Flipped Middle School General Music

Flipped Middle School General Music

Author: Davis Westbrook

This is an introductory lesson on incorporating the Flipped Classroom teaching method in a beginner general music class.

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First Lesson

This first lesson will be the starting point for the classroom. Note that by no means am I saying to only use the flipped classroom method. I am merely giving you a guide on how to effectively use this method in a music classroom.

Start by finding a reputable source of information for students to use at home. In teaching basic music theory, I would use something like http://www.music-theory-for-musicians.com or https://www.musictheory.net/lessons. Using the lessons and practices there can give you a good starting point to develop your own teaching.

Using outside sources is fine, however I firmly believe that the best results come from you. Videos and podcasts created by you will have give the best results in your students learning. Podcasts can be made using iTunes, which is my preferred method as Apple products are widely available in most schools. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube or a similar video sharing site. YouTube is preferable to me as the process is very easy and students are most likely already familiar with the website.

These are just my personal preferences. If you feel more comfortable using other programs or methods for creating your content, then use them.

Getting started

According to my peers, using a flipped classroom in music is pointless. Students will learn music more efficiently through direct instruction and guided practice methods. I am here to tell you otherwise. Using the flipped classroom method in your middle school general music class can yield positive results if you really put the effort into it.

Differentiation at Home

Flipped classroom allow for easy differentiation. Since multiple methods of learning can be included in the same lesson, student will have a variety of choices available to them that fits their need best.

Visual learners will benefit from videos and slide presentations that you create. Aural learners will benefit from hearing your explanations in your videos and podcasts. Reader/Writers benefit via slide presentations, videos and quizzes in your lesson. Kinesthetic learners are a little harder to hit in these lessons, as even if they physically do what you're teaching them as they learn it, there is always the off-chance that the students won't fully grasp the knowledge. This is where the classroom learning comes into play, as having all of your students collaborate after their lesson at home can often alleviate these problems.

Assessing Learning

So you've used the flipped classroom method, but how do you know if it works? This is where the flipped classroom can shine, as this method reduces the amount of lecturing that is done in class and gives you more time to have your students collaborate with each other and assess each others learning.

Class time can involve many things, such as quizzes, group work, or if the subject hasn't quite stuck with the students, lecturing to finalize the students learning. This is an example of the versatility of the flipped classroom.

Final Notes

Flipping a music classroom is not impossible as they say. It can be used to great effect along with traditional teaching. Do not think of it as sole method of teaching; it is merely a tool for you to use.

I hope you have enjoyed this lesson and will consider flipping your classroom on occasion.