Tuesday, June 27, 2017

How and when does one begin to incorporate sheet music to the methodology?

I received this question from an S-Cubed user:

How and when does one begin to incorporate sheet music to the methodology?

Hello!

I start S-Cubed on day one of the school year.

I see my students daily for 50 minutes, and my students begin using sheet music at the end of week 2. 

When I begin teaching rep to the kids, I take time to teach them how to follow the system.  I usually teach staffs, systems, measures, and how to find the soprano line and alto line.  Expecting 6th graders to follow systems without our guidance is like expecting English speakers to understand something that is written in Japanese or Arabic.   I know because I learned the hard way!  

Here is a video I made a while ago that explains a bit more about what I do with repertoire while they are becoming proficient.    

I hope that helps you!


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Announcing the S-Cubed Sight Singing School District Pilot Program



I began sharing the S-Cubed Sight Singing Program for Beginners with teachers on TPT four years ago.

When I began sharing it, I was nervous.  I didn't know whether it would translate for other teachers, but I knew I had to try anyway because I had seen too many teachers and their beginning singers walk out of the sight singing room at adjudications completely disillusioned.  

Fast forward to the present...

It's been reviewed and tested by thousands of teachers all over the world, and I am so grateful that it has helped teachers who so desperately want the type of guidance offered in the program.

From the beginning, I wanted S-Cubed to be unique.  That's why I offer the specific lesson plans one expects to receive when purchasing a curriculum, but I also took it several steps further by showing teachers how I've taught it to my 340 non-auditioned middle school singers for over 10 years in the Title 1 school where I teach in Atlanta, GA.  I've heard from countless teachers that seeing the teaching examples and watching the teaching tips before they teach the lessons for the first time has made the difference for them.  

Text books can't offer that. 



And S-Cubed is more than just another sight singing program.  It has helped teachers with program growth, classroom management, vowel production, tone, pitch matching, and so much more.

I have always felt strongly that S-Cubed offers a great opportunity to school districts.  Because of how I have packaged S-Cubed, school districts can help all of the teachers in their districts to more closely align how they teach music literacy to their beginning singers.  And the best part?  The S-Cubed approach focuses on engaging interaction between the teacher and students as they learn the skills in the program.  

So, for the 2017-2018 school year, I am going to choose some school districts and give the program to each teacher in that district. This includes middle school, high school, elementary schools and even the general music, band, and orchestra teachers if they want it!  
How do you make it happen?

1)  Pick a liaison for your district who will fill out the application.
2)  Complete the application by midnight, July 14.  

Here is the link!  

The application itself will only take about 10 minutes to complete, but there will be a little organization for you to do ahead of time, so go ahead and read it now so you can begin gathering the information you need.  

I will review the applications during the week of July 17, and I will contact the districts that are chosen to be a part of the pilot program sometime that week.  

Thank you so much for your interest in being a part of the pilot program for the S-Cubed Sight Singing Program...It's the 21st Century way to learn how to teach sight singing better to your beginners!



Check out my blog!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Wrapping the arms of structure around your Middle School Singers


Wrapping the Arms of Structure Around Your Middle School Singers


 I’m not sure whether it’s a good thing or not, but I have been asked many times after a concert with my 300+ middle school choral music students, “What do you SAY to the students that keeps them so disciplined?”

When I hear that, I chuckle inside because it isn’t just one thing.  I wish it were.  It would be so much easier!

Middle school students thrive on structure.  How many times have your students walked into your class and said, “What are we doing today?” 

I usually make up a funny thing like “We are going to dissect cockroaches and sing songs about it” and then point them to the promethean board where the first activity of the day is ready for them.

From the first day of school, I make sure that when they walk into my room, they know that my classroom is a place where we have a plan.

Is it ok to let up on that structure once in a while?  Sure.  But only after you have established strong scaffolding and the daily routines are set in stone.

When I first started teaching public school middle school chorus, I didn’t understand how important structure is for them.  My verbal instructions were not clear.  I hadn’t thought through the sequencing with the brain of a sixth grader…which is different than the brain of an 8th grader…which I didn’t realize in those early years…and which caused me so much grief.  The kids wanted to do the right thing, but I was clueless about how to convey the information in an effective manner that yielded results.

We can’t just talk when we give directions. 

We have to demonstrate, and they must experience what we are teaching…not just hear it. 

We have to bring the learning objectives to life.

It all goes back to the three types of learners:  visual, auditory, kinesthetic.  In my experience, we have to hit all three when we are teaching this age group…whether we are teaching music or a process/procedure, and it helps if we can do it with humor.  Everyone likes to laugh. 

I created this video for my students, and we worked to make it as silly as possible.  I show it to my students at the beginning of the year, and they absolutely love it. 




 So, back to the question I get asked…”What do you say to the students that keeps them so disciplined”?

I have no idea.

