Professional Development for ETM Teaching Artists:
On Saturday, March 13, ETM teaching artists attended an all-day professional development workshop to reinforce strategies and skills from past training sessions.
Because good teaching practices begin with good classroom management, ETM Director of Programs Pete Pauliks designed a full day of professional development to address the challenges our teaching artists face daily. He offered tactics to engage all types of learners, and outlined ways to avoid making common pedagogical mistakes.
The teaching artists split up into smaller groups with ETM Field Supervisors to discuss specific strategies and scenarios. One participant said, “We all have similar struggles and joys in the classroom. I learned that classroom management and teaching style is as much about your own personality as it is about the actual procedure.”
Mr. Pauliks also led a session on creating aims, to help teaching artists give focus to their lesson plans so that students understand what they are expected to accomplish in class.
A session on guitars gave teaching artists more ideas on how to use the instrument as an instructional tool, since every ETM teaching artist has access to a guitar to use in their classroom.
In preparation for the spring concert season, several teaching artists were selected to share examples of songs that were particularly successful in class, and could be ideal concert pieces. Many teaching artists reported being eager to try out the songs with their students. As one participant said, “From warm-up procedures to concert repertoire, it is always helpful to hear ideas and anecdotes from other teachers.”
In line with ETM’s push to incorporate technology into music classroom instruction, Mr. Pauliks conducted a workshop on using “SmartMusic” software at the ETM office on April 15.
“SmartMusic” is a software geared for ensemble instruction, and it helps students improve their instrumental skills. ETM invited teaching artists who work with instrumental ensembles to get acquainted with the software. The session introduced a variety of features, including a vast selection of repertoire and method books, audio accompaniment, recording capability, and a metronome.
The participants also learned how to use the software as an assessment tool to track students’ progress on their instruments. “SmartMusic” includes a platform for the teacher and student to interact online. Students can record themselves practicing their instrument, and send it to the teacher for feedback.
ETM’s band and orchestra programs will begin using “SmartMusic” software next fall.
UFT Charter School:
Throughout the school year, ETM has been providing consulting services for The United Federation of Teachers Charter School in East New York, Brooklyn, helping them revise their music curriculum, and mentoring the school’s music teacher.
On Friday, April 23, ETM organized a professional development workshop for the school’s classroom teachers. ETM Field Supervisor and Professional Development Specialist Chris Marolf led a session on using music as a teaching tool across all content areas, and Field Supervisor Leah Potteiger led a session on interactive whiteboards.