Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My two abstracts

Listen to the Fans
By Peter deVries

In this article, “Listen to the Fans”, popular music can be a great teaching technique. In it, it tells stories of teachers’ experiences with children and how popular music such as, the Spice Girls, can help teach important lessons in the classroom. Letting kids listen to what they want gets them in the mood to learn more about music. This article also gives tips to teachers on how to help children appreciate music and learn more about the different varieties out there. One teacher used the song, “When I Get You Alone” by the performer Thicke and compared it to the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The children listened to both and began to notice the differences as well as the similarities. The article demonstrates the fact that you can effectively teach with popular music and work in some classical every once in a while. In a nut shell, if you are a “fan” of a certain type of music, you are more likely to be interested in learning more about it, as are many elementary children.

Teaching Problem Solving in Practice
By James L. Byo

This article, “Teaching Problem Solving in Practice”, examines problem solving in instrumental music practice and is based on the notion that too many students, too much of the time, look and feel inadequate when they attempt to problem solve. For example, when practicing, a student comes to a difficult point in the song and instead of stopping and fixing it, he goes right on and ignores the problem. In the article, the author says practicing the difficult part over and over again at a slower tempo will help. The author also gives more advice on how to overcome problems in practicing. Problem solving is a learned skill and this article looks at both the effective and ineffective ways of teaching it. It also includes a list of a few things to help students face challenges in practicing. A few examples would be: choose a section of the piece that is challenging and play it through a few times perfectly and then move on. The article also gives many ideas to teachers on grading a practice session and lesson plans. Students shouldn’t feel inadequate and get down on themselves when they come to difficult parts in music. By teaching them how to effectively work at it, the student will have more confidence and will get a lot more out of their own practice time.