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MUED 431 Practicum: 3/20/18

Observing in an elementary school setting I experienced the year before was

interesting for several reasons. Firstly, there was a new teacher, and her different

approaches to teaching completely changed the step-up of the class. Secondly, seeing

some of the same students a year later allowed me to admire their individual growth, and

think about what factors contributed to their development.

Last year I observed a self-contained classroom and was incredibly inspired by

the patients of the teacher, as well as the accommodations she made for her students’

individual needs. Her creativity and execution was exceptional, and I left with many

more ideas on what music education can look like, as well as how it can be inclusive to

every student.

However, this year some of the students in the self-contained classroom were now

in an inclusive classroom. One of the students that particularly stuck out to me was a

non-verbal student whose individual needs require a full-time aid. His contribution both

years was minimal, but this year he seemed significantly happier. While every day can

bring out a different demeanor, I now have to question the appropriateness of self-

contained classrooms. Was it a difference in his daily mood, his growth over the course

of a year, or the inclusive versus self-contained classroom setting?

The teacher’s music activity included passing out different colored handkerchiefs

to pretend to be eagles wings, and asking her students to take turns identifying the color

of their wings while singing a call and response: “What color are your wings?” “My

wings are ____.” This is a great demonstration of integrating other curriculum goals into

music, but also the teacher was inclusive of her non-verbal student by handing him a

specific color handkerchief that a button had been preprogramed to say. When it was his

turn to respond, she addressed him the same way she did everyone else, and then

extended the button for him to hit that audited the response: “My wings are yellow.”

After witnessing the comparisons of an inclusive versus self-contained classroom

through the lens watching the same students have different responses, I am interested in

researching the benefits of both, as well as being more aware of trying new approaches to

truly find what is best for every student.

MUED 373 Practicum Observation: 2/9/18

Mrs. Ford’s teaching style was an excellent demonstration of how to teach with

minimal words. With the Jazz Band particularly she had a hands-off approach. The

students played the warm-up without her leading, listened to the drum set to stay in time,

and did a great job of playing with a warm and blended sound. I was pleasantly surprised

by their initial sounds in general, and even more so when accounting for the fact that this

was a high school ensemble that probably did not individually warm-up before their early

morning rehearsal. This proved to me that I need to raise my expectations of what

students are capable of accomplishing.

In thinking about what she disclosed to our class about her long-term sequencing

of macro micro macro in combination with what I observed in her ensembles, I believe

she was in the initial macro stage because of how much she ran pieces. Thinking about

long-term sequencing is important because it is easy to become critical of what she did

not address. However, in the context of initial macro, her feedback was appropriate, and

feels familiar to Dr. Bolstad’s sequencing. Short term, the sequencing I observed was

little beyond top to bottom reading. She would occasionally provide feedback, but

mostly in terms of asking the ensemble questions, she would simply answer them herself.

One of the few moments I noticed her explicitly using the feedback loop was

when she was working with the Trumpets: “What is that? Just your chromatic scale.” ->

modified to a slower tempo -> “Use the accented notes as check points.” -> Limited to 2

beats and 2 beats instead of the complete 4 beat run. -> “All together now.” -> In context

of the entire ensemble played their parts.

I wish she provided more time for her students to answer her questions, but I

admired how attentive her students were in both ensembles (demonstrates effective

classroom management and time management), and how precise she was whenever she

provided feedback. However, I thought the offensively loud metronome was

problematic, and did not appropriately address her students’ pulse limitations.

MUED 307 Practicum Observation: 09/16/16

On Friday September 16th I observed Ms. Teacher’s 8th grade orchestra class, and

half of her 6th grade class. The 8th graders were self-sufficient in the beginning of class

going through the routine of grabbing instruments and tuning themselves. When Ms.

Teacher was ready, she raised her palm to the class, and picked on someone to play the

tuning A (every student was fair game; it happened to not be a violin, but a cello this

day). This developed routine created a fluidity and efficiency to the class period. The

students were given a responsibility that they can handle-getting set up, and this allowed

them to prepare independently from the teacher, so she had time to finish her own

preparations between a very quick class exchange.


As a warm-up Ms. Teacher lead the students in a major scale with the articulation

expectations of All-District orchestra auditions. This exercise served as preparation for

the future audition, as well as for the current class period by extending tuning, and having

them listen and tune within the context of playing. The students and Ms. Teacher played

as a group, and a few students played on their own. Ms. Teacher has something called a

“compliment circle”, so whenever a student played by themselves students raised their

hands to comment on aspects of their peer’s playing that they liked. This encouraged the

solo performer, kept the rest of the class engaged, increased everyone’s music

vocabulary, and taught the students how to listen critically.

Ms. Teacher continuously praised good behavior, and whenever she needed to

make a correction she did it in a positive, or indirect way. Once she said, “Who has a bad

habit, like eating chips in bed?” and then related that to bad habits in finger positions.

