Basic Idea:

My hope is to co-design a curriculum in partnership with the students I teach that will yield meaningful, self-directed, open-ended musical experiences that reflect successful current emerging practices (as seen with Music Futures and the work spearheaded by Lucy Green) to educate students to be able to articulate how they learn and produce music. Along the way, I hope to become an adaptive expert in planning for flexibility and multiplicity both in how students learn, and how they exhibit the synthesis of their knowledge and skills.


The focus for this project will be the design of a curriculum framework for high school guitar class for the next school year. The course will be designed based on student interest and inquiry, with purposeful creation of activities that will lead to personally meaningful learning and goals for playing guitar and making music with others. My goal, as the facilitator of the course, is to help design a curriculum of experiences that create musical knowledge and learning dispositions that emerge from the act of pursuing self-made musical goals and working with others and with digital tools to achieve them. If successful, these experiences will encourage natural curiosity, creativity, and inspiration for what new pathways for learning will present themselves.


The basis for the curriculum design lies in project based learning, drawing on the Musical Futures vision, adapted for the context of the students in my classroom. A unit project I have already designed uses the idea of "studio workshop" stations organized by friendship groups and different technology/ learning style environments. The course will use the framework of this project and use it as a tool to focus the process of our learning, with flexibility of content and criteria to be mutable variables determined by reflective and responsive ongoing assessment.


The students in my district come with a variety of skills, knowledge, ideas, musical experiences, and digital tools that they will be bringing with them to class. I plan on using the students themselves as rich resources in this class that they can all draw on, either from within themselves, or from each other. Using their own creative ideas and innovative problem-solving skills, they will be tasked with learning (by discovery/ trial and error/ research/collaboration) using particular technology provided in the classroom, combined with the technology they bring from home (including musical instruments, equipment, and mobile devices).

Our school is a leader in the use of technology in St. Lawrence County, and therefore gives tremendous support and resources for our collective use in the classroom. The students will be working with (but will not be limited to) the smartboard, classroom computer, ipods, cell phones, PA systems, digital audio recording equipment, digital cameras, video cameras, the computer lab, electric guitars, amplifiers, microphones, and more.

The studio workshops will be broken down as follows as the primary environments for exploratory learning:
1. The Listening Studio
2. The Resource Center
3. The Tech-Free Zone
4. The Recording Studio

Note to self: Look at "Arts Propel" model (perception, performance, reflection)