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Field Teaching Lesson Plan

Concepts
Breathing
Tone Quality
Intonation
Posture
Articulation

Objectives
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
Sit with good posture that optimizes breathing capability
Breathe properly-from the diaphragm, filling their lungs completely
Play with appropriate tone quality, avoiding harsh or unsupported tone
Listen sensitively for intonation, fitting into each others sounds
Accurately demonstrate on instruments the difference between staccato and
legato articulation

Materials
Baton
Score to Lip Benders

Procedure
Introduction of myself
Breathing/tone quality
o 4 in, 4 out; 2 in, 4 out; 1 in, 4 out
o Competition: Which section can play the longest note? What kind of
breath did you take? How loud were you playing? What was your tone
like?
Intonation/Articulation
o Tune to pitched percussion instruments as the group is used to
Focus on fitting into the sound of the person next to you
o Lip benders
Listen for intonation and blend
Different articulation styles and rhythmic patterns to warm up the
tongue

Assessment
There will be an informal and formative assessment through watching and listening to
the ensemble as they perform. Students should be demonstrating the objectives and
the teacher will address issues and repeat exercises when necessary

Next Time
Use a Chorale from Bach and Before for Band so that students can focus on
intonation in situation where harmony is involved.
Field Teaching Reflection

I was really excited to be able to conduct in front of an actual high school

band for the first time. Despite the fact that I was conducting a simple warm-

up, I still found the entire experience very enjoyable and beneficial for me as a

possible future high school director. Overall, the experience went quite well.

The students were very respectful and surprisingly open to trying new things,

something I had worried about.

The aspect of my teaching that I am most proud of would be the

engaging technique that I tried. I started with a breathing exercise because I

had noticed during my observation that some of the students seemed to be

taking shallow breaths, causing their sound to be unsupported. Once I felt they

were taking nice breaths, I moved on to have them participate in a kind of

breathing game. One comment that stuck with me from my observation was

the director telling them that their warm-up sound was too loud and bright. In

order to work on this, I had the group do a sort of competition, hoping that they

would understand the feeling of taking a large enough breath but still playing

softly and with a good tone. Next I had the band tune in a way they were more

used to by starting with the pitched percussion before finally moving on to a lip

benders exercise to continue work on intonation and a little bit on articulation. I

thought that the group improved a lot just in those ten minutes.

Some challenges or surprises I encountered included the struggle of

having the students watch me. Normally, I would try to encourage students to
listen more than watch, but it seemed they were very buried in their music the

entire time. I was doing my best to listen for mistakes and correct them

through my conducting (if the band was playing too long of an articulation, I

tried to make my pattern even more staccato). I found, however, that I ended

up having to stop the group and verbally explain what I wanted a lot. I also

wish I had perhaps taken more time to ensure the group was doing exactly

what I wanted. At times the warm-up felt a little stagnant, so I simply moved on

to the next exercise I had planned instead of waiting and ensuring that the

group was truly participating well. Finally, not everyone bought into the

different exercises we were doing. I think that if I had more time with this

group, I would be able to more firmly establish some routines and expectations

that might increase overall participation. Despite these challenges, I found

conducting this ensemble to be somewhat surprisingly enjoyable. I know, now,

that if I end up in a high school program, I will definitely enjoy it!

Peer Teaching Lesson Plan


Down A Country Lane-Aaron Copland

Standards
National:
Playing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music
Reading and notating music
Listening to, analyzing, and describing music
Evaluating music and music performances
State:
H.2.1 Play with appropriate tone quality, accurate tuning and intonation,
and good breath support, posture, and hand position.
H.2.2 Play major scales, three forms of minor scales, and chromatic
scales.
H.2.3 Play a variety of repertoire accurately and expressively with c
H.2.6 Play an appropriate part in a variety of large and small ensembles,
demonstrating well-developed ensemble skills.
H.2.7 Learn conducting patterns and techniques and follow cues of
teacher and student conductors.
H.5.1 Read and perform instrumental scores observing symbols
pertaining to pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, articulation, and
expressive detail.
Objectives
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
o Play with legato articulation
o Play sensitively, listening to the melodic lines
o Perform through from beginning to B of Down A Country Lane
with correct notes, rhythms, and style
o Begin to develop an understanding of phrasing and dynamics with
Down A Country Lane from beginning to B

