You are on page 1of 2

Kai Smith

Spring 2019
Elementary School Placement
Video Response #1
For my first video response assignment, I chose to record myself teaching the
beginning 6th grade class at my Elementary School placement. This class meets just once a
week and consists of 6 students of a variety of instruments (saxes, baritone, trumpet, clarinet,
and oboe). This lesson was also the first lesson that I got to incorporate my Unit Project with
my Scales Olympics.
At the beginning of class, I introduced a new breathing exercise called “nose
breathing”. This exercise was helpful in getting the students to relax and help reel in their
focus to the task at hand. After we did nose breathing, we began to transition to our warm up
routine but it took the class several minutes since some students forgot their music. Looking
back, I am beginning to see that if I had all the music right next to me from the start, we
would not have lost as much time looking for music.
Eventually, we got around to doing our warm up. Before we began, I took some time
to confirm the first note with all of the students. Looking back, this only took time away from
playing could be completely skipped over for the next lesson. After we played through the
warm up “5 Note Scale”, it was evident to me that there some fundamental issues in their
playing. I remember hearing these issues at the time, I was so focused on getting to the next
thing on the lesson plan that made a couple quick comments and moved on. Looking back, I
really should have broken it down, played some exercises to help improve their musical
concepts, and helped their warm up sound better. After that lesson, my cooperating teacher
pointed that out to me and helped me realize that it was better to get few things sounding
great than to rush through a lot of things.
After the warm up, we transitioned to one of our concert pieces. Before we got
playing, we reviewed the S.T.A.R.S. acronym for sight reading new music. Looking at the
video tape, I was encouraged by how I was asking the students questions instead of just
telling them what the answers were. As evident from the tape, the students were much more
engaged and involved. However, because I decided to review the S.T.A.R.S. acronym, this
again took time away from the instruments. I believe that while it is important for the students
to realize that one can practice without playing the entire time, at this skill level, I realize that
it is important to balance “lecture” and playing time.
After playing some of the concert piece, I ended the lesson by handing out the new
sheets for Scales Olympics and explaining why it is important for the students to know their
scales. Similar to the concert piece, I spent way too much time explaining and rationalizing
when the students could have been playing. Whether they’re playing the right notes on their
instruments or not, they are listening and learning and should be able to look back on what
they learned in general music and their everyday lives to apply to their instruments.