During the Fall 2020 semester, SUNY Fredonia preservice music teachers enrolled in MUED 301, General Music in Elementary School, created listening lessons for grades K-5 and videos of themselves teaching the lessons so classroom teachers could use them with their own students.
Preservice teachers enrolled in the course, taught by School of Music faculty member Dr. Jill Reese, created listening maps and movement-based activities teachers could use to guide their students’ musical listening to a diverse variety of music (e.g., classical, pop music). Students organized the lessons according to type of listening activity and by grade level. Lesson plans connected to the Core Art Standards from the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and provided students with ready-to-go objectives, procedures and links to the recording on YouTube. Once the preservice teachers were finished creating their plans, supporting materials, and teaching videos, they loaded them onto a website to share with practicing teachers via the Internet at https://sites.google.com/fredonia.edu/listening-activities/home.
Teachers have been accessing and using the lessons with their students since the website went live on Nov. 3. According to Google Analytics, the site has been viewed almost 3,000 times with over 800 users from the United States and over 500 users from abroad since going live. The website included a GoogleForm that teachers could use to provide the preservice teachers feedback about how they used their listening activities with their students.
Randolph Central School teacher Kathleen O’Mara commented on senior Music Education major Meganne Brenon’s lesson on “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter: “My students LOVED this! The students really enjoyed that [the lesson used] a piece of music they recognized and the length of the clip you chose was perfect to keep the younger ones engaged. Great work on your activity and thank you for sharing!!”
Teacher Kelly Gravel from Sweet Home Central School District commented on another plan, “The listening map was visually pleasing and easy to use! My second graders were begging for more!”
Overall feedback from teachers is gratitude for materials they can use virtually and for face-to-face instructions with their elementary students in their general music classes.
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