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Behaviour and Motivation

Discussion in 'Music' started by taffymatty, May 29, 2007.

  1. Hello all. I am at the end of my PGCE and I am in the middle of researching and writing a project on behaviour and motivation in KS3.

    The study is based on a skills based curriculum and using the full class as an ensemble (full class performances). My hypothesis states that if you build a curriculum that develops students performing skills on a variety of instruments (keyboards, percussion instruments, guitars and more) and encourage them to learn in a practical way using Odam?s theory of the sound before the symbol, Small?s Musicking and Swanwick?s Spiral then this will help combat behaviour problems and low motivation in year 9 because the students are able to connect with the subject.

    I would love to get anyone?s opinions on this. If you work in a challenging school where you have behaviour problems and think that this approach will not work for you or that it does work for you then great. If you use this approach of the class playing as an ensemble on different instruments in your class or if you use any other strategies similar to this then I would love to hear about them.

    If you don?t like this approach or find that there is no problem motivating students? in year 9 then please tell me and tell me what you do.

    Sorry if this sounds a bit random but I tried to get it all in, my brain is a bit fried at the moment, if you want to know more then just ask.
     
  2. Hello all. I am at the end of my PGCE and I am in the middle of researching and writing a project on behaviour and motivation in KS3.

    The study is based on a skills based curriculum and using the full class as an ensemble (full class performances). My hypothesis states that if you build a curriculum that develops students performing skills on a variety of instruments (keyboards, percussion instruments, guitars and more) and encourage them to learn in a practical way using Odam?s theory of the sound before the symbol, Small?s Musicking and Swanwick?s Spiral then this will help combat behaviour problems and low motivation in year 9 because the students are able to connect with the subject.

    I would love to get anyone?s opinions on this. If you work in a challenging school where you have behaviour problems and think that this approach will not work for you or that it does work for you then great. If you use this approach of the class playing as an ensemble on different instruments in your class or if you use any other strategies similar to this then I would love to hear about them.

    If you don?t like this approach or find that there is no problem motivating students? in year 9 then please tell me and tell me what you do.

    Sorry if this sounds a bit random but I tried to get it all in, my brain is a bit fried at the moment, if you want to know more then just ask.
     
  3. xg!

    xg! New commenter

    "My hypothesis states that if you build a curriculum that develops students performing skills on a variety of instruments (keyboards, percussion instruments, guitars and more) and encourage them to learn in a practical way using Odam?s theory of the sound before the symbol, Small?s Musicking and Swanwick?s Spiral then this will help combat behaviour problems and low motivation in year 9 because the students are able to connect with the subject."

    What would be even better is if you found someone who has said this and test the theory. It's much simpler and easier to test than creating your own hypothesis. I.e did Odam or Swanwick/ Small actually say learning practically improves motivation and behaviour? If they did then you can test the theory out and then report your findings. Good Luck!
     
  4. The point of the project was to create your own hypothesis and not to just test other people?s theories; I am using an intervention style of research. I have been developing the research over the year and comparing my findings, but thanks for the comments.
     
  5. cmf

    cmf

  6. I have no doubt that behaviour/motivation improves when kids are involved in playing real instruments. However, experience has taught me that it is just not practical to do whole class ensemble with up to 30 kids. It would mean mixing together those who are already accomplished (eg taking grades)with those who have had virtually no skill on an instrument other than keyboard. Stress level goes off the scale!
    In my opinion there are 3 ways forward.
    1. Don't do whole class. Aim for groups but this will assume you have 4 or 5 practice areas.
    2. Campaign for classes no bigger than 20. Music is a practical subject. Instrumental work needs a very time intensive style of delivery.
    3. Adopt the 'Musical Futures' model. This has had impressive results in the pilot schools but will need courage to ditch wholesale the way you probably teach the music curriculum. In terms of personalised learning it ticks all the boxes.
     
  7. I agree totally with noswad but I would couple with this the need for plentiful and appropriate resources - instruments, leads etc etc!
     
