The Power of Music and ‘Teacher in Role’

 

This week’s lecture about the importance of music education. Wen I was in high school I was very involved in the music department and have first hand experience on how music can have an impact on you not just with other areas of the curriculum but also socially and emotionally. After watching a Ted Talk video during our lecture I learned even more about how music can have impact on the brain. For example, music can help our memory functions, solve problems and can help our brains to be healthier later in life (Ted Talks, 2014).

In order to be involved in music, you do not have to play an instrument. Music education involves many other skills such as listening and having the confidence to perform. Also, there are many opportunities for children to discover music. Simply listening to the radio or taking your class on a trip to a performance. We found out that in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, they hold concerts that are free of charge. This is a great idea that I can take with me into placement and as a teacher.

In our music workshop we were working through some rhythms to tap with whatever we had over zoom. We started out using shapes to follow along with the music and then followed onto learning what each note looks like and lasts for. I can imagine for someone with no musical background this would have been quite tricky to get the grip of. However, with a very musical background I was able to pick up the rhythms very quickly. I feel confident that I would be able to produce a music lesson with support of ‘Charanga’.

In the drama workshop we were learning about ‘process drama’. This is where pupils and teacher can create a drama focussing on problem solving (Wells, 2017).

Process drama (2).jpeg

One way we can do this is by using the ‘Teacher in role’ strategy. With the teacher participating, this means that they can influence the dramatic and learning process from inside the drama. If the teacher choses to play a low-status role, this will encourage the children to try and solve the problem themselves rather than looking to the teacher for guidance (Farmer, 2020). This really emphasises the children leading their own learning. Along with freeze frame, this is a great approach to take into the classroom with me. This session has also emphasised that you do not need to be a professional actor to do a drama lesson. All you need is a little confidence!

References:

Farmer, D (2020) Teacher In Role. Available at: https://dramaresource.com/teacher-in-role/ (Accessed: 21 October 2020).

Ted Talks, (2014) What if every child had access to music education from birth? 27 October. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueqgenARzlE&feature=emb_title (Accessed: 21 October 2020).

Wells, T., Sandretto, S. (2017) Using Process Drama to expand the literacy programme; an exemplar. New Zealand: NZCER Press.

 

Creativity, Freeze frames and Charanga 13/10/20

The title of our lecture today was, ‘How to Avoid Killing Creativity’. We started out by talking about a phot that had been circulating social media in the past few days. It shows a ballet dancer and due to the pandemic her job could potentially be at risk and she will have to venture into a completely different profession. The government has used this picture as part of their ‘Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.’ campaign. It shows that the government do not appreciate the arts and how much the creative sector contributes to society and the economy (BBC news, 2020). This was a great starting point o show how creativity and the arts have been ignored.

Freeze frames was the focus of our drama workshop. A freeze frame is where students freeze their bodies to create a scene (Baldwin, 2009). I would feel fairly confident doing this as a drama lesson and I feel that every child would be able to enjoy it. Freeze frames can create opportunities for more meaningful discussions to deepen understandings on on character’s emotions and motivations within a story or context. This drama strategy can be more effective when paired with thought tracking. This would be when you ask the students individually doing the scene what their character is feeling, what they see or hear etc (Farmer, 2017).

In music, we learned about an amazing resource called Charanga (Charanga Scotland, 2020). Charanga is a website for teachers that has endless music resources all that co-inside with the Curriculum for Excellence. It gives you lesson ideas, examples of how to assess your students, resources if you wanted to start a club in your school. I know that I will definitely be using this website a lot when it comes to placement and when I am fully qualified!

References:

Baldwin, P (2009). School Improvement Through Drama: A creative whole class, whole school approach. Continuum Interantional: London. 

BBC News (2020). Downing Street joins criticism ‘crass’ job ad. [online] Available: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54505841 [accessed: 13 October 2020].

Charanga Scotland (2020). [online] Available: https://www.charangascotland.co.uk/site/musical-school/ [accessed: 13 October 2020].

Farmer, D (2017). Thought Tracking Tutorial. [online] Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7083R-bJspE&feature=youtu.be [Accessed 13 October 2020].

Introduction to Integrated Arts

Today was the first day of a new module and one I was quite looking forward to. In my high school days , I had a pretty good experience with all areas of the arts and they were in fact my favourite subjects in school (especially music). I learned that during the course of this module we will not be enhancing our own skills but focussing on broadening our attitudes and experiences of the expressive arts areas.

We were firstly introduced to many educational resources related to the arts and how it can be implemented throughout all areas of the curriculum. One of the resources was the Tallis Habits Pedagogy Wheel (Thomas Tallis School, 2017).

