In the first days of band, we talked a lot about how our time is used. For example: we have only a few rehearsals left until our first performance (September 7 in Peosta!!!), dealing with shortened periods due to school is letting out early, or whatever it may be. The students and I have also been talking about how we use that time and the role that goal setting plays in our efficiency.
We might (or MUST) need to speed up the rate at which we work in order to get things done, but this can lead to poor results. One of the best things we can do to get the most our of our time is to plan for its use. On our first day of class, each student set goals for themselves and for the ensemble. We will use these to guide and evaluate our progress throughout the year. During lessons, students have set up a plan for each week throughout the semester to help them reach their goals. Even if instructional time is lost due to a missed lesson, learning can progress.
Practice time can work this way too. Identify areas that need the most attention. Spend more time there. Set a goal for what you hope to accomplish each time you pick up your instrument. Give yourself a target at which to aim. Be sure to make the most of your time by knowing what you want to get out of it.
...and speaking of time, the calendar is updated! Check it out here.
One way that students will be able to make up missed lessons this year will be to submit recordings of their work for evaluation and feedback. The easiest way to do this is through a program called Audacity. It is free software that can be downloaded at audacity.sourceforge.net. The software is very easy to use, but to help you get started, I have made a short tutorial video. Good luck and happy recording!
Ms. Maher teaches 7th and 8th grade music at Drexler Middle & Intermediate School in the Western Dubuque Community School District.
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