Image Map

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Elementary Music Without Shared Instruments

Whether we're teaching virtually with our students learning from home, or teaching in person with a requirement not to share supplies and/or needing to teach from a cart, many of us are losing access to the majority of our classroom instruments for our teaching this year. And even for those music teachers who do have some ability to use instruments in class, that use will be severely limited because of the need to sanitize. Here are some alternatives to use for general music teaching when we can't use our instruments the way we normally would.

1. Individual Kits

If you're a music teacher and you've been on the internet at all this summer then you've probably seen this idea: create individual kits with some low-cost instruments so that students can continue to use them to play (from home or in school) without needing to share. There have been several music teachers who have shared low cost options for putting these together- if you have the time and the budget to do so, this is an ideal solution! Here is how Jennifer Bailey from SingtoKids made hers:

2. Body Percussion

This is an obvious point but it bears mentioning: there is a LOT we can do to replace instrumental playing with no equipment whatsoever! The trick to using body percussion long-term is to keep it interesting- take some cues from step routines and incorporate different ways of making sounds besides clapping/ patting. If you aren't familiar with step, check out Step Afrika! to get some ideas:

3. Virtual Instruments

If students have their own devices, there is a lot you can do with virtual instruments! Here are just a few examples that I've found (did you know YouTube instruments were a thing?!? Because I just discovered them recently and my mind was blown!):



4. Found Sound

There is so much we can do with "DIY instruments"! This is another way to use the idea behind the individual student kits without the time or budget requirements: have students put together their own instrument kits at home using common household items! Or if you're teaching in person, think about items students will have access to- desks, pencils, shoes, rulers, etc- and have them use those as instruments. Here are some more ideas for using found sound:

We're having to make a lot of adjustments to our teaching this year, but hopefully this experience gives us the opportunity to add some new tricks to our toolbox that will carry over into our long-term teaching practice, even when we return to "normal"! If you're scratching your head over how to handle not being able to sing in person this year, you can read my post on that below:

I am continuing to update my centralized page with all posts related to teaching and living in this "new normal", from distance learning lesson ideas to managing work from home life and everything in between:

No comments :

Post a Comment