• musicpluscoffee

Planning for Back to School

I am giving a lot of thought on how I plan on delivering my music curriculum this school year and I thought I would share some ideas with all of you!💡

Here's some background information: We are going back to school in person 5 days a week. It looks like students won't be travelling to different classes so I will have to travel to them and deliver music in their homeroom class.

Because of this, I am seriously considering limiting the use of school owned instruments this year. Here's my reasoning: if I use the instruments that I have at school, I will have to carry them to each classroom and sanitize them after each use. Even after sanitizing, they have to be left for 3 days before another group of students can touch them. When I teach 3-4 classes per day, it's not a reasonable option. My job is already busy enough having to travel from class to class, duty and preparing for lessons that I just don't see there being time to do all of that sanitizing before and after each class. Also, for instruments like a djembe or hand drums that actually have hide stretched across them will not hold up with being wiped with lysol multiple times a day. That doesn't mean there won't be instruments at all. It just means we will have to be a little more creative with how we can play and how I can deliver my music program!

Check out some of my ideas below! ⬇️

G E T C R A F T Y ✂️

DIY, recycled instruments are the way to go! Students can make their own instruments out of supplies and keep them so it will save me the trouble of having to clean them. It is also a great conversation starter about where instruments come from and how they are made. You could do a whole unit about the origin of an instrument, going through how it's made today, what is the culture impact and significance of that instrument, and where we hear it in music today! This could be a really fun way to explore music that is different than what we are used to but it is possible in the post-pandemic in class model.

R E S E A R C H P R O J E C T S 💻

One thing that I always say I want more time for is inquiry-based learning. In the music room, that usually looks like getting students to explore instruments and try to figure out how they make sounds and how they work. Though sometimes I wish there was more time for students to do their own research on many of the questions that they have. I am working on creating resources that do just that. Take the Instrument Research Project, for example. Students get to do their own research and it's presented in this really nice outline. There are options for in class and distance learning. The Flip Book (for in class learning) is a great way to get students to create resources that you can leave in the classroom. You can get your older students to do this project and then keep it in your class for some of your younger students to read! What a great connection between all your students! Any type of research project would be a great chance for students to work on their technology literacy and explore another aspect of music!

R E A D A L O U D S 📚

There are SO many great books out there to read and show your students. There are many music books as well as books that weren't intentionally made to be musical but, music teachers found a way to use it in their lessons that their students just adore! Take "Click, Clack, Boo" here in the picture. Teachers have put pitches and rhythms to those three words so when you read it to the students, they are playing along! What a great way to engage your students in a story!

D A N C E 💃

In the Ontario curriculum, 'music' and 'dance' are considered to be separate subjects that

have their own times in a student schedules but I think sometimes we forget how connected music and dance really are. Dance is something that has a deep connection with music and now more than ever should we be combining these two together to bring some sort of joy and familiarity to our students during these rapidly changing time in education.

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I believe all teachers are resilient. We have seen and been through so many changes over the last few months and we have been able to adapt in order to serve our students with the best education we could provide in the circumstances we have been dealt. Whether you are starting the school year in a distance learning model or an in class model, you will do your best for your students and that is enough!

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