Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Close to the holidays motivation is a bit tough. 5th graders are still going strong, becuase they can't belive they can now play Jingle Bells on their instruments. They look excited even when I tell them to take out their bows! Every direction I give them is exciting! 6th graders, however, are a little harder to motivate sometimes. They still get excited about certain songs, but it's not the same as when a 5th grader comes in telling me about all the songs they have performed for their parents. I just started using a new trick to try to get my 6th graders to go home with the same excitement.

Whenever my 6th graders look bored and I feel bored, I just have them close their books and I teach them a song by rote. This week we learned Star Wars, which was super fun. They get excited when they get to play "a real song". I already have some other ideas running around in my head. I was thinking about teaching them The Hockey Pokey and Pirates of the Carribean. Maybe I can even use these rote songs as leverage. They can be my new reward for good rehearsals.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

It All Happened in Just a Year

This year is the first time I have the same students two years in a row. It seems to be a good thing and a bad thing. The positives are that I got to start them from scratch. I taught them how I wanted them to play and they even know my weird language and how to do what I mean and not what I say. The problem is that they despite these positives, they soon grow up and start becoming adolescents.

Just last year my 5th graders were all happy-go-lucky kids. They seemed excited about everything and always came to class with a million stories about guitar hero, sports, and anything that was on their mind. This year they are pretty much the same, but sometimes they're just a tad bit grumpy. And sometimes they are a bit too tired to be bothered by me. And they certainly are becoming more sarcastic. What is the deal? Some of my 6th graders were that way last year, but I just assumed that's how those kids were. I never presumed that those students had been sweet 5th graders the year before. I guess there is something to that whole puberty thing. Maybe I just need to focus on the positives. I mean, they really do play quite well. And they still enjoy strings and want to come to class. But it does make me a little more suspicious of my super nice 5th graders.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

For those of us sufferening from political humor withdrawal....

I thought this was the funniest thing. It is great for both music nerds and political humor nerds....