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The West Music Blog presents articles, press releases and other information of interest to our local and worldwide customers.

The West Music Blog

What to Teach When: A Guide by Brian Hiller and Don Dupont
By West Music
2/7/2014 1:21:00 PM

Brian Hiller Don DupontAuthors Brian Hiller and Don Dupont are sharing a look at their popular series What to Teach When. Look for the third installment geared towards 4th and 5th grade students available Fall, 2014.

"Teaching is both an art and a science. The art of teaching provides creative, exciting, and enriching activities that engage the learners. The science is the understanding that we (teachers) need to present material in a developmentally appropriate and sequential manner. We want our students to be actively involved in the music making process and at the same time be able to articulate exactly what they are learning in music.

The goal of this series is to provide elementary music specialists with the tools and resources they need to develop a curriculum that teaches skills and concepts while maintaining an aesthetic and creative classroom environment! The music room is a place where children participate, discover, investigate, learn, and perform. The result is an experience that not only builds musical knowledge but helps students develop a positive attitude toward music and the music-making process. At the elementary levels, students develop skills in music through singing, chanting, moving, and playing instruments.

In our classrooms, we often integrate all of the music-making activities into one learning experience. For example, children may learn a traditional folk song, identify the form and style, add movement and instrumental accompaniment, and develop ideas for contrasting sections. This multifaceted approach fosters active music participation and allows individual students an opportunity to express themselves through multiple forms of music making. Through this process the children learn to become not only independent musicians but interdependent members of a community of learners. Every elementary student in our district attends music once a week. As in any other discipline, music has its own tools, materials, concepts, and skills, which are developed with increasing understanding over time. For each concept or skill, the student must pass through a learning sequence to assimilate and build understanding.

What to Teach When What to Teach When Hiller DupontWhat to Teach When provides elementary music specialists with repertoires and learning activities for teaching the elements of rhythm, melody, form, texture, and timbre. The curriculum is spiraled and the order of the activities has been carefully designed so that skills and concepts are continually reinforced before new concepts are introduced. Each song or activity lists the elemental focus and concept along with the basic way in which we teach the piece to our students. When applicable, you will see thumbnail images of the visual aids and/or manipulatives we have created for teaching the piece. All of these can be found on the CD-ROM included with the book. Our goal is to provide teachers with a core curriculum and encourage you to use the ideas in our publication as a springboard to creating exciting and enriching experiences with your students. At the end of each grade-level offering, you will find a fully processed sample lesson plan that demonstrates how particular music skills and concepts might be taught in more detail."

Click the books to learn more about the K-1 and 2-3 installments in this series! For more information on Brian and Don, visit their website or head to their Facebook page.

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