I teach at a Title I school, where 100% of our students receive free breakfast every day and many receive free/reduced lunch. Most of our students are from low socio-economic backgrounds, including transience and homelessness. Many receive weekend care packages of food because otherwise the would not eat from midday Friday to Monday morning.
Despite these personal setbacks, our students are exceeding their academic expectations by far.
One of the reasons for their success is our teachers' commitment to ensuring vertical alignment and cross curricular instruction. As the music teacher, I would also love to provide both strategies in my classroom through materials that foster high level engagement in math concepts.
Classroom ukuleles will be used as a hands-on tool in aiding with the presentation of the district approved curriculum covering fretted instruments in the fourth grade, as well as a unit specifically dedicated to introducing the ukulele in the fifth grade. Outlined lessons, purposes and objectives introduced in the fourth grade include string order, tuning fretted instruments (which is a skill that transfers to other string instruments such as violins), simple major and minor chords, harmony and accompaniment. The ten lesson fifth grade special project expands on these concepts by exploring scales, more complex chords and full performances.
Having physical, tangible instruments as a learning resource will allow students to better understand the construction, sound quality, and motor skill requirements of string/fretted instruments across all learning modalities (auditory, visual, tactile and kinesthetic) and how these qualities differ from other instruments.
All instruments are divided into 4 categories, known as families. Families are generally classified according to sound production, material type, and playing technique. Austin now has instruments from three of the four categories, and the addition of instruments from the fourth category would help give students a full understanding of how all instrument families can be used in ensemble settings. This would be particularly advantageous in helping to develop musical skills and confidence needed when auditioning for and participating in ensemble groups such as mariachi bands and orchestras.
A successful ukulele program will be evidenced by students’ ability to read, analyze and play independently in both classroom and performance settings. Additionally, Austin will see an increase of students who audition for and thrive in ensemble music setting such as orchestra, mariachi, and band.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Ms. Ross.
DonorsChoose is the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Ms. Ross and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.