Student Teaching v.2, Weeks 1-3: The Joys of Choir and Middle School!

Three weeks ago, I began my second student teaching placement in a small-town school district teaching band and choir at both the middle school and high school. My previous placement was at a private school in a moderately sized city teaching K-12 and a variety of classes.

So far, I love it! I’m more convinced than ever that music education is wh   ere I’m supposed to be, and I wake every morning excited to go to school and see my students. My first placement, was mostly general music and band, so I’m thrilled to be working with choirs again!

I’m working with the women’s chorus on two pieces: Carol of the Bells (which they were very excited to see when I was pulling music), and an arrangement of the torch Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella (which I felt would be a gorgeous carol for women’s chorus). The girls struggle with many of the musical concepts, but are willing to try things and laugh with me! Well, they probably think I’m a little off my rocker, but that comes with the territory.

I’m also working with the high school concert choir on an arrangement of Joy to the World and the Hallelujah Chorus, as well as “The Twelve Days After Christmas” with the men’s chorus.

On the band side of things, I assist with the concert band and will begin conducting a piece that my CT will give me this week. In addition, I am conducting a jazz band of my very own which I will post more about in a separate update! I’m attempting some more creative things with that group that I’ve never really seen or tried before!

On the middle school side, things are a little more challenging. Middle school students are a subject that my teacher education program never could have really prepared me for. I love them. They are incredibly challenging, and test the limits of both my creativity and my temper almost every day. They range from students yelling and throwing chairs to a boy asking me if I had ever been bullied when I was in middle school.

One of the more successful strategies for middle school I have found is the sound monitoring iPad app Too Noisy, which provides a simple classroom sound meter that can be adjusted for sensitivity. The students of each class named the smiley face and the objective became to keep George/Rupert/Alfred/Antonio happy! After a few days of distraction, it has become fairly effective at keeping general noise levels down.

There is a lot to be said about my experience over the last two weeks, and I hope to update with some more in-depth posts about the methodologies I’ve tried and observed as well as the experiences I have had. More than anything, I am thrilled to be teaching in a school that supports the music program, as well as an administration that is generally very supportive of the arts (and student teachers)!

Personally, life has been a bit hectic since my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer! Surgery is scheduled for Friday, and your thoughts and prayers are certainly appreciated.

 

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