The last few weeks of the semester are approaching. My beginning band has dwindled down to a hearty ten musicians (eleven have moved over to concert band!) We have been focusing a lot on creating and arranging songs. Two weeks ago we started a pop cover tune, where small groups of students picked a pop tune, learned it by ear and then taught it to the rest of the class in a formal "teaching episode" (throw back to my TA days at ASU!!). That was a lot of fun-most of the groups just learned the hook or chorus of a tune, but they all learned it by ear and it was really fun watching them lead the group in the learning process!
This week we are focusing on arranging songs from our method book. We talked last week about melody, harmony, texture...you know, all the good things. We practiced some examples in the book and had some great discussions how to arrange. We didn't really talk about chordal theory or natural chord progressions-that isn't particularly useful at this point. But, what we did talk about is the excitement of creating and hearing it performed. So that is what we are working on this week! Each student has selected a song and is arranging it for our little band using NoteFlight. On Friday I did a little demo demonstrating the different ways in which we can arrange songs and how to manuevar the program. I was still learning at this point and had some technical difficulties (and of course, I was getting observed by my mentor...) but I think I figured it out enough to write out some concise instructions for the students. Today we went into the lab and I let the students loose! They really dug in and I am SO excited to see where these projects end up. On Friday we will be playing through the arrangements! I will share what the students come up with, but for now, here is the "worksheet" that the students are using to get them through the first couple of days.
Also, to assess where students are at each day, I am having them complete a quick exit ticket using Google Forms. I <heart> google forms. Here is an example of today's question: