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End of Year classes

Step 1: Students choose 2 favorites from each list and vote.

Ahhhhh, it's June! Time to sit back and take it easy. If you've done your job, the students should be able to design their own lessons for the rest of the year.



Here's how it's done!

Supplies: pencil or pen, clipboard, paper, props for games

Step 1: Ask the class, "What are your favorite songs and music games of the year?" 
Step 2: List them! 
Step 3: Make sure every child contributes at least one song to the list.
Step 4: Make a check next to multiple requests of the same song.
Step 5: Do these songs for the rest of the year. If you've taught them well, each class should have about 20-30 on the list. Schedule songs with multiple requests for the beginning and ending of lessons. You could also just put the names in a hat and have children draw the name of the next game. I've been known to do 15 songs in a 30 minute class, blitzing through their favorites. 

 Grade 1-3

Supplies: List of all the songs, dances, games, instrumental pieces they've done during the year. Have this listed in a Chinese menu format with each song under each genre. This can be on the board or on hand-outs for the students.

Step 2: Erase anything that doesn't get any votes.
Step 3: Teacher asks, "What would be a good opening song?" and "What would be a good closing show-stopper?" The songs at the ends of the "performance" are chosen. 4: Teacher lists the songs on the board on the top and bottom
Step 5: Teacher asks, "What song would logically come after the first song?" Again, students vote. 
Step 6: Teacher asks, "What is the formation for song #1? What is the formation for song #2? How could we use a dance or game to get from the first formation to the second?" Now students get invested. The teacher might need to lead students in trying out a few suggestions before a sequence of the first songs is established by agreement of the class. Excitement begins to build as a real performance is being designed by the students. 

This is usually where the first planning class ends. 

Step 7: Review where you are thus far. "What song do you definitely want to include that isn't already in the program?" Students might name 2-3. Establish an order and discuss transitions.
Step 8: Try a sequence of 5-7 songs. 
Step 9: "When was there confusion? Where did people talk instead of do? Let's practice that or change the order." Students reflect and perfect. 
Step 10: Follow the students and try again. 
Step 11: When you have a 15 minute performance ready, brainstorm possible audiences: teachers, administrators, custodians, etc.

This is usually where the second planning class ends. 

Step 12: Run the program. Establish that it's good enough to share. Send out scouts to invite the audience and show off what you've learned this year!  
Step 13: Make audio recordings to post on a website. Be careful about video as children need parental permission for this and there are many bad people who want to see those images. 

Grade 4-12 General Music

Track 1: Student Designed Hour Exam

Track 2: End-of-Year performance test


Track 1: List of units for the year. Top notebooks with excellent notes taken by the students. The class syllabus.

Track 2: List of every song, musical game, instrumental piece, dance, movement activity, and choreography exercise for the year. List these in a Chinese menu format by genre. 


Track 1

Step 1: Inform the class that they are designing the final exam for another class. The best designed final group will get an A for their final and be exempt from taking the final. Split the class into groups of 3-5. Each group gets an excellent class notebook, syllabus, and any other pertinent materials. 

Step 2: Give each group 20 minutes to formulate multiple choice questions. Have them split the work by unit title. 

Step 3: Give each group 10-15 minutes to come up with good essay questions. 

Step 4: Have the entire class brainstorm short answer questions.

Step 5: Have 30 multiple choice, 10 short answer, and one essay question chosen by each group. The best designed test gets each member of that group a 10 point bonus on their final. THE SCRIBE WHO WRITES THE EXAM GETS AN AUTOMATIC A. After all, why should you have to type it up?  

Track 2

See the elementary grades and have students design 20-30 minute performances with transitions. Have classes share with other classes on the last day of school.

High School Band, Chorus, or Orchestra

 Have a mini music festival!  I had a ball doing a "Cheesy Music Festival" in February with Middle School chorus. I went into the octavo archives and picked the sappiest, corniest, most trite drivel I could find. You know what? THEY LOVED IT!  Kids love sappy songs! I had fun too. As it turned out, by giving the songs the title, "cheesy" the kids could like them instead of automatically being embarrassed to like them. It was great. Here are some themes for your festival. Keep in mind that you can have the kids brainstorm themes too.
  • Cheesy Music
  • TV themes (you could show excerpts of old show themes via youtube like MASH, Hill Street Blues, Hogan's Heroes, etc. )
  • Movie music
  • Journey Songs
  • Unpleasant Tunes
  • Broadway 
  • The 1970s
  • Salute to our troops
  • Christmas in June
  • Unsingable! : religious, political, and other forbidden songs.
  • Summertime! Songs about summer times
  • Student Music Directors fish through the library



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