I’ve recently started reading the book Pure Genius by Don Wettrick. It’s no secret that kids are more engaged when they have voice and choice in what they are learning. We all have passions that we could lose ourselves in for hours if given the chance. I’ve been intrigued by the idea, but wasn’t sure how to make it work in a large group music class until now.
My 5th graders have been playing ukuleles in class for about a month or so and have done amazingly well. I’ve tried to find songs for them to play that are school appropriate and familiar to them (a not always easy task!). Still, I know not all my boys love Taylor Swift and Meghan Trainor, and there were probably tons of other songs they were dying to play.
The solution? Genius Hour in music class! Starting today, my kids are working alone or in groups to come up with a school appropriate song that they’d like to play. They are in charge of figuring out the chords and how to play the song (with the help of iPads and the internet). We brainstormed ideas for what steps they would need to take to be successful and then off they went! And they were actively engaged the entire time!
We will continue working on the project next week during music time! I can’t wait to see what they come up with! Hopefully, I can share some on YouTube!