…but I do know that I’ve learned to anticipate what they need.  I take time to teach processes.   I give them structure.  And we laugh. 

I think that all of those things combined encourage respect that is mutual and circular.   


Hope you are enjoying your summer rest!  I know that I am!




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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

District Purchases and Multiple license discounts!

When I started teaching 400 years ago, all we had were text books that someone else purchase that I rarely used, and a small budget to purchase sheet music and warm up books (that I DID use!)

Times are changing, and they are changing quickly.  

I received the email below last week.  

We are looking at sight singing methods for next year in our district. One thing that our district is having a question with is "Is there another way that this is published other than Teachers Pay Teachers?" I'm good either way, but if I can get the district to buy it, bonus!
Potential Buyer

Here is my response:

 Hello!

 I appreciate your support in getting your district on board with S-Cubed. S-Cubed is a 21st century textbook. Text books are part of the past. Young teachers realize that there are other ways to find resources. The text books that the district buys every few years will likely sit on the shelf while resourceful teachers focused on being the best they can be for their students are going to do some digital research and find the answers they need as they work toward creating paperless classrooms. It is the district's job to catch up and support those teachers for the good of the children, and it is our job to work them in that direction.

Here is some information for you to help you as you make your case to the people who will decide whether or not to purchase S-Cubed as a digital resource:

1) With the advent of Chrome books, Ipads, and Smartboards, classrooms that use digital resources are the future.
 2) Text books are far more expensive than purchasing digital resources because you have to purchase many text books, and you have to do it every few years. With digital resources, that is not the case. And on TPT, each teacher gets all product updates for free after they purchase.
3) Digital resources offer things that text books cannot. In S-Cubed, I offer specific lesson plans, video teaching tips to help teachers teach each lesson plan and video teaching examples of me teaching the actual lesson to my public school students...all by clicking a link. Text books can't do that.
 4) TPT offers a multi-license discount. A district can purchase a digital resource and then purchase the same resource for other teachers in the same district/school from 10%-50% off the original price.
he amount of the discount depends on the number of teachers for whom they are purchasing.    If they are considering purchasing S-Cubed for the district, have them contact me directly at inthemiddlewithmrd@gmail.com, and we will work out the details.
5) These are resources that are created by real teachers in real classrooms. I hope that helps you as you work to convince your district to purchase the curriculum for your middle school choral music students.
6)  S-Cubed has been vetted, rating and reviewed for four years by teachers who are using it all over the world.  

Digital resources are the modern-day textbooks.

Thank you for reaching out, and please let me know if there is anything else I can do to facilitate the purchase.

And lastly, click this link or click the video below to watch a video I made about this district purchases and multiple license discounts.  


If you convince the district to purchase it for multiple teachers, and they need to use a purchase order, here is how!



Check out my blog!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Giveaway of the Middle School New Chorus Teacher Starter Pack!

Update:

Good morning!

The winner of the Middle School New Chorus Teacher Starter pack is
Maggie Ragan!  I notified her earlier this morning.

50% off until Monday night at midnight!

To say “thank you for entering”, I have marked down several bundles in my store 50%, and they will stay marked down 50% from their regular price until 11:59 PM Eastern Monday night, June 5.  Please read the TpT product descriptions thoroughly, but I’ve included a quick description below as well.

The items that are marked down are:

Middle School New Chorus Teacher Starter Pack Normally $49, it is $24.50.  It contains the first 3 lessons of S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing Program as well as many ideas on how to set up your classrooms, get your students to watch you better and links to many blog posts and video posts about classroom management.

S-Cubed Level ONE Normally $249, it is $124.50.  This contains 27 weeks of sight singing lessons (10-15 minutes per day) that take your beginners from “0” to two-part a capella sight singing with examples that include dotted quarter/eighth note combos as well as skips as wide as an octave.

The MEGA Bundle of S-Cubed, normally $349, is $174.50.  It contains 42 weeks of sight singing lessons that take your students from “0” to three part SAB sight singing.  Your students will also be able to sight sing chromatics in unison.

Learning a new way of teaching takes time, and summer is the perfect time to get the program and study ahead of time so you are ready when your eager middle school beginners show up in the fall!

Coming Soon!

*Updates to all S-Cubed Bundles
*Summer Facebook “Live” Sessions!


Enjoy the summer!


Mr D


Do you know anyone who is teaching middle school chorus for the first time next school year?

Here is something you need to share with them from Mr D! It's a giveaway of the
Middle School New Chorus Teacher Starter Pack!

In the product description, you'll find that this offering contains many nuggets of wisdom that have helped Mr D successfully work with his non-auditioned middle school choral music beginners in his program of over 300 urban public school students for the last 25 years. How to start off the school year....how to help your students watch you better...AND...it includes the first three lessons of the S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing Program for Beginners.

Anyone can enter from 10 PM Eastern on May 31 until midnight on June 3rd. Just follow the directions below this picture!


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