Blues: What Some Teachers Do on the Weekend

Club Quarantine is changing the way we teach. Also, the sun is yellow and most grass is green. As for other painfully obvious facts: It is changing the way kids learn, and for many of us teachers AND students, it is creating a sudden boost to our technological skills—but not without growing pains.

Behind the scenes, many teachers are creating media and sharing it with each other. They are creating slideshows and lesson plans and videos from simple to complex, depending on who they are and what they are into. Most teachers are confounded because this is a whole new world, and there was no training in teacher school about how to engage remote learners.

One thing we're trying to do in elementary music is find ways to create self-teachers at home—to give kids the power to make music on their own and the permission to play what they hear. The goal is to free them from the academic stranglehold on "notation on a page" because true music lives in our hearts and minds—not on paper. Yes, we want them to continue to learn to read music, because it opens a gateway to the galaxy. But just not right now. Maybe not this week. This week, wouldn't it be great if they could pick up their instrument, play along with "real music," and just enjoy it?

Last week, we offered them soundscapes - the chance to make weird noises on their instruments and call it school.  This week, we offer them one-note improvisation. Here's the video we made, and you're getting a preview because it's not done; there's another short section to be added. But have a look! A little blues for your morning.

If the video doesn't appear below, you can click this link.