How to Plan Diversely Structured Music Classes

How to Plan Diversely Structured Music Classes

Plan carefully to develop trust with students in a cooperative learning environment. Assist music students to develop an ability to be responsible for their learning.

Planning for Cooperative Learning Ventures in a Musical Classroom

When planning to teach guitar to groups and individuals in a cooperative learning environment, scaffolding must be laid out clearly and visibly so that students can see what is expected of them. Desired outcomes should be clearly articulated so that planning can occur with the class. Working with students as an easy essay writer, I know that success strategies must be accessible and defined in a simple clear manner; so that they are understood by all stakeholders before the process begins.

Create Cooperative Learning in Music Classes

Before even mentioning the idea of cooperative learning to the class – it is wise for teachers to have a plan in mind. Before beginning to plan strategies about how students will access resources, the teacher must take an inventory of the tools and equipment available.

List all equipment including computer access, online access, and availability of instruments for each student or group of students.

  • Outline a comprehensive review of the space within which each group will learn and play. Students must be able to play their instruments without distraction and without distracting others.
  • Investigate the availability of IT equipment such as laptops, and portable multimedia recorders such as IPods, so that students can take their instruments and portable technology to a quiet spot so that they can access the educational video vignettes.
  • Know the groups, and their behavioral record to ascertain whether students are mature enough to be trusted unsupervised. In this case, writeanypapers suggests that determining whether it is expected particular students will disrupt what would otherwise be well-functioning groups. Make sure you know student age levels, language difficulties, and level of the student’s computer literacy.
  • Once you have taken an inventory, evaluate the mix of students, the availability of equipment, and appropriate space. If these are not suitable, it would be better to remain within the confines of a traditional classroom, than to risk losing control of the situation, or of having some students get lost in the process. Make a secondary plan in case the project was too ambitious so that it is possible to opt for more structure when necessary.

If this style of teaching is to work, students must be mature enough, or teachers must have the capacity to guide them towards taking responsibility for their learning. Monitor the cooperative learning environment to be sure that students are continually working towards taking responsibility for their learning and for not detracting from the learning of others.

Guiding Responsibility for Learning in Music Classes

  • Share the plan for the cooperative venture with the class. Be sure to fully outline the details of the learning strategies.
  • Clearly outline the essential learnings and expected outcomes on a criteria sheet.
  • Brainstorm strategies, goals, and aspirations with the students until there is mutual understanding and expectation.
  • Run a group “test run” project using vignettes. Invite students to comment about learning experiences. Question probingly to determine whether this style of learning will work within the group dynamic. Explain that the system will be introduced gradually, with training over some time.
  • Ask students to share about their preferred learning style as they work through a sample YouTube vignette.
  • After viewing – ask a music learner to list the positives and negatives of this style of learning. From the list devise cooperative learning strategies with the class, which will be closely monitored throughout the term.

In conclusion

The success of cooperative learning depends on the level of planning that has gone on before musical projects begin. Within the music class, it is wise for teachers to monitor student learning constantly. Teachers must be vigilant, flexible, and aware of the different levels of emotional maturity that will affect the stability of the class. Music classes run as cooperative learning environments can be challenging for both teachers and students in the initial stages of implementation. It is wise to have a secondary plan. Never less; teachers would be encouraged to continually try new strategies until students are trained to expect that they will take personal responsibility for their learning.

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