Reply To: Help! 6th Grade Music Appreciation Class

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But do they have access to computers in your music room? Any text books? If not, you are kind of walking in the lion’s den I agree. You should really seek out someone in your district and let them mentor you. Where are you? Figuring out what to do on line is really difficult if you have no training. But , with 27 years experience in teaching general music I can give you some brief starters.

1. First of all relax. Take stock of who you are. You are the authority figure so make sure you look like one in how you dress. And, this can be fun. Once you get these kids on a hook they will be bombarding you with ideas of what to discuss next.
2. How about going back to basic elements and focus on how to listen to music critically. Start with a tune they know-but make sure its clean. HOw does the melody move-what is melody- is it moving in steps, skips, leaps. Is there harmony, what is harmony? Is it easy to hear or it does it make your teeth rattle? Form?, Texture? etc….
3. You could do an entire term just on world music for example. How about going back to the Olympics. Who was the fastest runner in the 100 meter? And just where is he from? Jamaica . there-you have just opened the door to reggae. I havent met anyone yet who cant respond positively to reggae. and of course the magic of Bob Marley. If you play some guitar or ukelele-bring one in and teach them the chords to 3 Little Birds. You will have eating our of your hand in no time. Better yet if you let one of them bring in their guitar or whatever and demo for the class something they are learning.
4. Once they see you like or at least tolerate something “cool” they will trust you to take them wherever-Bach, Brahms….. as long as you can catch the drifters with some of “their” music again.
good luck and i really hope this helps.