Sunday, October 30, 2011

Compromise through modern technology

Mr. Owen and I share vocal music duties at the Middle School.  This year a great thing has happened for our students.  Last year the students had music every other day for a semester.  This year, the vocal music students have choir everyday for the entire semester.  This is positive due to the fact that our students now receive twice as much class time in choir than in previous years. This concentrated amount of class time has allowed the students to prepare more music in a shorter amount of time.

Mr. Owen and I had a discussion one time at the beginning of the year about the extra time with the students.  We joked about "Karaoke Fridays" every week.  The next thing we knew, we had decided to implement this idea on Fridays.  One reason for this was the basic thoughts of young, middle school choir students.  They always seem to sing out with volume and confidence as they sing along with the radio, yet when we are in class, they seem quieter while singing and not a sure of themselves.  By implementing "Karaoke Fridays", it allows the students a little time each week to sing popular songs and give them a chance to sing as if they were in the car.  This also brings some relaxation and additional "fun" to the classroom.  To give the students a little more ownership in this idea, Mr. Owen has set up a survey in google that the students can access and vote for songs each week.  Besides voting for songs on a list, they can use the form to suggest songs of their own.  Each week, we sing the top voted song each week for "Karaoke Friday".

Along those same lines, with the extra time to work on extra songs, we have decided to try to ad some of the more "popular" music to our class that the students will be more familiar with.  Just taking suggestions from students could be messy.  Again, Mr. Owen came through with a technological suggestion.  He set up another form that the students can access through their school e-mail.  This form lists many songs that were suggested by our students.  The list is very long, so the students will first be able to log in and choose their top 10 songs.  Then the top vote getters will be posted and the students will be able to vote once again. Through this method and the technology we have available at school, the students can help to choose music for the concerts and also have a say in some extra, fun songs each week.


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