Students should engage in experiences that build upon their previous knowledge
Students should take on various roles
Collaboration plays an important role in learning and understanding
Students should have freedom in selecting their own learning paths
A friend of mine, who lived just around the corner, was very interested in music technology. Coming from an abusive home, he found refuge in my basement were we spent hours wiring old speakers and tape decks together. We even put money together to purchase an old powered mixer from a local pawn shop. Before we knew it, we had a full functioning multi-track recording studio. My father's old workshop became the "live" room, where the music was played while the adjacent room functioned as the control room. We were able to communicate from room to room with microphones and even had a video camera set up in the studio so that we could view the person who was recording in the control room. With this technology, I recorded a collection of songs that were based on the 12 bar blues. I was challenged to lay down guitar, bass, drum, vocal and piano parts as well as to think as a music engineer and producer. In an effort to make each song unique, I began to think about ways of manipulating what I knew about the traditional 12 bar blues in 'C'. As a result, musical skills of transposition, melodic construction, orchestration, and expression began to emerge.
Recall a friend from childhood that you collaborated with in some kind of project.
What strengths did you each bring to the project? What did you learn from one another?
In what ways can music technology bring emotion-based interest to the learning experience?
As a teacher, how might you provide students the opportunity to choose a project that allows them to build upon prior knowledge and experience?
REFLECTING ON THIS STORY TODAY...
In Experience and Education, Dewey speaks about the idea of interaction in constructing educational experiences. Being able to work together with a friend gave me the opportunity to share and discover new musical ideas/possibilities.
This story reminds me of the importance of breadth and depth when thinking about educational experiences. With such a broad range of options I was able to utilize previous knowledge and incorporate it. The presence of this technology allowed me to see interrelationships between my current understandings and newer ones and to take on new roles. And simultaneously, I am able to draw from previous experiences and build upon those in ways that are further engaged and deepened. This story informs me about curriculum design. Breadth and depth are complimentary and achievable when driven by interest.