Middle School: Music for the soul

Music is a vast subject to tackle, so we want to consider which aspects of music will be most beneficial for our learners and in which order. For instance, do we want to begin by teaching them about musical instruments or musical styles? What era or eras of music do we want to focus on? Do we have the resources for students to try out different instruments? As a general rule, try to get students as close as possible to experiencing music firsthand.

We take advantage of what our students already know.
Consider the prior musical knowledge and abilities our students possess. For instance, a student who has studied classical piano for several years may have some valuable insights on classical composers. Likewise, a vocalist or guitarist may be able to give more details about a specific artist or singer.

We are trying to keep an even playing field.

No matter which component of music they have focused on, try to ensure that all students are as equally challenged and engaged by the material as possible.

We use cultural diversity to our advantage.

We encourage students to share their personal and cultural musical history and experience. Exploring musical traditions and styles beyond those prominent in Western culture can open your students to a variety of new sounds and musical expressions.

We try something new.
Playing the same music in class that students hear at the shopping mall or in every other movie is unlikely to inspire interest. Instead, make use of lesser-known music artists and styles so that students are absorbing something new rather than just listening to cliched and overused musical pieces.
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