starting from scratch

I am writing new curriculum this week and next. This week I am creating “new” classes for gr. 7 and 8. Gr. 7 will take Music with Ordinary Objects (MWOO) a la STOMP for 12 weeks and Gr. 8 will take Music Technology for 12 weeks. I also need to update my gr. 5 and gr. 6 curriculum this summer but that’s a whole ‘nother deal.

I’m finding myself very comfortable with the prospects of creating gr. 7 curriculum. I am expanding upon work I have done in small units with stomp-like themes. Now I am faced with the pinnacle questions as I teacher. “What do I want them to know?” “How will I know they know it?” “How can they apply what they know?” “How can they transfer what they know?”

So I sit with these as my primary platforms for creating this new curriculum.

Essential Questions

  • How is music different than noise?
  • How can ordinary objects make music?
  • How is music organized?
  • What character qualities essential to becoming a strong performer? an ensemble member?

Course Objectives

  • The student will analyze, create, perform, and critique music with ordinary objects.
  • The student will enable the character qualities which are essential to be a strong solo and ensemble performer
  • The student will be reflective of the musical creation and performance process.

I have also created expectations and procedures for both the course and classroom and now I am mapping out 12 weeks. The penultimate being a final performance of 7th graders in a MWOO SHOW. (yes, I intended the rhyming)

I, as stated before, am excited and motivated for this work.

But I, the tech geek, am struggling with music technology. I am well versed in web 2.0 and tools to ehance collaboration and communication. But I am not well versed in what one would call “music technology”. Mostly because it is not a keen interest of mine. So this week I must also learn how to use mixing software as part of the work I will complete. Yikes! This is a more daunting task, which is why it is pushed to the “Wednesday” burner.

So, I open up this post to you, dear reader. Any ideas for my gr. 8 class? Please let me know, I’m definitely looking.

2 thoughts on “starting from scratch

  1. I would love to share my classroom with you next year! I do a 6-week Music Tech. class for 6th grade. We basically have 2 projects- a student interview which is essentially a tutorial of podcasting, and a full multimedia research project of broadway musicals or composers! You can check some of my kids’ projects out on my website. I’ve also done “Classical Re-mix” where we take a midi file of a classical piece, import it to garage band and “modernize” it using different instruments and loops. The final piece can be added to an enhanced podcast or powerpoint with composer pictures found on the internet. It would be fun to Skype with your class and share ideas and projects!! Let me know what you think!

  2. I’m doing this too. Starting from scratch.

    My goals:
    All graduates of Seymour High School should be able to:
    Sing in tune. At a birthday party it should sound good when everyone sings.
    Understand their instrument/voice. Students should be able to choose music based on their instrument or range. They should know if they sing in church if they are an alto or soprano. They should recognize if a singer on TV is an alto or soprano.
    Have a basic conversation about music/broadway/TV. They should get beyond “I liked it”.
    Sing songs for their children/grandchildren when they are born.
    Choose appropriate songs for a wedding/funeral/etc…
    Participate/recognize in rituals from diverse groups (Texas 2-step, gospel choir, Sing-a-long at Octoberfest).
    Have fun and dance/sing/perform. Stop worrying.

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