Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Learning Adventure 1

Between now and next Monday, download Finale Notepad from http://www.finalenotepad.com/ and compose a piece of music.

Share your reflections, questions and work-in-progress with your cadre members. Think about your own thinking and learning along the way. Make notes, keep a journal or blog if you wish.
Feel free to use any resources at your disposal for inspiration or assistance.

The more you share, the more you will learn.

A few considerations:
I realize there are better more powerful pieces of music composition available. However, Finale Notepad is 1) Free and 2) Cross-platform. Therefore, NO you can't use another piece of software (at least visible to the rest of us). Using a common tool provides a common experience and language for assisting/inspiring one another.

Everyone has different experience levels and areas of expertise. This is what makes the learning adventures interesting.

Day One:
Ok- so this is going to definitely force (not push) me out of my comfort zone. I am the kid who took countelss piano lessons as a child only to be told when I switched to playing the clarinet in middle school, that music wasn't for me. My 8th grade band teacher and I apparently did not see eye to eye on my playing abilities. My friends even make fun of me for my lack of musical talent. Nevertheless, I love music. I love listening to music, being at concerts, singing my guts out in the car (of course, with no one else to listen), so this is going to be an adventure. I guess I could correlate this learning experience a little to what Dewey talks about. I have not had good prior experiences with music. Practice always seemed punishing to me, teachers scolded me for not doing it right, and thus, I never liked playing music. I just wasn't good at it. Maybe if I have a better experience and live in the moment of creating this piece it will be like what Dewey wrote, "we always live at the time we live and not some other time, and only by extracting at each present time the full meaning of each present experience are we prepared for doing the same thing in the future (Dewey 49). I might not be creating music in the future, but this experience I hope will carry forth some meanign for me in the future to apply to my own learning and my students.

Day Two:Today I presented my kids with the task that Gary assigned. I asked them if they would like to do this learning adventure with me. You should have heard their reaction! Oh my goodness, they were ecstatic. So, tomorrow during second hour 9th grade honors English, we are composing music... Oh what a learning adventure it will be. Anyone want to Skype in their class to join us? We will be figuring it out from 8:25- 9:24 am MST . Some of the kids wrote down the program to try it out tonight.

I am getting excited about this because of their enthusiasm. Usually it seems I am the one pepping them up and this time they are doing it. What a change in the role of the teacher to the student. We had to listen to a little Journey today to inspire us for tomorrow, "Don't Stop Believing"

Day Three:
Here is the link to my Learning Adventure: http://learningandlaptops.blogspot.com/2008/09/learning-adventure.html

If you want to leave a comment, can you do so on the blog, so that my students can read it. My school is working on unblocking the use of MUS files so I uploaded an MP3 version of their song. Once the MUS file is unblocked the period 2 file will become active. But check out the cool adventure we had with this assignment.

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