Reply To: KEEPING MUSIC STUDENTS ON TASK
Here are three approaches to regaining students’ attention:
1. Frequently engage your students in focused vocal improvisation.
For example, at the beginning of your class you can ask them what is their
favorite fruit or vegetable on so, la, mi pitches; they sing their response.
You can use this approach to regain their attention:
Sing a question to a student that has to do with their immediate learning,
and they likely will sing a response back. Use their response as momentum
for re-engaging their learning.
2. Frequently engage your students as musical leaders for a variety of tasks.
Plan for student leadership throughout the lesson. Be ready to incorporate a leadership task when attention is needed.
3. Upper elementary students are ready to work together for project-based learning (for example, a small group composition). When setting up instructions for their work, list no more than three steps at a time. Write/type out the steps and display them prominently. If students become off task, ask them which step they are working on and what they need to do to complete their step.
Dr. Katie Carlisle
Georgia State University