This was originally going to be an interview with Steve Giddings of stevesmusicroom.com about how he teaches songwriting and composing in his music classroom. Due to technology issues, this training is me teaching and going over the interview answers Steve gave.
Check out his website at stevesmusicroom.com and be sure to watch the other training video by him about creativity in the music room that's also in the academy.
Key takeaways from this training include:
1. "In the modern world we live in, songwriting is thought of more as lyrics. But, songwriting in elementary music isn't just lyrics, but more about improvising and playing rhythms and instruments."
2. "Steve's approach is to start the kids as young as 2nd and 3rd grade. They do a lot of echo playing."
3. "The older grades do a lot more composing activities."
4. "For someone who has been doing music for so many years, breaking it down to the beginner level for our students is difficult."
5. "Your students know a lot more than you give them credit for and will thrive on whatever your expectations of them are."
6. "Steve said songwriting is important because it helps kids use creativity in ways they never have before."
7. "Improvising in elementary music may sound messy, but the students are creating and "writing" music without even knowing it."
8. "Giving students a road map of what to follow when it comes to songwriting is important."
9. "Songwriting isn't necessarily about writing a song."
10. "When you're first working on composing, it's more about composing and feeling the music."
11. "Steve likes to use creativity in his classroom every time he sees his students. This can even be just 5 minutes where they're improvising and doesn't have to be an entire class period."
12. "You're never done learning and should always be open to learning about new ways to teach."
13. "In music class, kids learn more by doing."
14. "If you're new to teaching composing, don't stress about doing it. Once you get going, you'll figure out what works for you and will just do it."
15. "Using different teaching styles in your classroom is ok. Drawing from different approaches makes you a better music teacher."
16. "As long as your kids are learning music, whatever teaching approach you take to teaching them is fine. You be you."