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Block 4, Video Response 2

For my second video response, I chose to review a video of myself teaching one of the

7th grade band classes at the middle school. The day that I took the video was their first day back

from spring break and band is only their second class of the day. The students were clearly still

adjusting to being back in school but did a great job of maintaining focus and engagement.

I decided to work on small parts of each piece so that the students could re-familiarize

themselves with each one. The first piece that we worked on was ​Rampage, ​a fast piece with

many technical challenges. I chose to start with this piece because I felt that it would quickly

engage the students. In the video I could see that the students were certainly paying attention,

but I think that in the future I would start with an easier piece. Since this was the first thing that

we were playing together since before spring break and it is quite difficult, some seemed to

become frustrated with the difficulties they were having. The students may have reacted

differently if they were eased into playing as an ensemble again rather than jumping into the

most difficult piece right away. Despite some frustrations, the band did sound noticeably better

after rehearsing this piece in class, specifically with entrances and articulations. I then moved on

to their John Williams medley and we worked on the ​Star Wars s​ ection. This was another

difficult piece/section but it was not quite as difficult as the first song was because it is very

repetitive. There were some fingering issues at first but once we worked through them, the

students were able to retain a lot of the concepts we had previously worked on in this piece.

Looking back at the video, I think that something that could have helped get through this section

even more efficiently than we did would have been to start at a slower tempo. I did run the

section slower than the actual tempo but I think that starting a bit slower and then speeding up
the tempo gradually would have helped even more. Next I worked on the ending of ​Havana. ​I

felt that the biggest issue was that the students were not really feeling the groove of the music

and were trying too hard to play it like a piece of classical literature. When I watched the video

back, I noticed that most of the students were sitting very still while playing this piece and very

few actually moved with the music. One way that I could fix this in the future would be to have

all of the students stand up when playing this piece and encourage them to move around while

playing. Finally, I ended class with ​Conquista​, a Spanish style march. While we did not have a

lot of time on this piece, we were still able to address some key ideas like counting tied notes.

Overall, I felt that the lesson was very effective. There are certainly a few things that I

could have done differently that may have resulted in a more efficient lesson but I do not think

that anything went poorly. The students were much more engaged than I expected for the first

day back from spring break and I think they are eager to get back into their music as they prepare

for the spring concert.