10 Tips for Music Classrooms & Curriculum
Are you a music teacher looking for new tips to help improve their music classroom and curriculum? If so, you’re in the right place! We’ve gathered together some of the top tips to help music teachers establish and maintain an effective curriculum. Whether it relates to setting the proper tone early in the school year or maintain a sense of humor throughout, these tips will help you develop a fun educational environment.
Keep It Consistent!
Early in the school year, it’s extremely important to establish a general protocol for classroom activities. Some teachers enjoy starting the class with a quick announcement then proceed into a quick warmup. For band instructors, this warm-up could easily be a fun tuning exercise to ensure that all instruments are in tune. For choral instructors, a warm-up may include singing major thirds or breathing exercises. Regardless of what introduction you select, make sure you keep it consistent throughout the year so students will know what to expect.
Set the Tone Early
Another important thing to consider early in the school year is the tone of the classroom. Establishing a tone is a fairly simple, yet extremely important part of maintaining an efficient classroom. Here are a few things to thinking about when considering the tone of the classroom:
- Seating chart
- Visual environment
- Protocol for tardy students
- Relaxed or upbeat?
Use Names Often
Early on, music teachers will want to make sure that they use students’ names often. This not only helps you remember names, but also let’s students know that you care about them on an individual level. Yes, I know, learning names can be difficult, but at least putting forth an honest effort helps students feel welcomed in the classroom.
Let Students Vote
One of the easiest ways to make students feel as though they are not just going to class but are actually apart of a team is to let students vote on some songs that they perform. Granted, you don’t have to provide them with the option to select every song, but it does help to let them vote on a few things on occasion. In fact, providing students the option to vote can be a great example of setting a welcoming tone early in the year.
With the increasing convenience provided by technology, music educators should definitely consider the multiple ways to leverage technology for their music classroom and curriculum. One great idea is to show snippets from musicals or performances to give students an idea of what direction you’re looking to take a song. Another option may be using music apps to assist with ear training or music theory.
Create a Facebook or Twitter Account
Another great way to incorporate technology into the classroom is to create a Facebook or Twitter account. Music teachers can leverage social media in a number of ways, including:
Promoting program content
Sharing bands and artists
Networking with other music programs in the community or district
Keep A Sense of Humor
The school year can feel like a long time, especially when there’ve been a number of unexpected challenges. To help maintain enthusiasm throughout the year, be sure to keep a sense of humor, particularly when dealing directly with students. Remember, school can be a difficult time for many, and helping yourself and others see the light at the end of the tunnel can help lighten even the most difficult of challenges.
YouTube is one of the best resources that music teachers can use in their classroom. Given the volume of content, the opportunities via YouTube are virtually endless. Some options to consider may include watching documentaries on musicians or artists, listening exercises, creating and sharing your music program’s own content or simply easy listening music while students are taking a test or exam.
Create an Environment
For many students, the music classroom is a place of comfort and relaxation. Yet, these soothing feelings can be hindered by a classroom with bare walls and no personality, so for starters, ensure that there are some inviting posters spread throughout the room. Another thing to consider is a few comfortable chairs or couches where students can relax and listen to music during social hour. Regardless of what you choose, make sure to take the initiative to create an inviting and creative environment. Your students will be glad you did!
Expect their Best!
As a music teacher, the most important thing that you can ever implement into the classroom is the expectation of students giving their absolute best. Of course, this doesn’t mean taking the attitude of a dictator, but you surely shouldn’t accept students slacking off or not using the most of their talent. Remember, not all students may have positive role models in their life, and providing positive expectations could give students the spark they need to focus and hone their talents.
Are you passionate about music education? Well, why not share your passion with others by becoming the next graduate of Kent State’s online Master of Music in music education program. You can study entirely online and graduate in as few as 23 months – find out more today!
Image source: http://www.stmcatholic.org/sites/default/files/gallery-images/9-Music-Classroom-finished_0.jpg