Quiet Please We're Testing! Those are not the words a music teacher wants to hear when she shares a wall with a testing room........ ALL my speakers are on the "testing" wall..... My instruments were bleeding through to the other side...... what to do.... what to do....??????
This next set of centers were developed out of pure necessity.
We've been working on composition centers, but many of my composition centers require students to either play or improvise melodies and rhythms on instruments. Basically, I came up with these in a pinch ideas when I had a room full of students and not enough centers to go around.
Before I scrapped all of my composition centers, I first modified most of them. Instead of using un-pitched percussion, my students used body percussion, instead of pitched percussion, my students sang.
I'm pretty sure we did ok, because no one came to the door to tell us to be quiet.
Additionally, I added a couple of centers to replace some of the more rambunctious centers. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
Set-up - headphones and headphone splitters allow for more than one student to hear their work while working on a computer. I use Finale Notepad quite a bit with my older students, so the FREE! download is already on my computers. The trickiest part is getting students logged on. I try to pair a student who I think will be independently successful with one that needs some support. The more independent student uses their log-in credentials.... Since my students have easy access to computers in their classroom they are well used to logging in.
Kinder - nope, didn't do this one with kindergarten..... during kindergarten I just added an extra person with my other centers. They didn't miss it, they were having too much fun.
1st/2nd - I helped them log in and find Finale and then after a quick tutorial on how to manipulate the application I left them alone to doodle and listen to their doodles. I wanted them to have the experience of notating something and then playing it back to see how it sounds. I told them to start with quarter, and eighth notes and they did pretty well. When it was time to go, I helped them save their work.
Set-up ...I have a great collection of books. I asked my students to read independently and with each other. I chose the books that are rhyming because they are more rhythmic than others and they are ones with which the students could add instruments if we were allowed to be loud.
Kinder-2nd grade I was shocked by how intrigued and on task the students were. They REALLY enjoyed getting to read my special music books that they don't see everyday.
Reflections upon centers in music
Caution! Primary Music Centers Under Construction Part 1
Caution! Primary Music Centers Under Construction Part 2