I’ll be the first to admit that when I started this project I was here for the credits. The supplies were also certainly a draw. I will also be the first to admit that I was (and occasionally still am) very frustrated with the inquiry process. I am very much a task to-do list type person- this assignment is due in this format by this day. The concept of having such a free form project seemed almost too daunting. It seemed like we had no direction or idea of what way we wanted to travel. My brain is still wired the same way, but each year I come back I find myself more open to incorporating inquiry ideas into my teaching. I think we have moments of student inquiry in our classes all the time but we just don’t think about it.¬† In working with my classes this year I am trying to remember the frustrations I felt when posed with the idea of inquiry. My classes this year have not been a part of my previous inquiry projects and are completely unfamiliar with the idea of inquiry.

After completing the pre-evaluation with classes and analyzing the data, I shared the results with the students. I asked them what trends they saw and what kind of ideas they thought could positively change the areas we as a group felt were not up to our standards. This small step at a time process seems to be working well. In addition to the pre-evaluation our CIG created I also created a post- concert evaluation for all the students to complete. We watched a video recording of the concert and for perhaps the first time the students were critically evaluating the performance they had given. We discussed the areas the students felt were most improved since the beginning of the year (diction, phrasing, dynamics etc.) and the areas that they felt were weakest (balance, blend, tone). There were some things the students were very critical of that I felt had actually gone rather well and some that they were very happy with that I felt could have been better. After some guided questioning we tried to come up with why those areas were lacking and what things we could do to improve those areas of weakness. Most overwhelmingly, the area of balance was seen as our biggest weakness. Students immediately noted the multiple class periods of the same performing ensemble. They struggled with how to overcome that issue since the schedule is already set, we aren’t allowed to pull out students for rehearsals and so many have multiple other after school activities. In speaking about this struggle with another teacher at the county festival they suggested recording the separate groups so they can practice hearing the other sections. My goal in the next two weeks is to get the recording of the individual voice part tracks imported into finale so we can run sectionals and link my Q3 to post recordings onto my school webpage for outside practice. I’m contemplating having them make that into a question- will having the voice parts posted online increase the amount of out of class practicing.

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