Performing as an Artistic Process

My course, Teaching Music in a Common Core World, through VanderCook College of Music, is continuing to progress through the National Core Music Standards. Last week, we were looking at Creating as an Artistic Process. That blog post details a lot about what NAfME and other organizations have crafted in the new Core Arts Standards. This post is a continuation along that line focusing on Performance. This week, we were delivered the following prompt:

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Domain 3: Instruction

For the fourth week of our class, we are focusing on Domain 3 of the Danielson Framework: Instruction. For more information about what we are doing for the class, read my post about Domain 1: Planning and Preparation or Domain 2: Classroom Environment. As part of our assignment this week, we were asked to complete the Relevant Information portion of the worksheets for all components in Domain 3:

  • 3a: Communicating with Students
  • 3b: Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques
  • 3c: Engaging Students in Learning
  • 3d: Using Assessment in Instruction
  • 3e: Demonstrating Flexibility and Responsiveness

We were also asked to select one of the components for more in-depth study. The result of our in-depth study was to develop a narrative proving we know how to accomplish the proficient or distinguished criteria for our selected component. I chose to focus on Component 3d: Using Assessment in Instruction. The bolded statements below are the bullet points from the Distinguished portion of the rubric followed by my narrative describing how I accomplish these bullet points.

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Domain 2: Classroom Environment

For the third week of our class, we are focusing on Domain 2 of the Danielson Framework: Classroom Environment. For more information about what we are doing for the class, read my post about Domain 1: Planning and Preparation. This post will focus on the work we are doing for Domain 2: Classroom Environment. As part of our assignment this week, we were asked to complete the Relevant Information portion of the worksheets for all components in Domain 2:

  • 2a: Creating an Environment of Respect and Rapport
  • 2b: Establishing a Culture for Learning
  • 2c: Managing Classroom Procedures
  • 2d: Managing Student Behavior
  • 2e: Organizing Physical Space

We were also asked to select one of the components for more in-depth study. The result of our in-depth study was to develop a narrative proving we know how to accomplish the proficient or distinguished criteria for our selected component. I narrowed my choice down to two separate options: 2c - Managing Classroom Behaviors or 2e - Organizing Physical Space. Classroom management is definitely something I want to improve in my teaching, but with the busy-ness of this past week (conferences, Senior Night, jazz band auditions, last week of marching rehearsals, State Marching Band Festival, and the Mid-Iowa Band Championships), I didn't feel I could adequately develop a narrative for 2c. I hope to do that sometime soon; not as a requirement for this course, but as a way of improving myself. Below is my response to the prompt for Component 2e: Organizing Physical Space

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Creating as an Artistic Process

Our course, Teaching Music in a Common Core World, is in the midst of working through the NAfME workbook: Building and Evaluating Effective Music Education in the School Ensemble. For the next few weeks, we are working through the four domains of the Danielson Framework, the system my school district uses and NAfME recommends for teacher evaluation. We are also reviewing the new National Core Music Standards as part of the process. Part of our assignment this week is to discuss the following prompt in reference to these standards:

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Domain 1: Planning and Preparation

For the second week of our class, we focused on Domain 1 from the Danielson Framework. Our discussion as a class revolved around music teachers being evaluated the same as classroom teachers. We also filled out parts of the NAfME Workbook pertaining to Supporting Structures, Program Expectations, and General/Collective Measures in our programs. 

As part of our assignment this week, we were asked to complete the Relevant Information portion of the worksheets for all components in Domain 1:

  • 1a: Demonstrating Knowledge of Content and Pedagogy
  • 1b: Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
  • 1c: Setting Instructional Outcomes
  • 1d: Demonstrating Knowledge of Resources
  • 1e: Designing Coherent Instruction
  • 1f: Designing Student Assessments

We were also asked to select one of the components for more in-depth study. The result of our in-depth study was to develop a narrative proving we know how to accomplish the proficient or distinguished criteria for our selected component. I chose to focus on Component 1f as this rubric is a main focus of my evaluation for this year through my Individual Teacher Professional Development Plan. I hope to gain a better understanding of the expectations in the Danielson rubric as well as the skills to develop assessments that accurately reflect what my students know and are able to do.

 

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Teaching Music in a Common Core World

This fall, I am taking another grad course through VanderCook College of Music entitled Teaching Music in a Common Core World taught by Bill Koch, a former Illinois band director who retired to start an educational consulting firm to help music educators undergo teacher evaluation. I am already quite excited about what we have been doing with this course. Our textbook is the National Association for Music Education's workbook entitled Building and Evaluating  Effective Music Educators in the School Ensemble. It uses the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching, a series of rubrics for evaluating teachers across four domains, each with 5-6 components. My school district has begun using the Danielson Framework for our evaluations, and this course has already been an immense help.

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Developing the Successful Jazz Ensemble @ Vandercook

This past week, I was in Chicago at the Vandercook College of Music taking a MECA Continuing Education course entitled Developing the Successful Jazz Ensemble. The instructor was Mike Steinel, Associate Professor in the Jazz Studies Division at the University of North Texas College of Music. He has also published numerous charts, records, and books including Essential Elements for Jazz Ensemble. He did an excellent job of explaining a wide variety of topics at a very relatable level. I wanted to use this post to reflect on my week of learning. We took this course from 8-5 every day on campus. Mike broke our day up into one-and-a-half to two hour chunks with breaks for coffee, lunch, etc. Our first chunk was an overview of jazz history. The second chunk was for assorted topics: warming up, tuning, tone, time, saxophone reeds and setups, and jazz theory resources. The third chunk was devoted to improvisation. After lunch, we spent time working on literature for the young jazz ensemble, progressing to more difficult literature throughout the week. Our final chunk involved a variety of rhythm section instruments.

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Upcoming Posts

I am in the midst of a bunch of different things grabbing my attention on which I would like to share my learning: I am currently spending a week at the Vandercook College of Music taking a MECA course entitled Developing the Successful Jazz Ensemble with Mike Steinel, professor of jazz studies at the University of North Texas and author of Essential Elements for Jazz Ensemble.

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