Materials
Score and parts to Down A Country Lane
Baton

Procedure
Warm-up:
Concert F Major scale
Echo tonal patterns in F Major:
o Do-So-Fa-Re
o La-Do-Re-Fa
o So-Ti-Re
o La-ti-Fa-Re
o La-Do-Re-Fa-Mi
o So-Do
o Listening for intonation, legato articulation, connection between the
notes
Introduction of Piece
How many of you have been enjoying the weather lately? Does it make
you want to take a walk? Lets listen to this passage, and I want you to
listen for words that could be used to describe the style:
o Play flute melody at beginning to 2 before A
What words did you come up with?
Does this melody sound familiar?
o Look in your music now at the beginning of Down A Country Lane,
Do you see any instances of this melody in any parts?
o Lets play from beginning to B
Address any issues of notes or rhythms in beginning to A: low brass look
at part at A
Lets take a look from A to B now: does it look familiar or a lot
different? Whats the same? What is different?
o Play from A to B, addressing any issues with pitch, notes,
rhythm, style
Closing
Who can tell me what the style the first section of this piece is?
And who has the melody in the beginning?
Finally I want to go from the Beginning to B once again, focusing on
shaping our phrases by using the dynamics in the music. Lets think
about taking a walk down a country lane on a beautiful day like this.

Assessment
Assessment will be largely informal and formative. The teacher will consistently
monitor progress by watching and listening to students. Students should
always be demonstrating good posture, tone quality, and breath support and
should be actively participating in discussion.

Next Time
Next time, we will continue on with Down A Country Lane looking at the
middle, contrasting section and how it is different musically from the beginning
section.
Peer Teaching Reflection

One of the most exciting things I have come to realize this semester is

just how much I enjoy teaching in front of a band setting. Every time I get up to

conduct and teach in front of a wind band, I always find that I enjoy it and could

see myself conducting a middle or high school band when I graduate. This peer

teaching was no different. I had a lot of fun conducting and rehearsing one of

my favorite pieces, Down a Country Lane with the group, and I felt that the

lesson went quite well overall. There are, however, several things I would like to

improve upon as I continue exploring conducting and rehearsing an

instrumental ensemble.

I was very proud of the way I structured my lesson. It was a challenge for

me to plan exactly what section of the music I wanted to rehearse, as this piece

has many sections that feature only some parts of the ensemble. I decided to
rehearse the beginning to letter B because I wanted to give the group an

introductory feel of how the piece would flow and of the main melody, but I

wanted the low brass to have an opportunity to play, too. I also knew that the

melody repeated in the woodwinds, so having them play both section would

not be too difficult. I appreciated my rapport in front of the group and the use

of a story to connect to the group and give them more information about style

as I handed out music. Lastly, I liked that I introduced the melody using solfege

and had the entire group play it before we started the piece. I definitely heard a

difference in the confidence of the musicians with note accuracy and style

when they came in with the melodic lines.

In the future, I would like to focus on being able to listen and correct

issues within the ensemble as we are rehearsing. I find that I repeated a few

suggestions quite a few times over the course of the rehearsal in the hopes

that it would fix the issue. Instead, I would like to use more of the tools in my

tool belt to diagnose and correct problems more quickly. I also want to get

better at showing more expression in my conducting. I noticed that I am often

behind the beat, and my pattern can be quite big when the music is still soft

and intimate. I have also allowed a lot of sentences that start with Can we to

creep back into my rehearsals. I think that once I improve on these

weaknesses, I will feel much more confident in my ability to rehearse and

conduct an instrumental ensemble!