Monday, September 12, 2011

After school is where it starts

This is shaping up to become a truly great year.  In addition to my regular school day I've been given the chance to provide music classes to students who want to take them after school.  This year my half time co-teacher is coming back to campus each Monday afternoon to teach piano in the piano lab.  Because of her help I am free to teach guitar twice a week and a little class called "Melody Soup".

Guitar is a fun class to teach because the students who take it are VERY excited and they REALLY want to learn how to play guitar.  The only problem with guitar is that is a sincerely challenging class that involves mild pain until you get calluses formed on your fingers.... so the early days of guitar lessons are less than inspiring.  The students who have the will to stick it out are primed and ready to do great things.

My favorite class is turning out to be "Melody Soup".  Melody Soup meets from 4:30 to 5:30 each Monday and Wednesday and it meets with the same set of kids each class, so that means that this group of kids who attend Melody Soup each week are getting twice as much music each week in the afternoons as I am able to give them during regular school day.  How nice it is to see a group of kids twice in one week!  We are already getting so much done.  I can't wait until Wednesday because they will actually be able to remember what we did the class before.  I'm using the song experiences from Education Through Music as the basis, but I'm letting the students have a great deal of input.  After we played several games on Monday, we talked about what kind of final product we would like to produce.  They want to have a performance that involves costumes, technology instruments, games and singing.  SOOOOOO

We are going to put together an opera based on the songs that us folks familiar with ETM know go together well to form the libretto for an opera.  The students learn the songs, then put them together in their own order, figure out their own costuming add instruments (which will be new to me) and perform.

Today we learned "Are You Sleeping?".  We played the song using hand signs and trading partners.  Then we sang the song in a round.  Then we talked about the story in the song and then the children acted out their story.  Both stories were different and we had a great deal of fun.

Wednesday we are going to learn the second song "Where is John?".....

The wild card elements of this "Melody Soup" experience will really be the added instruments, the costumes, and the attempts we will make to video our work.

I am so excited to be able to use ETM in a small group with the same group of students each week in sessions that are close enough together for students to remember what we did AND with students who although tired from a days work are highly motivated.  What a pleasant way to end the day.  One of my Melody Soup kids told me " I had lots of fun making soup today..... I guess we are lucky because the other kids after school don't get to make music soup."  I like that!  Maybe word will spread and I will be able to add "Melody Stew" "Melody Bisque" and "Melody Casserole" to the roster in the spring.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Bonnie! I have a question for you- What method book (or do you have your own) do you use to teach your students guitar after school? {I just bought a Washburn Rover traveling guitar and I'm interested in playing guitar more and eventually with my students!)