Participatory Action Research

Category: Education

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Participatory Action Research Teacher Institute at La Academia : 

Participatory Action Research Teacher Institute at La Academia Sarah Delevoryas December 2010

Slide 2: 

“Teaching Music Reading to Beginning 6th Grade Orchestra” Westlake Middle School 2 classes of 37 students each class Elective blocks A and B I see them every other day

History : 

Students enter 6th Grade will little or no previous music reading skills Students are never tested on music reading at an elementary level. The beginning string player has many skills to learn, not just music reading. History

History : 

Students are required to perform a concert before Winter holiday break. There is pressure on the teacher to get their students to a level of acceptable performance excellence. History

Question : 

How do I structure my curriculum so students feel they can read music? Question

Why do they need to feel? : 

Student success in orchestra is directly related to their ability to read music Reading music happens at a quick rate and requires muscle reflexes Why do they need to feel?

How do I structure my curriclum? : 

Music reading is a combination of note name and rhythm reading skills I will review 3 method books and determine which one will work best in my classroom. How do I structure my curriclum?

My Choice : 

I chose my current curriculum as the best of the three reviewed. I will supplement with rhythm worksheets. Count aloud and practice rhythmic patterns. Distribute flash cards for notes on D and A strings. Give rhythm and note reading tests. My Choice

Data Collection : 

Student questionnaire in August and November 2010 Teacher Interviews October 2010 Student Interviews October 2010 Data Collection

Interview with M. Gill : 

Middle School Band teacher with 20 years experience He says most 6th grade students have 0 level reading skills Perhaps 10% have a little more than 0 level He uses a band curriculum that contains built-in tests on note reading and rhythm sheets His band curriculum is not available for strings He finds students struggle more with note reading and fingerings than rhythm. Interview with M. Gill

Interview with S. Kemp : 

Band and orchestra teacher Grades 4-12 for over 10 years Students are rarely able to read at a level he would expect from them upon entering beginning band or orchestra Gives a music reading test in August Gives a note reading test frequently through the first quarter Uses the same method book I use and finds it to not teach note reading or rhythmic concepts quickly enough in the book Interview with S. Kemp

Interview with Student A : 

She likes orchestra best of all subjects She feels she is a pretty good music reader at a slow pace She thinks reading rhythms is harder than note reading She practices regularily at home but not daily She picked the viola as her instrument after watching “Celtic Woman” on PBS Interview with Student A

Interview with Student B : 

She likes Orchestra class best above all subjects She thinks reading music is level 3 on a scale of 0 to 5 She practices regularily at home She picked the cello because she thinks it sounds amazing She wants to be in orchestra next year Interview with Student B

Action Plan for Q1 : 

Formative playing test Summative playing test Self-assessment of playing test Formative note reading test Rhythm Worksheets Summative note reading and rhythm test Action Plan for Q1

Action plan for Q2 : 

Formative note reading test on next 2 strings Self-assessment on concert preparation Play pieces in 2 and 3 part harmony for Winter Concert Action plan for Q2

Action Plan for Q3 : 

Formative playing test Summative playing test Self-assessment on playing test Spring concert pieces in 2 and 3 part harmony Action Plan for Q3

Reflection : 

How will I know if it worked? Quality of their performance at concerts Students complete self and group concert critiques the day after the concert The critques are questions about their experience and performance and then they write a short paragraph about their own performance and the ensemble’s group performance Reflection

Conclusion : 

More information can be found at I will continue to reflect upon all my worksheets and assessments Students practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong. Conclusion

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