By Lynn Grossman
Many folks associate the word improvisation with one thing: jazz music.
But creativity and improvisation are crucial aspects of comprehensive music learning. Improvisation is recognized as one of the four components of the National Core Arts Anchor Standards in music (Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting). What’s more, improvisation is a learned skill, and perfect for learners of all ages.
I have made creativity and improvisation a central part of my curriculum within Allendale Columbia’s elementary general and instrumental music classes. As a result, I was invited to present two sessions relating to my work at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Conference in Dallas, TX (Nov. 11th-14th). (more…)
Posted in: Authentic Learning, Fifth Grade, First Grade, Fourth Grade, Highlights, Kindergarten, Lower School, Second Grade, Third Grade
“Edcamp is a form of unconference designed specifically for teachers and their needs.
What makes Edcamp an unconference? Unlike traditional conferences which have schedules set months in advance by the people running the conference, Edcamp has an agenda that’s created by the participants at the start of the event. Instead of one person standing in front of the room talking for an hour, people are encouraged to have discussions and hands-on sessions. Sponsors don’t have their own special sessions or tables, all of the space and time are reserved for the things the people there want to talk about. People could pay hundreds of dollars to attend another conference, or they could go to Edcamp for free.
Built on principles of connected and participatory learning, Edcamp strives to bring teachers together to talk about the things that matter most to them: their interests, passions, and questions. Teachers who attend Edcamp can choose to lead sessions on those things that matter, with an expectation that the people in the room will work together to build understanding by sharing their own knowledge and questions.”
I was fortunate enough to attend Edcamp Philly two years ago, and it was a transformative experience for me professionally. It was one of the few times as a professional that I was able to have some control over my learning. The structure of Edcamp allowed me to choose or create sessions that were of value to me. I was able to bring something back and implement it right away into my curriculum. You can read more about how I used this Edcamp experience in my classroom here: “Inspiration from Edcamp Philly.” You will get out of Edcamp what you put into it. It is an experience that requires participation and collaboration. Come with an open mind and be ready to learn and share!
Posted in: Highlights