Teaching Artist Reflection: Giving students the tools to create their compositions through small activities that isolated various skills, and then having projects towards the middle and end of the year that combined elements into a bigger whole.
MCLT Reflection: Using planned curriculum but adding the dimension of self-assessment and creating a portfolio added more interest and enthusiasm to the projects we were doing.
Teacher Reflection: The way Crystal used the movie promo activity to get the kids identifying with background music was great (they listened to music, and based on the music, they had to fill in some "movie promo" taglines, such as "In a world where....one (wo)man had to..."). I also think the leitmotif (character theme song) lessons really brought characterization to a different level for the kids.
What did not work?
Teaching Artist Reflection: Sometimes, working on group composition projects (with instruments) in a small, confined space, got to be difficult. Students just wanted to play, rather than compose and plan. Also, building in time for students to write and reflect in the music classroom was challenging. It was easier to have them reflect in their academic room (and it helped make cross-curricular connections).
MCLT Reflection: Being new to planning a music portfolio, I learned from this experience how to plan self-assessments and reflections into the curriculum better. I would like to focus on it being a more consistent part of my teaching.
Teacher Reflection: I wouldn't say something didn't work. If anything, we didn't have enough time with Crystal's awesome lessons.
What questions do you still have?
Teaching Artist Reflection: How can we make an even more effective student portfolio for music, when so much of our work was experiential or performance-based?
MCLT Reflection: I was wondering if other music teachers could share their experiences of creating a comprehensive portfolio for their students.
Teacher Reflection: none
What new ideas do you have?
Teaching Artist Reflection: Frankly, the whole idea of a music class portfolio (and one that crosses back and forth between music and the academic room) was new to me, and I look forward to using that tool in future projects.
MCLT Reflection: Because of this project, I really liked the idea of inviting other classrooms to watch performances of what we did in the music classroom. It really motivated the students to do better and to understand that what we do in the music room is connected to other aspects of learning.
Teacher Reflection: I will use leitmotifs and scores to teach characterization and mood next year. So great, and so much fun!