  8. I just watched a couple of the videos on the Musical Futures site, and it looks very stimulating, but - this is looked at from out of the little world of primary music - for a class of 20-25, won't you need five drum kits? Or do secondary schools nowadays have five drum kits? Or was the clip of a group working together not typical, and in fact all the other groups were drumming on a chair?

    (I have a budget of £200 this year)
     
  9. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    In my limited experience, poor behaviour arises less from disinterest than from either kids (a) either having no experience or ability to understand/undertake the tasks expected or (b) to regard them as so naive as to be below their dignity to address.

    In other words, the main reason for disinterest in secondary-school music revolves around a lack of differntiation - I belive this is best addressed by setting, but clever people can manage it through differentiated outcomes.

    Come what may, folks like Selfe, Swanwick and George Odam had only very limited classroom experience before getting out of schools into publishing and academia in order to tell us ordinary folk what to do. They have had occasional good ideas, but I'd treat them all with a good pinch of realistic salt - what you observe in the classroom will be much more valuable to your future career.
     
  10. Did you ever have any experience of John Paynter's methods in the classroom? Very creative as long as most of the class don't mind just sitting and watching.

    My Dad went on a three day workshop run by him, and came back saying that his message was "you can work wonders with just six kids out in front of the class". One of Dad's colleagues asked "but while these six are doing wonderful things in front, what are the rest of them supposed to be doing?" and his only answer was "that's for you to deal with. You're the teacher"
     
  11. "experience has taught me that it is just not practical to do whole class ensemble with up to 30 kids. It would mean mixing together those who are already accomplished (eg taking grades)with those who have had virtually no skill on an instrument other than keyboard. Stress level goes off the scale!"

    Sorry I don't buy this at all. Those who have "virtually no skill on an instrument other than keyboard" should have appropriate, differentiated parts to play as should accomplished musicians. It is stressful for the teacher but it's definitely not impossible.



    This is more practical than theoretical but I recently did a whole class ensemble with disinterested Year 9s. I got 6 vocalists to work in a practise room finding harmonies etc., I got everyone who has ever played an instrument to bring it in and gave out simple parts, and the rest had differentiated keyboard parts. I made sure that most of the kids who had brought instruments had a solo somewhere in the performance and every part had a little moment to shine.

    It was complete chaos for a short amount of time, with instruments every where, not enough room etc. But it really did motivate the kids - some had brought in equipment to record the performance themselves, some booked the rooms at lunchtime to practise and loads stayed at the end of the lesson into lunchtime to hear the recording again!

     
  12. We have noticed a genuine improvement in behaviour and motivation within our Musical Futures models, and one of the key reasons for this seems to be the ownership over the work that the students have - they are directly involved in making decisions over what they learn, how they learn it, who they learn with, when they have achieved their objectives what they then work towards and so on. Having the teacher work alongside the students to help, guide and support them, rather than 'direct' them gives the students the confidence that they are trusted, and creates an environment where they are able to be creative in their own way.

    With reference to gizzy's comment about resources, there are some inevitable resource implications for this approach, as giving students access to authentic instruments can enhance their motivation. However, many schools (and this isn't in a pilot phase any more, it is being taken on by schools across the country) have done this with whatever instruments they have available in their classrooms -as long as there is the appropriate space available to do this.

    It is worth mentioning though that as this is a practical example of personalised learning at subject level, quite a few teachers have managed to access some funding from within their school's 'personalisation' budget (which all schools have), which has enabled them to buy some additional equipment.

    We are running a series of CPD days with the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust during June - if you are interested in finding out more please do visit www.schoolsnetwork.org.uk/musicalfutures
     
  13. I AGREE!!! 100%. In fact, it's a great way to make differentiation as easy as pie....write a part very simply, and then grade up from there. Mixing up complete beginners, and those who have been playing for years benefits ALL; I have seen this from work abroad, and work I have started to do here.
    Long live the class ensemble, and come on music teachers.....you can do it! After all, it's the ultimate way to teach. You can start with practise and performance, and teach/explain/demonstrate really easily.
    Good for you.
     
  14. Really Gassmann! "Disinterest", are you sure you don't mean lack of interest? or Uninterested.
     

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