dcader

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Today at our CIG meeting day at the IU, I made a reply to a comment from Leslie. I realized while reflecting and writing that my inquiry is taking a different turn from where I thought it was going, still related to independent students. My goal was to create independent students. But in taking this question to my students it has developed into what kinds of tools do my students need to have, to help them to become more independent learners. (My students want tools) My student vocalists want to be more independent musicians. I have started doing more play in my classroom on the point of harmony. In several of my classes, we are making our own arrangements. So we take the melody and then play and try our own harmonies. This is time consuming and somewhat counter productive to preparing a concert. but when it comes together the result is fabulous. Since my concert is a collaborative project with our band and I have multiple choirs. If we did the number of pieces we would traditionally do in a concert by ourselves the concert would be 3-4 hours long. It is really nice to be part of a collaborated concert. In order to shorten the time we are required to do less music which means that the pieces we do can be more challenging and we have more time to work technique and quality. So I have the time to “play” with some pieces. In order to help my students I write out little parts of the songs we are playing with so that they have a little structure that guides them and they fill in the spaces along the way. I have had to do some mini lessons on improv and harmonization but my students are starting get the hang of it. We have a long way to go before mastery but it’s the journey that makes life fun. Technology is another tool that my students and I use that helps them to be more independent. My students help to write in harmonies into Finale and then everyone can see the work being projected to the screen. Our collaborative composing is more productive. We listen to other groups who have harmonized the same songs we are working on and pattern our harmonies with the parts we like best from each of the different recordings. The students draw on these ideas and create their work it is a long process but we tackle a little bit each time we work. They are becoming more open to the creating process and sharing each others ideas, an important step in independence.

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