EDCI 306A Final Reflection

My Music Growth plan goal by the midterm point of the semester was to be able to play a song that is the equivalent to a grade 2 level of the Royal Conservatory music book. The song I ended up choosing was the Pink Panther. I had a few assets and some liabilities that have helped me while trying to reach my music education goals. I think that using my previous music knowledge from my childhood helped me to reach my goals quicker and to a higher standard. I also think I was able to reach my goals faster in the second half of the semester because I had already re-learned a lot of the basics like reading sheet music. Having previously learned songs acted as a “warm-up” to learn my second song. This helped to counteract the fact that I had not played piano in at least 6-8 years and could not remember the basics. I also found it very difficult to practice at certain times because I did not have a piano at home. This meant that I would have to practice at school; however, I got kicked out of the piano rooms multiple times which was frustrating and slowed my learning process.

For my final growth plan, I decided to learn the baby shark song on piano first. I thought it would be a valuable experience to learn this song on the piano because it is a very well known song that is used widely in schools. I would be able to actually implement this song into an early elementary school lesson plan. I believed this would be a great way to also warm up my skills before jumping right back into learning another more difficult piece of music. I then started my final learning goal: learn a song that is equivalent to a grade 2 level of the Royal Conservatory music book. I think that the “Pink Panther” was a good level piece of music for my skills. It was still challenging for me to learn this piece but not to difficult where I lost motivation due to frustration. This song was fast compared to any other piece I had played before. This made it difficult for me to get Pink Panther fully up to speed. Nevertheless, with determination and muscle memory I was able to. I am glad I was able to create muscle memory because I firmly believe that this will allow me to remember how to play the song better in the future.

Memory is a very important aspect of a classroom setting. It can be used to improve student’s decision-making, memory, empathy, and social connections. Lowering stress through music is something I would use in my own classroom as an educator. The experience of navigating through my Musical Growth Plan was greatly beneficial to my learning. This taught me skills that are actually applicable and that can be used in my own classroom. Furthermore, this gave me confidence in my ability and has helped me feel comfortable playing in front of others. EDCI 306A in general showed me just how important music implementation and integration is.

EDCI 306A Reflection 9, 10, 11

My greatest professional strength as an educator who will teach music is… I can use this strength to…

I played piano for 6 years when I was younger and I have a great base knowledge of music theory after taking Music in the Elementary classroom. This is important because piano and theory can help significantly when implementing music in a classroom. I still have a vast amount of resources that I will be able to use when teaching my own students. This gives me a base knowledge into the world of music and the confidence to play music in front of other people. I will also be able to use my knowledge to teach my students the basics of theory, an important start to becoming musically literate.

I find another strength I have is the enjoyment I get when playing music. My love for the piano was ingrained in me at a young age. This love will be translated into my own classroom. Due to this I will be able to stay genuine and not only implement music into a lesson because it is part of the BC curriculum. I think this will translate into learners who are generally more interested in music.

When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music, I…

When I think about myself as a future educator teaching music I think about how I learned music as a child. The teachers that I had as a child made music fun for the entire class. Singing songs during circle time was usually the highlight of the day for me. I still remember many of the songs and books we would sing to this day. That is why I think music is such a valuable learning experience in classrooms.

Music can also be used to reduce stress and pain in students. During these times playing music can have a relaxing effect, lowering blood pressure and stress hormones while slowing heart and pulse. Because of these facts i think using calming music as a classroom management tool is important.

I think any educator should consider implementing music into lesson plans to create cross-curricular connections. Being confident in music can help students understand and remember information learned in class. I find it hard to implement First Nations culture into my lesson plans. I believe this is an important part of the curriculum and integration is necessary. Music can be a great tool to help introduce students to First Nations cultures. In my own classroom, I will use my musical strengths to integrate First Nations culture and music into my pre-existing lesson plans to further my student’s knowledge of culture.

My greatest area of growth during this course has been the area of…

I think that my greatest area of growth is my ability to re-learn the piano and gain confidence in my abilities. Before the semester had started I had not played the piano in many years. I had basically forgotten all my skills and had to re-learn the piano from scratch. With determination and help from YouTube and a friend that is a piano major, my piano skills increased drastically.

