Monday, September 7, 2009


I have been writing and reading a lot about planning for the year. Planning requires the following:
  • Scope and sequence. What are you supposed to learn and in what order? There is not an existing scope and sequence. That's OK, it gives me something to do this year.
  • Data. Where are the students on the benchmarks? Again, there doesn't seem to be data or benchmarks. That's OK, it gives me something to do this year.
  • Rotation. Students can sit in choir for four years. I can't give the same introductory solfeg lesson each September. I have to scaffold each lesson for each group. This is incredibly time consuming and requires scope, sequence, and data. None of which we have.
So, now what? This is what I see so far:
  • Beginning band is pretty much straight-forward. We have the support of the general music teacher, which is sooo helpful. Lessons I'm ready for. There is much to do in creating culture and program.
  • Developmental band did very well on their reading. We have started their instruments (flute-clarinet-trumpet). I haven't figured out how to do this all at once (rather than flutes on Monday, Trumpets on Tuesday, etc...). They don't know enough to work independently yet. These are good kids.
  • Choir is moving much faster than expected. Half of them are freshman and they can all sing. I owe a lot of credit to the middle school director. Now I can do some hard core assessing and start selecting repertoire. We have done some solfeg but I haven't really tested their reading yet.
  • Band has a performance in 10 days!! This is what I was most worried about. But they will do fine. I want to get through the gauntlet of the football game and then settle into our reading and ear training. This band of ten (yes, ten) will have to be very versatile.
  • Plus I have to work on curriculum, coach cross country, and get home for dinner!
So, this week I will block off the year. I will start to plan concerts and work back from there. There are so many avenues to take. But I feel it is important to instill (and install) my basic music values:
  • You will read/play/write/sing in any key.
  • You will show up on time.
  • You will play/sing with great tone.
  • You will believe in yourself.
  • You will believe in your program.
I have to find the lessons that make that happen.