Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Project 2: Curriculum and Context Prospectus

Melinda Feldmann

Project 2: Curriculum & Context Prospectus

This project gives me the chance to outline basic curriculum ideas. This is the first sketch and will be filled out in time.

1. Basic Idea

I would like to develop a year-long curriculum for K-6 general music based on Umbrella Big Idea terms. I’m considering the Many Roles of the Musician as the Umbrella term, with the Big Ideas being Listener, Creator, Critic, Performer, etc. Lessons will relate back to these roles and establish continuity while providing a framework for project based learning.

2. Focus

I want a general plan to follow to eliminate the stress of “coming up” with a curriculum. With these ideas as my focus and the focus for the classroom, it gives me a starting point while not limiting me to a structured routine that is planned months in advance. For example, I may know that I will be doing a project under the role of listener and creator, and that a project for being a performer may follow, but I don’t have to define that the performer project starts October 5th. It also allows for overlapping roles, the connections are constantly being made, but there is a primary role being focused on.

3. Identify the Scope through a Rationale

I would like to attempt to outline a year-long curriculum, and begin filling in activities within the curriculum. I have taught for 3 years and would like a plan of action for the year. I believe I’m at the point where I can attempt a year-long curriculum for K-6 general music.

4. Identify and Describe the Context for this Curriculum

I am working in a triple graded pre-k through 6th elementary school in a community where three different towns are combined. There is a wide range of income levels and socio-economic situations, from very poor, to farmers, to middle class, to very wealthy. There is a very tiny percentage of minority students. There are 3 elementary schools in the district, and one combined middle and high school. I will be the only music teacher in the building, save the teacher that comes in for 4th grade beginning band. I will be in charge of general music, chorus, and 5th and 6th grade band. Chorus and Band meet once a week for 30 minutes. I will see each general music class once a week for 40 minutes. Pre-k I will see for 20. I will have my own room, with a Promethean board and an Elmo, along with one computer and general music instruments and books. There is no set curriculum at this time, and I have relatively free reign to explore ideas in class.

This is a new district that I will be working in, so I am not familiar yet with the inner workings and dynamics of my particular building, but I have worked for this district as music director for their high school musical for the past two years. I would like to cultivate a sense of self-motivation and curiosity that will lead to exploration of the world on their own, rather than having things fed to them. The community at large is also quite conservative, and I worry that too much change will be met with resistance. The position I am taking is a combined position of the general music teacher with the band teacher, both of whom were there for 30 years or so. I am stepping into an environment that has not seen big changes in 30 years.

I think students will benefit from my curriculum ideas with a new sense of interest and personal importance of music. I think they will discover how to learn and experience music in a new and beneficial way.

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