It shows us the strategies that us as teachers can use to develop the pupil’s habits, such as using their imagination and being collaborative. As a second year student, this really emphasised the importance of teaching expressive arts and developing children’s creativity skills. Using expressive arts as a tool to teach other curricular areas such as literacy or mathematics can not only make the lesson more enjoyable but can challenge the learner and teacher to discover new strengths.

Our first Workshop was an introduction to Drama Strategies. As all of our inputs are online, I was a bit nervous to see how it would work to do a drama class over zoom. In this class we learned how character development and storytelling can be used across the curriculum to involve children in their own learning (Farmer, 2020). We watched a video of different classes doing drama but the main lesson was from a different curricular area (EDCHAT, 2013).

It was interesting to see what the children were taking away from each lesson. Even though they were using drama, they were able to capture the main focus of what the lessons were actually about. In the video you can see that the different teachers are using different drama strategies such as visualisation and freeze frames to really focus the children’s minds into what they have been asked to do/perform.

Our second workshop was an introduction to primary music. I took music all the way to advanced higher in school so I am looking forward to learning more in this area and taking it into practice. Classroom music consists of three main parts, listening, performing and composing. All are just as important as the other. We learnt that listening to certain kinds of music can make you feel differently. For example some light piano music may make you feel content and peaceful whereas a dramatic piece of music from a horror movie may make you feel scared and nervous. This kind of exercise would be good in the classroom to help the children be in touch with their feelings and be able to recognise what their feelings are. We were set a task to listen to a piece of music and in a group create a story to it. This was a great way see how the music made other people think of things like an old Disney movie or a Tom and Jerry episode and more.

References:

EDCHAT, 2013. Teachers TV: Teaching Drama: Focus, Freeze & Think. [online] Available:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZP6QD0RxNP4&feature=emb_title [Accessed 6 October 2020].

David Farmer (2020). Drama Resource. [online] Available at: https:// dramaresource.com/drama-strategies/

[Accessed 6 October 2020].

Thomas Tallis School, 2017. Tallis Habits Pedagogy Wheel. [online] Available: https://www.thomastallisschool.com/tallis-pedagogy-wheel-guide.html [Accessed 6 October 2020].

Today in Review

Today in Situated Communication we had the chance to perform part of the story for our assessment to a group of our peers. I was so nervous for this as I was scared I would forget my story. After telling my story I now know what I need to work on after receiving feedback from my peers.

Also, we went through a couple of scenarios of situations that may arise on placement or when we are teachers and how to deal with them. It was good to hear other people’s experiences on placement and how it compared to my experience.

A class teacher from North Lanarkshire came in to talk to us about how he uses blogs with the children in his class to display their targets, school work and achievements. He also showed us how to insert audio files and images into our blogs.

Den Building!

Group and Leadership:

In my den building group there was no formal leader chosen. My teammate played a leader type role in which she organised us in what we to do and our strategies in the building process. I feel that it worked quite well as it got us all working together pretty quickly and everyone contributing ideas. As silly as it sounds, my height was the most challenging thing about this task as we chose a high up place to put the base of our ceiling and that meant I couldn’t give much help to that aspect of the building.

Explaining:

The group that explained their den to us were very clear about the process in which they constructed their design. They took us through each step and gave reasons for their decisions.

Environment:

Being outside and in an open and noisy environment made us communicate louder to make sure everyone could hear. Also we communicated in a short and efficient way as there were many destractions outside. In an outside environment it might be good to gather the group you are with around you in a tighter more closed space.

Negotiations:

Our group tried to negotiate a short pole for a piece of material that was bigger than the one we had for our roof. This did not go to plan as no one wanted our pole and were trying to steal a team member instead. The challenging thing about it was that no one was willing to give up what they already had.

 

A review: A Skill of Questioning.

This blogpost will review the Finding Out About Others: A Skill of Questioning (Hargie, 2011).

I found the main aim and purpose of the chapter was to discuss the different purposes of questioning and how it can be used in the classroom with children to guide their learning.

The main themes of the chapter would be defining what a question is, the different types of questions (of which there are many) and the different aspects of questioning.

One claim that I found in the text was that Information seeking is a natural human activity that is vital to learning, decision making and problem solving.

An argument that I found quite interesting is Rudyard Kipling’s question classification of What, When, How, Where and When. This approach to questioning can reflect the answer that the questioner is wanting to hear rather than how they present the question itself.

One point that I disagree with in this chapter is the aspect of persistent probing. This way can make a child feel pressured, uncomfortable and unlikey to answer the question that is originally being asked.

Hargie, O. (2011) SkilledInterpersonal Communication: Research, Theory and Practice.5th ed. London: Routledge.