On Saturday April 9th our membership were treated to a fantastic variety of presenters and ideas. Each session was focused on a different area of music pedagogy and contained a wealth of fully relevant and realized material.
In order to keep the length of this post manageable it will be divided by session and presenter(s)
World Music Pedagogy Lesson - Syrian Music and Dance
This session was very informative and participatory. Members had the opportunity to learn about the area and background and cultural instruments focused on and the dance itself. Some time was spent discussing the work of Patricia Campbell and it's relevance in today's multi-cultural music room. Through modeling the lesson showed the 5 steps of the model of world music pedagogy from Campbell's book "Teaching Music Globally." This was an introduction for those unfamiliar with Campbell's work and a great reminder for those familiar. The last item discussed and possibly the most revelatory was that of the Smithsonian Folkways website which has a significant repository of folk music from around the world and also lessons created by teachers for many different parts of the world (a link is provided on the past workshops page of this website!).
Using iPads and Chromebooks in the Music Room
Connie Ohlmann and Paul Flowers
The information presented in this session came from two different platforms with very similar outcomes. Connie began by talking about iPads and the app Seesaw: The Learning Journal. Much of what was discussed was to do with students handing in digital work such as: videos of playing tests, photos of student work etc. Paul followed up with information specific to Google Apps for Education with a focus on Google Classroom. Some favourite apps were mentioned and discussed. At the end of this session there was a question and action period and some friendly debate between Connie and Paul.
Movement Lesson Using "The Book With No Pictures" by B.J. Novak
Rhonda brought to workshop participants a set of movement activities that were linked to the book "The Book With No Pictures" by B.J. Novak. The activities presented were recently adjusted versions of the ones presented in the fall 2015 edition of the Ostinato, Carl Orff Canada's publication. The activities were both engaging and fun and all participants experienced as a student with discussion from the teacher's perspective. The activities were all aimed at different grade levels and some had secondary focuses like form. It was fantastic to have such a comprehensive set of activities that had a book as it's focus. Many schools have some form of literacy focus and these activities really help to address this. A highlight of this workshop was definitely the use of bolts of fabric to create the effect of crossing the river. Likely the most enjoyable to watch and be a part of was the Sound Machine activity which had students activate as their nonsense word is read and build the moving machine. All in all it was a refreshing look at movement as a focus and gave many fantastic concrete ideas that can be used in the class right away.
Improvised Drumming K-9
Enough can't be said about the energy and expertise brought to the workshop by Lucas Coffey and his co-facilitator Deborah Bortscher. The physical set up of the session was immediately inviting and drew everyone in right away. Having concentric circles with aisles to facilitate movement seemed to work really well. Both drums and non-pitched percussion instruments were interspersed around the circle giving a varied and interesting sound. As the circle began it was easy to see why so many schools have invited and continue to invite Lucas to do residencies. From start to finish the excitement and energy in the room was almost palpable and the interest of participants displayed in some very pertinent and relevant questions throughout. Lucas demonstrated several activities allowing time for questions and comments as needed. Some time was spent discussing some specific management techniques and drum selection for schools. One of the stand outs from this session were the ease with which improvisation can be used with drums given the right attitude and energy. Lucas gave information at the end of the session about a workshop in June entitled 2016 Rhythm for Youth Training specifically aimed at teachers and youth educators. More information can be found on the Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm website.
All in all it was a fantastic day with some great information and some amazing experiences. A big thank you to all of the presenters and the executive for organizing it.
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