I am a middle school band director with 28 years experience. When Covid hit, the school shut down my band and made me a roving music teacher, visiting each K-8 classroom for 40 minutes to give the teachers their planning break. I am a fish out of water--I am accomplished at teaching band, but have no experience or training at general music. My problem is that I am used to teaching kids who signed up for my class and came searching for something. Now I have to join the world of teaching classes not for a grade to students who have no interest in the subject, and we have to observe "covid" protocol. Worst of all, I will at some point get a formal observation where I have to meet the usual standards, such as teaching higher order thinking and making connections across the curriculum. Because there is no grading, I have little recourse if students don't want to do the work, and I have found over the years that getting administration involved in discipline weakens the teacher's position with the students. Some parents will whip their kids if I call about them (I am in rural Mississippi), but others won't care about music class.
Now that I told my sob story, here is what I need:
I need to come up with engaging lessons that will at least somewhat meet national standards for music education. I will see each class once a week, with a couple of classes twice in the week because of the scheduling. The class period is 40 minutes. The last lesson I did that engaged them well is drumbit.app, where they composed their own drumbeats. I had a contest for each class to pick the best, and then the school will vote on those to pick the top drumbeat, and I will give out light-up drumsticks as a prize. I have shown some interesting documentaries with mixed interest (ones licensed for classroom use of course). I've tried teaching some music theory, but without real life connections, the lessons fall flat. I can maybe get up to 3rd grade to sing, but after that I will likely get rolling eyes. I plan on bringing a guitar for kindergarten to teach them some songs. My concern for lessons increases as the students get older. Remember, I have no training or experience in classroom general music. There is a promethian board in each classroom at my disposal for connecting my computer. I have a little over $100 I can spend on materials.
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