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Natalie Morris

Mr. Adams

MU 286

Teaching Reflection #2

 Setting:

o The seventh grade clarinetists of the intermediate band at Kinard Middle School

were being taught during this lesson.

o The majority of the students are in their second year of playing. Five students

were present in the sectional, one was absent. The group is comprised of white

students who come from financially stable families (based off their attire). The

students were respectful, however, less engaged than the previous lesson.

o This sectional occurred in the middle-end of the learning cycle, meaning the

concert on the repertoire will occur within the next three weeks of school days.

The students are proficient in their ensemble music, ironing out details.

 Goals:

o In this lesson, I aimed to use warm-ups to teach the students how to breathe

correctly and deeply. Breathing properly allows the students to use more air when

playing clarinet and produce better tone.

o At the end of the lesson, the students should be able to breathe properly and

deeply and use this new breathing to produce better sounds on their instruments

by using their newfound breath support.

 Activities:
o I first started with my anticipatory set, where the students and I came up with

several hashtags related to music (#itsasharp, #flat, #music, #youneedmoreair).

Then I introduced the concept of “bucket breathing,” where students imagine their

lungs as buckets and the air they breathe as water. Water must fill the bottom of

the bucket first before filling the top. The students took a few breaths using this

method, and we played long tones using “bucket breathing”. When we moved

onto their slur exercise, I went around to each student individually and helped

them get notes out that were “over the break” (B’s and C’s). We then played slur

exercises with bucket breathing in mind, which helped students get the difficult

notes out. After these warm-ups, we moved onto exercises from the band method

book. We ran through these exercises, pinpointed a few measures where note and

rhythm accuracy could have been better, and used bucket breathing to assist in

making it all the way through the exercise.

o By going around to each student, I was able to give feedback to them individually,

which is more meaningful than general direction. I also avoided the “laundry list”

of directions- I gave them one instruction at a time, had them play the exercise,

and then gave them feedback on how it went. I did not use names as often as I

previously did. I walked around the students while we played the exercises so that

I could hear them individually and they could hear me (and the correct way to

play the exercise). I also admitted when I made a mistake with notes/rhythms.

o I feel that the sequence was good, but I still took too long going through the

lesson. The individual workshopping took up a significant amount of time as well

as the slur exercise in general because of the struggle with the notes C and B.
 Outcomes:

o I think the students understood the basic concept (breathing) I was trying to get

across. I could some students understood it more fully than others by their

excitement and feedback (saying they could make it to the end of the exercise).

However, the group overall had more presence and sounded fuller, meaning they

did understand the lesson.

 What would you do differently?

o I wish I could spend more time or teach another sectional on notes above B flat

(over the break) to help the students achieve these notes more easily.

o I would set up a backup camera! I did this with my first lesson and I did not have

time to set up another without seeming unprofessional.

o I would literally set alarms to remind myself to move on from one piece to the

next (Dr. Philips does this, so I should be able to as well!). This would challenge

me as a teacher to cover the necessities and move on.

 Teaching Reflection Questions:

o I was able to play my clarinet for and with the students. During this lesson

especially, when we worked on the correct pitches in the slur exercise, I would

have the students play the note and then I would play it. The students would

notice when something sounded different and pay more attention to what they

were doing in comparison to me.

o With this lesson specifically, I realized I can plan out the strategies I want to use

and even think something will go quicker than it really does. Lesson plans do not
have time stamps on them, and I must still be aware of the time I am spending on

each exercise.

o I changed the dynamic of the classroom when I helped each student individually.

Because I did not give the students that were waiting something active to work

on, the lack of structure gave the students the freedom to talk and do other things.

I should have been more specific here as to what the students can do while I help

others (which I found was hard to come up with on the spot!). At the beginning of

my lesson, I also lacked classroom management, as the students stood on the

choir risers and played the piano at the back of the room. However, this was

easily fixed when I asked the students to have a seat in their chairs. This may have

been avoided if I had instructed the students not to touch the piano and/or stand

on the risers: leave the choir materials alone, as it is wasn’t the band room

(guests).

o Timing! I still spend so much time on material that really should just be warm-

ups. Mr. Perez even commented on it to another college student. In my next

lesson plan, I will set timers to remind myself to move on, even if I did not

accomplish everything I aimed to.