Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Core Values

Reading Peter Boonshaft "Teaching Music with Purpose" this week again for my grad class I took a step back to think about what are my core values?  Why do I teach? What do I teach?

I have a friend from high school who teaches in New York City.  This guy is an absolute monster of a player.  He is teaching in the "21st worst school in NYC" and is beginning to question what he is doing here.  He remembers what our high school band director did for us and he feels he isn't providing the same amount of support, the same quality of experience.

My core values in teaching completely come from educators I have worked with and learned from.  My director in high school, Joe Grasso, and in college, Wendell Logan, had very similar core values.

Rule #1: Do the work.

That was about it.  No exceptions, no excuses, no nothing.  Never, ever be late.  Why?  Because we are doing the work!!

Boonshaft writes about the love of rehearsing.  Teaching students to love the journey and to believe in themselves.  I am finding in my current job that I am struggling with this.  I need to find ways to encourage the WORK so we can PLAY with the music.

I have no students taking private lessons right now.  I have plenty of students who PLAY music, but not many, yet, who do the work.  Getting there is the struggle we are in right now.

What are my core values?  What do I try to teach?  What will I not compromise on?

  • Be on time.  Be professional.
  • Honor the music.  Respect the composer.  
  • You must read the music.  It is the key to unlocking musical secrets.
  • Each student has a musical voice.  Sometimes they need to discover it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hip Hop Music Class Lesson

First day for this class is Wednesday, which will be a shortened period of about an hour.

I hope to:
  • Do some introduction.  Tell/show the story about Kool Herc.
  • Start the iPad exploration activity.  I do this in all my classes.  It introduces a little bit of content, but I'm really doing a formative assessment on their work ethic.  What can they handle?
  • Depending on the mood of the class do some regular "first day" activities to learn names, set goals, etc...

Methods Class

Tonight I start teaching Secondary Music Methods at University of Bridgeport.  I'm expecting 10 students.  I'm also expecting nasty weather...

Here is the website for the class.  I hope to do a few major categories of assignments:
  • Blogging.  Each student will have a blog to share and reflect.
  • Lessons.  We will do sample 5-15 minute lessons on various topics.
  • Folders.  We will use the google site to collect links, lesson plans, etc...
  • Discussion.  Reading, questions, in class work.
Wish me luck!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hip-Hop Music Class

On Wednesday I start teaching Hip-Hop music class.  I have been doing a lot of reading.

Anthony Cao is my leader in this.  He has been teaching a high school hip hop class for the last few years.

I am spending a lot of time thinking about how to structure this class.  I want to bring it around the hip-hop ideas of:

1. DJ
2. B-Boy
3. MC
4. Graffiti
5. Knowledge

I'm really not sure how I will structure each class.  I'm hoping to kids will allow the class to be an opportunity to explore new ideas.  I'm pretty sure this will be the hardest class that they take.