Monday, August 8, 2016

"Field Trips"


World map in orchestra classroom for field trips


We go on a lot of "field trips" during small groups in orchestra throughout the school year.  It's gotten to the point where one of my students sings his own field trip traveling music complete with train whistling sounds :)

Here are the different destinations for our in-class field trips:
  • World map--point out where a composer is from or a folk song that we are learning to play
  • Keyboard--learn to find the notes that correspond to the open strings or play the scale we are studying on our string instruments or the notes on a given string
  • White board--write in rhythms together on the board or practice drawing musical symbols together
  • Solfege scale ladder--work as a group to unscramble and attach the notes of a scale in order
  • My laptop--to watch a YouTube video of a piece we are studying (sometimes over several weeks students will be introduced to a couple different performances or versions) or as an introduction to using Finale Notepad.  After walking through how to set up a new document in Notepad, each student types in a measure's worth of notes and then we all get a kick out of hearing it played it back.  Students are impressed to learn the secret to how their compositions get transformed into the typed up composition packets I create for them.

Sometimes we'll pack up at the end of small groups and then come over to my lap top to watch something so that the next group of students can quietly come in and get unpacked while we're finishing up.  Usually, though, the field trip happens in the middle of small groups to get kids moving and out of their seats for a little bit and break the half hour up.  Learning in orchestra is so much more than learning how to play a string instrument, and I try to create a rich learning environment where students experience so many different layers of what it means to study music.


Solfege scale ladder in orchestra classroom for field trips


Solfege scale ladder in orchestra classroom for field trips


keyboard in orchestra classroom used for field trips


keyboard in orchestra classroom used for field trips


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