Some times she would complement a model student, and other times she would use my

presence by turning to me and saying, “I keep looking for ____ to correct as a teaching

moment for you, but [the students] are great!” Whenever she said this, the students

individually adjusted whatever aspect of playing or posture she had technically just

complimented, because it reality it was not ideal, but this positive reminder was all they

needed to correct themselves. Ms. Teacher is an expert model in positive correction, and

this approach made the experience for everyone involved significantly more enjoyable in

comparison to teachers who constantly order students to “sit up”, and “fix [their] bow

hold”.

I learned so much from Ms. Teacher both by observing her class period, and also

in the conversations we had about the importance of knowing your students, and not

feeling the need to be in control all the time: “I know what makes the individual smile,

what makes them grumpy, and who doesn’t have food at night.” Ms. Teacher was

inspiring; I’m delighted I had the opportunity to observe such an incredible teacher and

human being.

MUED 303 Practicum: 11/5/14

I observed Mr. Kirby at Thomas Harrison Middle School, and like most music

programs, he did not have a class of only brass players. While Mr. Kirby had to divide

his focus amongst his entire band, I remained impressed with his attention to the brass,

and specifically the tuba. Throughout the class period he gave feedback pertaining to the

tuba player’s strong focus of pitch, and told the band to blend into his sound. These

comments started in the warm-up exercises, and carried all the way through to the

repertoire.

It was clear to me that Mr. Kirby wanted his brass players to feel valued. He did

this by drawing attention to the importance of having a strong tuba sound to support the

ensemble’s sound, and by treating every section equally. For all of the warm up

exercises, Mr. Kirby had every student play the same technical articulation exercises and

scale studies regardless of whether they played flute or tuba. In addition to this, he

multitasked his assessment portion by having every student step out to the hallway one-

by-one to record themselves playing a specific rhythm part.

I understand that I don’t have a lot of feedback related specifically to brass

pedagogy, but I think that in itself is a valuable take away. I got the impression that a

part of his personal philosophy is to make sure that every student feels that they are in an

equal partnership, and he did this by keeping the low brass away from oom pa’s, and

holding everyone to the same standards in core sound and technical skills. The only part

that I disagree with is that he never asked the brass players to buzz on their mouthpieces.

I feel that this is a valuable warm-up tool that could be addressed in a long tone exercise.

MUED 302 Practicum Observation: 5/8/15

1.What was/were the objective(s) of this lesson?

To clean two pieces of music for the upcoming concert.

2.How did the teacher accomplish his/her objectives?

Mr. Teacher started with a warm-up, ran the first piece, made a few comments, and then

ran the piece again. For the second piece he worked solely with the saxophones, and then

put that part

together with the ensemble.

3. How did the teacher assess student understanding?

Mr. Teacher made comments to the overall ensemble between breaks in playing, so he

was listening and assessing while they were playing to identify what was worth

mentioning at any given moment.

4. Consult with the teacher prior to the start of the class period, and ask them to

identify two students to observe in detail during the lesson: one who achieves at a

high level relative to his/her peers, and one that achieves at a low level relative to

his/her peers. Spend 10-15 minutes in a focused observation of each of these

students (depending on the length of the class period). Track their activities in a

manner similar to the chart below:

time activity notes


1:50pm Not in seat Class has started. Only
student not seated.
1:52pm Talks out in class Other students are engaged
in music
1:52pm Looking around room Other students looking at
music with good posture
1:53pm On the floor… Class playing FM scale
1:54pm Student is back in chair. Class playing FM scale
Student was blowing into
sax separately for each
note, and then stopped
playing altogether
1:56 Corrects posture. “look at this sax posture! I
can run my hands on the
backs of these chairs” gets
to student and he corrects
himself.
1:59 Student is dangling body Class is raising hands to
over knees show Teacher they are
listening

2:00 Student has sax in mouth Teacher has his hands up


ready to play and begins counting off
2:02 Student is engaged in Class is playing repertoire
music
2:02 Student is aware of Soloist plays, and the
surroundings student glances over, and

then comes back in


appropriately
2:04 Student is leaning back in a Class is not playing,
relaxed position teacher is giving
commentary on what the
ensemble just played
2:05 Student brings horn up Teacher is counting off.
with propose Students neck strap is
twisted and he is clearly
concerned about fixing it in
time to be ready to play.
2:07 Student stops playing Teacher cut off
immediately
2:10 Student is talking to a Teacher is reviewing the
neighbor student written articulation in a
specific passage of music.

Aside from the students playing the same instruments, not much was similar. The

engaged student displayed appropriate behavior, which was the norm in the ensemble,

and the other student crawled around on the floor at one point. It did not seem as though

he was gaining anything from his behavior; Mr. Teacher did not acknowledge it at all, so

maybe he has a behavioral disorder.

If I had this student in my class I would privately thank the students around him

for staying focused, and find out if the student in question has an IEP. In either case I

would collaborate with his other teachers to identify behavioral goals, and effective

approaches to encourage appropriate behavior, and if he does have an IEP I would

certainly follow it.

I think Mr. Teacher choosing to generally ignore him worked well. Because the

student was only disrupting himself and no one else, I guess Mr. Teacher decided it was

not worth it to draw attention to the student while trying to correct his behavior.

