A NEW CURRICULUM FOR A NEW CENTURY
Guest Post by: Frank Cademartori
Who thinks they are musical and who thinks they could be musical? These are questions that grace the entrance tickets my students take at the start our ten-week 21st Century Music Elective. The results are always the same. Very few consider themselves musical and even fewer think they could develop that ability. Yet in just ten weeks the students go from creating a playlist on Spotify, to having their own original music on the site. We enable this growth by empowering students, giving them the tools and skills they need, and allowing them to collaborate with peers by both giving and receiving feedback, until they create what they deem to be a successful product.
This doesn’t happen instantaneously of course, but is accomplished over time using carefully curated materials and activities to build both students’ skills and confidence. Students are given the time and space to explore and create. They also learn the valuable skills of giving and receiving critical feedback. Finally, the work they do is driven by choice and personal interest and always ends in a tangible product they are proud to showcase.
The create>feedback>adjustment loop carries on through another guided project of creating an original music piece using web-based programs that allow students to select and arrange samples, change the tempo, and add effects. The culmination of the course is an open-ended project that allows students to create and collaborate on a personal project that is relevant and meaningful to them.
To read more from Music Teacher, Frank Cademartori, check out his blog: A Sound Mind.