Tuesday, September 7, 2010

9/7 - The Element of Style

My dear readers, thank you for trudging through my previous posts.  I was vacillating as I was writing regarding whether I should be making things easy on myself and writing exactly the words that I intend to turn in later or be moderately more blunt and slightly more entertaining in style for the sakes of honesty and reader enjoyability (I also wrote them all yesterday afternoon).  I think I've decided to proceed according to the latter, and submit abridged versions of these posts to the department in the end.

The choir did their first bit of singing from music today; a piece that Mrs. D intends to use for next semester.  This was interesting, especially considering we've not yet identified the voice parts of all the singers.

I had a lot planned for theory today; a review of the quiz, the dotted half note, ties, and slurs.  First, I must mention that I had difficulty deciding whether I should teach the dotted half note specifically or if I should just teach the dot and apply it to multiple note values.  I went with the workbook's method of introducing the dotted half note on its own, mostly out of fear that adding eighth notes and dots at the same time would be too much.  It seems I was right to worry, because I didn't even get to the topics of ties and slurs.  The good: this made writing tomorrow's lesson plan really easy.  The bad: progress is slow and repeating oneself is tiring.  The ugly: I have students who've been using dotted eighth notes in orchestra and choir already, but I also have students that struggle to differentiate 4/4 and 3/4 meter.  I used the Tiersen and Sting pieces from the quiz for listening today.

GM went well, except my voice was tired at the end of the day due to talking over the 3rd section of students.  One student in that section was a proper brat today...grumble grumble mumble grrr.  I got a kick out of everyone's responses to the listening we did (see video).

Oh, and I know that you're dying to hear today's "oops, my bad" story.  I was teaching the 2nd section of GM about mnemonic devices for EGBDF and remembered one I'd once heard, "Elvis' Guitar Broke Down Friday".  I don't care what you think of the phrase, the point is that bringing up Elvis apparently always leads to, "Didn't he die on a toilet?" followed by raucous laughter.  Laughter in class is great, but after I said, "Yes, he did," the next comments were a flurry of "My grandma died on Christmas eve," and "Speaking of death...", etc., which I had the pleasure of learning to recover from.  Sorry, Elvis, but you are no longer a part of my GM teaching ideas.

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