At the beginning of the semester, I was not able to read sheet music, play scales or remember any basics of piano. After a lot of practice, I learned a variety of songs and scales. I also saw that the amount of time it took to learn new pieces became quicker as my confidence developed. I think this could be attributed to the development of my coordination and the ability to use both my left and right hands at once. With confidence, my abilities to be comfortable playing in front of others also grew. I think this is an important skill to develop as a teacher. It is pointless to be learning music if you are not able to play in front of others.

EDCI 306A Reflection Three

I believe that our mini lesson plan went well, but there were some improvements that could of happened. I felt confident with how our lesson was going to work and how I was going to go about explaining it to the students; however, there was confusion with who was going to present what parts of the lesson while in front of the class. I think this was because we were such a large group. Nevertheless, we could of benefited from more collaboration as an entire group. While demonstrating the game, I noticed that everyone was listening and engaged. However, I have a monotone voice when I speak regularly and some of my monotone voice could be heard when I was instructing. Next time, I would work on having a more lively voice with the students. Checking for understanding with the students is important and when asked if anyone had any questions, we could clarify the confusing parts to help make the lesson run more smoothly. During the game the students appeared to be having fun. It was a good length as well, taking under a reasonable amount of time to explain/set up and learn. During the game, I could have moved around more as I stood in more or less the same spot the entire time. The end of the lesson was very abrupt; I could of brought everyone in after to review the skills we learned during the lesson to elaborate on why we were learning certain aspects of music. From my own observations, I thought overall the lesson went well. The consensus from the class was that this lesson would have been engaging for students and that they would be open to teaching it in their own classes. I will use the constructive criticism given by the class to better my teaching abilities in the next lesson planning assignment. Overall I think this was a valuable experience in getting us comfortable teaching music to a class of our peers. I think it was important to have a “dry run” through the experience first so we are able to correct mistakes before we are marked and in turn learn from these mistakes.

EDCI 306A Midterm

 My Musical Growth plan goal by the midterm point of the semester was to accomplish the ability to read sheet music and play a song that is equivalent to a grade 1 level of the Royal Conservatory music book. I had a few assets that I believed would help me while trying to reach my goals as well as some liabilities. First off playing piano as a child for 6 years would give me a good musical background that I believe helped me greatly; however, I had not touched a piano or any musical instrument in 6-8 years. This would prove to become a problem as I was very rusty and would have to relearn everything, even how to read basic sheet music. I also did not have a piano at home, which limited my ability to practice at certain times throughout my learning process. Although, with my great determination and a friend who plays the piano while also majoring in music, I was able to overcome the setbacks. I first wanted to relearn sheet music because I believed that it was a basic skill needed to play the piano. I also liked the idea that sheet music is universal and that re-learning how to read it would prove to be beneficial for all instruments. I used YouTube videos and found great resources online that helped me re-learn basic theory concepts. I was then able to apply this knowledge to eventually begin reading piano sheet music. When I felt comfortable enough with my abilities I started re-learning how to play basic songs on the piano like “twinkle twinkle little star” and “Marry had a little lamb”. I believed that it was important to warm up and develop my skills before jumping into a difficult piece of music. I then started my second goal: learn a song that is equivalent to a grade 1 level of the Royal Conservatory music book. I choose the song “piano man” to learn because there were lots of resources online to help me study this song. In hindsight “piano man” was probably a very hard song for me to learn right away because of the speed it is played at. Due to this factor, it took me a lot longer than I had anticipated to learn the piece. By the midterm part of the semester I had reached my goal, however, I was only able to play the song at half the regular speed. While learning the song, on a couple occasions I debated trying to learn a different song instead of “piano man” because of the sheer frustration and difficulty I had. I am very proud that I finished learning the song and am amazed by what I was able to do with determination. I think that it is important for me to continue with my musical learning. Music is so important in a classroom setting. It can be used to improve memory, decision-making and learning in students. Music can be used as an outlet for students as well that in turn will lower their overall stress. This is why I am excited to continue the journey through my Musical Growth Plan. In the upcoming weeks, I will choose another song to learn that is now equivalent to a grade 2 level of the Royal Conservatory music book. Although, this time I am going to be certain that it is a true grade 2 level and choose a song that is slower than “piano man”.