The process matters.

Take a moment to listen to the dulcet tones of my classroom…

Does it sound chaotic? Does it sound like noise? Yes, it does. But…it is the beginning of a really great process for the students. They are each preparing solo percussion projects for “Music with Ordinary Objects” class.  They must prepare a 3 minute solo piece for their final trimester project. They have a full array of classroom “instruments” to choose from and lots of in class time to try things out.

I am amazed at how they are allowing their creativity to come out in this project. They are embracing the process to create and are making the music their own. As a music educator, I am constantly pushing the need for focus on process of learning, not just the performance. This is where so much of their creativity and connected learning takes place, in the process. I stress with the kids that it is not just enough to make music that is cool or pretty but to understand why it is a certain way, what it means, why you chose that rhythm or instrument etc. This allows them to truly experience knowledge construction rather than just “making pretty music”.

In our process each 45 minute class has three-five “decibel breaks”; minutes of total silence to allow our ears to recover from the noise. After four classes of independent work, they will workshop with their peers. On the final day, they will perform their project for the class. The final projects are always incredibly diverse and often reflective of students hidden interest or ability.

If this is what day two of the process looks like…I can’t wait to see performance day.

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