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general music curriculum

I am starting a brand new high school general music class for an alternative school. We have varing learning styles and lots of students who need 1 on 1 attention,  some who get bored, off task, on their cell phones, listening to youtube. Most of these students don't do group activities like trying to put a guitar ensemble together or a drumming curcle. They seem to thrive on individual work. However, if you are not helping them along, they can get easily distracted and go off task. When one goes off task, the rest of them feel they can do the same. They feed off each other. We have guitars, djembes, a few keyboards, recorders and some african instruments. Some love recording and hopefully we will get some funding to buy some equipment to put a small recording studio there.  I have no budget, but I need ideas, method books, websites for recording,  making beats, raps, stuff like that. Thanks for your time!!!
Replies (4): Threaded | Chronological
on March 3, 2014 11:22am
Here is a site I used for 2 lessons with 7 &8th graders: http://www.incredibox.com It allows composing and recording beatbox. The students in my class were 100% Mexican-American and really liked this site. I was the first music teacher the school had in the time-span of 8 years (how sad for those kids) so I wanted to expose the 7th & 8th to lots of different things, albeit briefly. 
 
Might I also suggest listening logs and guided guestion-answer listening work? While students are individually listening to MANY Genres of music, they have required worksheets with questions to answer (and turn in for assessment).
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on March 4, 2014 12:55pm
Just used this incredibox site with my 7th grade general music class and they LOVED it. Thanks so much for sharing!
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on March 5, 2014 6:39am
When I taught a general music class like this, I used plenty of videos and occasional movies for instruction.  I had to get permission from my tech people, but I learned to download Youtube videos and pretty much found something on every topic. Example: For most instruments, there is an excerpt from the "How It's Made" series from the Discovery Network; for french horns there's a video of a man making natural horns in his home workshop; there's a video of a teenager building a guitar, and so on.  Kids will enjoy movies, but make sure you are not just showing the movie; use it for instruction. Example: "Singing in the Rain" can be used when teaching a music technology thread.  I taught on a campus that would use annual themes based on a movie, such as Star Wars - We Are a Force For Learning.  I would show scenes from the movie, using it as a resource to teach music from different eras, and we identified the theme for each character  It's a lot of work; I prepared a lesson sheet for each scene I would use, and I was able to take them to the computer lab to do background research.  And, before anyone says anything, if it's incorporated in your lesson plans, and not just viewed as a reward, it is legal.
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on March 5, 2014 3:16pm
And not just many genres of music from Europe and America, but many genres of world music.  There are also many good youtube videos of performances from all around the world, as well as other aspects of music.
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