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5 Steps to Start Part 2 of Your Year Off Right

Jan 3, 2023 | Tips and Tricks for Music Teachers

5 Steps to Start Part 2 of Your Year Off Right

As a music teacher, you’re always thinking about the better way or the new way to do the same old thing. A new classroom management plan, a new look in your classroom, a new method of teaching the same old thing. The new year is the perfect time to rethink and revamp your music classroom . . . think planning part 2. Your students have just had an extended break, and so have you. What better time to change things up a bit.

That’s why today, you’re going to get 5 Steps to help you start your school year part 2 the right way!

  1. Take it slow & easy – You can start with what I call a fluffy lesson. This is a fun activity that either reviews a skill your students have already learned or introduce something new in an easy, silly way. This type of lesson is NOT part of any unit, and if students are still trickling in from their break or you’re starting in the middle of the week, it doesn’t matter if some people miss it. So what is a fluffy lesson? Here are some examples:
    • A listening lesson that reviews note values.
    • A movement activity just to get your students back in the groove.
    • A fun Back from Break song to let them talk about what they did over the break while they review mallet skills. What, you don’t have that one? That’s OK, because I do. Simply click the name of the song above to check it out in my website shop.
  2. Take some time to review your procedures, transitions, and lesson structure while you do something fun. For example, you might want to get out a bunch of your non-pitched percussion instruments, set them up in a circle, and echo rhythms to a popular song. Hmmmm . . . that works on all kinds of skills . . . proper instrument play, steady beat work, and rhythm skills. A win, win, win! But how do you work on transitions and procedures?
    • Introduce or review transitions as you’re doing the activity.
    • Review your procedures for passing out and collecting instruments before and after the activity.
    • Discuss rest position (when you’re talking what do they do with their instruments) as you’re doing the activity.
  3. Revamp the things that didn’t work and change them up. Here’s a great process to help you in your revamping process:
    • Review the past 6 months.
    • Write down what worked.
    • Write down what didn’t work.
    • Brainstorm ideas to change things up.
    • Reach out for help if you need it. We music teachers need to stick together, so get on our Facebook group and create a post if you can’t figure out how to solve a problem. Not a member of The Happy Music Teacher Group yet? Click on the group name previous to join.
  4. Review your seating charts. It’s always a good idea to think about who works best together and who needs a change. Here’s how:
    • Observe student behavior
    • Discuss possible seat changes with the classroom teacher if you need suggestions
    • Let students know that you’ll be changing some seats so that they can be successful in your music classroom.
  5. Make a plan for the remainder of the year. Here are some steps to help you with the planning process.
    • Instruments
    • Songs
    • Holiday themes
    • Look at your calendar
      1. How many weeks do you have between now and the end of the year?
      2. Where do field trips and days off occur
      3. Pencil in your units in your planner
      4. Need a planner? Lauren McKenzie has a great one to help you in your planning process. Click her name to check it out.
  6. Guess what?? There’s even a bonus to help you start you off on the right foot with your music students. Have you noticed that your students will miss lots of Mondays or Fridays?  How do you schedule around these days? Here are some thoughts:
    • Skip some events to keep students on the same lessons
    • Let go of any stress you may feel about students missing your class
    • Ask yourself what is your main goal for all students?

The beginning of a new year is really the perfect time to review and restructure. Be sure to follow these easy steps to help you be a little happier and a little more at peace in the 2nd six month of your music teacher school year.

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