anxiety or worry – it is real.
Yes there is a lot of work. But think about it for a minute. We get to send content, activities and resources directly to families and into homes. We get to showcase what we teach, how children learn, and the all-round fabulousness of what we do. That has got to be some top level advocacy right there.
Aren’t we ‘Life-Long Learners’?
Yes we are!
I believe we have to be to be the best educators that we can be. So, we get to knuckle down and do some ‘learning’ ourselves in order to do the best for our students and our subject. We need to find solutions to remote delivery and then share our solutions and issues with our colleagues.
Times like this force us to ‘reflect’. We are forced to think about what is important. Here are some questions I am asking myself as I prepare for remote delivery:
– Why am I teaching Music?
– What are the essential things that I need my students to continue?
– Why is Music Education just as important as the other Key Learning Areas?
– What can I do to show other that Music Education is just as important as other Key Learning Areas?
– What can I do to ensure that Music is a subject continued at home?
– What can I do to help to bring learning and joy into the homes of my students?
– What can I do myself and how can I help others?
Here are ten Crescendo Music Education member files that might be really useful.
I promise I will write a Blog Post around the free files as well.
Don’t forget, you will need to be logged in to access these files.
Click on each picture to go straight to the page to download the file.
#1. Easter Colouring Book.
This just has to be number 1 on the list. With art work by Ramon Siverio it is an artistic delight as well as wonderful music activities. You can send one home every week or so and then whole family can join in the colouring fun while the students revise letter names on the treble and bass staff.
#2. Jig Saws
I confess that I have never used these in the music classroom. The time to cut and glue is too much time to lose in a half hour music lessons, so I just don’t do it. I had always intended these to be extension, extra work for those kids needing it, or even some slower paces remedial work. But now is the perfect time! This is something that can be done at home with the family. send it within whatever platform you are using and families can print and cut and paste. It would be great fun!
Songs included: Blue Bells, Bobby Shaftoe, Bounce High, Come on Everyone, Cut the Cake, Dinah, Frog in the Meadow, Hey, Hey, Hot Cross Buns, Ickle Ockle, Kangaroo, London Bridge, Mr Sun, Pit Pitter Pat, See-Saw, and Starlight Star Bright.
#3. Find the Music Symbol
So simple, yet a great revision of the symbols – accidentals, dynamics, notes and rests. It comes in a version with USA terminology as well. It would work well electronically too as the students change pen colour to do the circling. _______________________________________________________________
#4. Composer Mandalas
Six amazing, original mandalas to colour. These colour by note Composer Mandalas will be a great addition to your virtual classroom. Though fabulous art works in themselves, they also help your students recognise notes. They include English and American terminology. _______________________________________________________________
#5. Music Jokes for Kids
You may well ask how these are relevant. I can only answer that for me. I use humour kin my teaching. I love to laugh, and I love the feeling of fun and play that humour adds to my music room. So, why not add some at home too? All of my ‘at home’ lesson plans begin with a music joke. Take it or leave it – but a little laugh never hurt anyone.
#6. Differentiated Music Activities
37 cards – yes you hear me, 37!
Each card has an activity for the student to complete. Each activity is based on an extended pentatonic exercise (an original Debbie creation) but could just as easily be based on a different melody or a known song. Use the cards as is to copy and send home, or use the activity idea and put to different music and send home. You might even send a range of these and give choice in the activity.
The sort of things you will find here:
– Improvise a melody with the same first bar.
– Sing and play in other keys.
– Sing one part and play the other in canon 2 beats later.
– Sing forwards while clapping the rhythmic pattern backwards.
Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away, you should get in and download this lot!
#7. Missing Bars/Missing Notes/Find the Mistakes
This is a nice big collection of sheets to send home. They are writing – and on the staff – songs that the students probably already know. The thing that makes these sheets so successful is that there isn’t a great deal of writing to do. The students add a note or two, or circle mistakes and they have the correct notion in front of them. They can sing or play their pieces from that notation, and all of that connection between sound and symbol is reinforced.
Here are all the links:
#8. Minecraft Hidden Pictures
Three Minecraft hidden pictures in three variations. Also included is a blank grid for your student to create their own. These are a HUGE hit with the students.
#9. Chords 1 & 2
These sheets are great for older students. They have information set out, followed by a quiz.
What is a chord, intervals, scales, numbering, quality, inversions and voice leading are all covered.
#10. Copy, Transpose, Transfer
Time to practice those staff notation skills. Not the ones that parrot off the letter names of the lines and spaces, but those that connect the sound, the staff placement, intervalic relationships, known solfa and known rhythms. They are, just as the title suggests, sheets that ask the students to first copy a simple melody containing known elements. They then transpose to a different position on the staff. Finally, they transfer the staff notation to stick notation. All of these skills are essential in an aural, sequential music program, but I know that I have been guilty of neglecting them due to time constraints. _______________________________________________________________
I hope this helps the Crescendo Community to discover or rediscover some of the treasures within Crescendo Membership and I hope that it helps you to prepare some fun and useful at home lessons for your students.
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