Sunday, April 29, 2012

CURRENT (V1 N2): Today's Music In The Classroom

What is CURRENT?

CURRENT is a series of teaching units designed to teach teachers how to teach music in the classroom using “current” songs of today. It is aimed at Grades 5-9 or Middle School grades. Each volume follows curricular learning outcomes for Canadian provinces and USA National Standards.

CURRENT focuses on student creativity through expression of feelings and ideas. Students are encouraged to evaluate their own achievement and refine their performances and presentations with the goal of improving their ability. Group support is encouraged.

CURRENT chooses songs from English popular music around the world. I have taught students from over 40 countries. The songs come from the experience of middle school students. The focus is not so much factual as it is creative and an extension of valuing the arts from all cultures. Students are encouraged not to make quick judgements but develop personal choice based on knowledge, experience and practice. Teachers should learn the vocabulary specific to the arts (music, art, drama, and dance) and incorporate this vocabulary into lessons. There is a vocabulary sheet with each volume.

CURRENT chooses songs that invite emotional and intellectual responses. Students are encouraged to analyse the song in terms of lyrics and musical concepts through the student analysis and evaluation forms in each volume. There are no right or wrong answers so students are more comfortable taking risks. A safe environment is encouraged with support of classmates and teachers.

The Creative Process

CURRENT encourages the creative process through the following activities:
  • The songs are inspiring and have a positive message. Lyrics are screened for language. 
  • The lyrics encourage discussion and imagination. 
  • There are opportunities for group and individual performances. Each activity has a specific focus on a musical concept through listening or singing. Guidance is provided in the teacher notes at the end of the unit. 
  • Students are encouraged to explore and experiment using basic skills which are taught in class. Guidance is provided in the unit plans. 
  • Students are encouraged to produce work in stages of difficulty. 
  • Students are encouraged to constantly revise and refine through individual and group efforts. 
  • With each song, students are presenting, performing and sharing through the use of contemporary music. 
  • There are opportunities to reflect and share ideas through student worksheets which provide the framework.

Volume 1, Number 2, uses DYNAMITE by Taio Cruz as the focus for this unit.

Click below or click the link for a full online preview [requires Flash], or purchase online in PDF format at TeachersPayTeachers.