Thursday, March 1, 2012

Music Listening Club - part 2

In response to some questions I've gotten about my Music Listening Club post I thought I'd write an update about how things are going now that we have been meeting almost every Thursday for 8 weeks.

My after school listening club has grown from 15 to 22 students.  My class has grown because it is a class where you get to chill. The listening club is equal parts 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.  Of the 22 on the roll, over half are girls..... Soccer is scheduled at the same time and so most of the boys want to play soccer. These 3rd-5th grade students typically arrive at school for breakfast at 7:00 and then leave the after school program by 5:30 Monday-Thursday.  The Music Listening Club meets from 4:15-5:15 on Thursdays so to say that these children are ready for a Friday and then a weekend is a gross understatement.

Student Submitted Music Suggestions: 

I asked the students to give me requests of music that they would enjoy listening to as a group.  I got about 12 suggestions the first week.  Because they took the time to write them down, I took the time to look up the lyrics. I'm sad to say that out of the 12 songs submitted the first week, ALL of them contained inappropriate content for school complete with inappropriate language, explicit sexual suggestion and innuendo.    So, before we enjoyed more Gershwin, we reviewed the expectations for song suggestions.  Over the next several weeks, they gave me a new list.  Each week, I reviewed their suggestions and it was a really big day when we got to hear one of "their" songs.

The first song that they picked that had my approval on the lyrics was "Fireflies" by Owl City.  That might not have been their first choice, but by the time we arrived at the compromise, they were so thrilled it was a great moment.

This is a club not a class! 
In order to keep the right kind of atmosphere I've had to pay close attention to the "listening mood"  of my students.  While my students enjoyed Gershwin, his music was a REAL stretch for them to dive into right away.  In light of the fact that I wasn't able to immediately play their musical choices, I wanted to shift my focus from teaching them about specific musical works to a focus on general music appreciation.  I have a variety of resources that I use when students listen to music.  Youtube is ONE of them.    Since it is also a resource that should be handled with care, I've developed some guidelines for myself.

Rules for Youtube clips in the music classroom!  - 
  • Follow the policies set by your administration and school board as well as copyright fair use laws. 
  • Preview everything fully..... ALL the way to the end..... because it's Youtube, even something that looks okay could have something hidden later in the video.
  • Watch advertisements too...... You don't want to use a great video that has inappropriate advertisements. 
  • Surf for your clip of choice when students are not present....just in case 
  • Use a  "clean-up" site to get rid of all of the unintended junk.   is AWESOME!

Here is a taste of some of what we've found and used off of Youtube most recently. 

Broadway - 

Jazz - 


More info and resources coming soon! 

No comments:

Post a Comment