MUED 302 Practicum Observation: 5/1/15

Question 1: What was/were the objective(s) of this lesson?

The objective was to clean repertoire for the upcoming concert.

Question 2: How did the teacher accomplish his/her objectives?

Mr. Teacher started with an overview of his intentions for the class. Warm-up:

Breathing, F Major scale, and then piece.

Question 3: How did the teacher assess student understanding?

Mr. Teacher is having and assessment on the F major scale via recording outside of class

hours. Once Mr. Teacher asked the trumpet section to play a specific portion of the

music individually. Mr. Teacher is good at teaching at every opportunity that arises, even

when it is related to English and not strictly music.

Question 4: What did the teacher do to assist student learning in the classroom?

Mr. Teacher walked around the room and sat with students who needed assistance.

Frequently he played the part with them.


Question 5: What does the teacher do that hinders student learning in the

classroom?

Mr. Teacher does not have effective classroom management skills; too much time is

wasted on correcting individuals’ behavior. When Mr. Teacher works with an individual,

he does not give the other students anything to do, so they start talking. Throughout the

class period Mr. Teacher was counting down the minutes until class was over in an

attempt to keep control.

Question 6: What do the students do to assist in their own learning in the

classroom?

The students are responsible for their own notes, but they don’t seem to be acting

together as an ensemble. Students ask questions when they have them.

Question 7: What do the students do that hinders their own learning in the

classroom?

Some students do not know their parts well enough, so Mr. Teacher comes over and plays

beside them. Without a director in the front of the room to guide them in making musical

decisions with phrases and dynamic contrast, the quality of the ensemble is lacking.

Question 8: What action(s) on the part of the teacher would improve student

learning?

If the class was better disciplined, that alone would go a long way. The teacher too often

talks over unengaged students, or continuously asks them to stop misbehaving. A lot of

time is wasted, and the students clearly do not feel preparing their parts at home is

necessary, so class time is not productive.

Question 9: What action(s) on the part of the student would improve their own

learning?

If the students prepared their parts at home, they would have a more productive class

period. If they understood their individual parts more they would be able to multitask by

listening across the ensemble to match other players. Right now the students are playing

the piece as if it is just them without relation to anyone or anything else that is happening.

Observations:

-Behavior thing -> raise hand to show listening

-Started with overview

-Breathing (did not engage percussion) -> led to percussion talking

-Tends to talk over noisy class. Students yell out questions, and he answers

-Gives multiple options for assessment times

-Instructions were not clear; students did not play together or understand

-Percussion students are being really silly while playing their mallet instruments; their

form is very poor.

-Students do not have horns up ready to go


-Students have very little discipline. There is a lot of talking. Teacher is roaming the

classroom instead of standing at the front of the room. This allows him to help individual

students. However, as a negative effect, students are playing less as an ensemble and

more as individuals keeping time and playing their notes.

-Teacher seems to have low expectations of class

-“you know the note, I’ll give you the timing”

-Does listen. Called out positive tenor sax

-Very little clarify in everything played.

-Students started packing up before officially dismissed.

MUED 271 Practicum Reflection: 10/3/14

There was a decent amount of variety within the class. The boy to girl ratio was

almost exactly an even split, and there was also some radical diversity within the class.

However, the teacher did not appear to treat anyone differently. In fact, the teacher

seemed to put in an effort to go against gender roles with colors and instrumentation

throughout the class.

The teacher was trying to accomplish several basics with her kindergarten class.

What she focused on the most was voice matching. While she was taking attendance,

and doing all of the beginning class things, she was speaking to her class in song and

expecting her class to answer her in song: “Hello Kindergarten.” “Hello Ms. Carpenter.”

Later on, she introduced 3 instruments, and worked on motor skills in the “Ittsy Bitsy

Spider” when the children had to slide their thumbs and index finders to imitate a spider.

I believe Ms. Carpenter did accomplish her goals. Right now, she is creating

skills to build off of. By keeping the students engaged, she is slowly teaching her

students skills that they have yet to identify as significant.

Ms. Carpenter may have been assessing her students informally, but mostly I

think she was focusing on keeping her students interested and occupied with her material.

When she called on an individual student it was mostly to focus them back into the class,

and not to assess their knowledge or understanding.

Overall the classroom climate was cheerful. This positive environment was

created with colorful posters, her attitude and approach toward her students, and her

system of “star students”.

Teacher Observation:

Time: 10:26 to 10:31

Academic/Musical Focus

• Ms. Carpenter explained the rain stick:

o “You can imagine what all of those pebbles would look like as they fall

down”

• Introducing other instruments:

o “Our spider is going to have a sound like this [beats wood block]”

o “I want you to run your hands along the chimes for the sun”

Behavior Focus

• Acknowledging students who turned the rain stick twice:

o “We will just turn it one time, and don’t hit anyone’s legs.”

o “Don’t turn it again because we want everyone to have a turn”

o “Since it’s Ariel’s turn, only Ariel should touch it.”

• A student selected to participate was unhappy with the selected instrument:

o “Will you be our spider?” “I want to be the sun.” “I know, but we need a

spider.” “okay!” “good choice.”