School News

Music Students Learn by Sharing

One important step of Consciousness-based education is the “fulfillment” step of teaching, where what has been learned is demonstrated, shared, and enjoyed. New Indian School music teacher Miranda Mallard found at the end of the first quarter an excellent opportunity for her 9th grade Intro to Music class to experience fulfillment by sharing what they had learned with the school’s kindergartners.

The 9th grade students had spent several weeks creating an original song about something meaningful to their lives, all on a brand new instrument for them, the guitar. Ms. Mallard said, “It felt fitting for us to have a very easy and fun last day of class as a celebration. It’s nice for the older kids to share what they have learned with the youngest kids, and for the little ones to share their carefree joy of music with the older ones.”

For Ms. Mallard, it is important to have performances as part of learning because it gives impetus and inspiration to the students to practice. They know they need to reach their goal to be ready for their performance . “Instead of a final exam, we had a final performance because I've chosen to focus on the creative aspect of music for the Intro to Music course.”

“The aspect of sharing is not always joyful at first when you are writing something brand new. It was a big challenge for the 9th graders to share their fresh song material because they were writing about something important to them. It is a vulnerable place to go and can be scary to share.” Ms. Mallard asked them to be brave in order to develop a good life habit of being confident in one’s experience and creations.

“It’s also a good lesson to not take it too seriously: learning how to share your creativity even if it isn't the best thing you’ve ever created.” She feels that the more the artist creates, the more material the artist has available for deciding what is really good and “what you just needed to get out of your system.”

“Because the 9th graders had been through such a deep and mature process of discovery and sharing, it was very sweet to end sharing in the simplicity and joy of music with the kindergartners.”

Ms. Mallard is currently working with all grades, K-12. Kindergarten through 8th grade are focusing on material for the school’s holiday concert, which will be December 18th. Grades 9-12 are working on singing and choral abilities to help with this year’s IHSSA speech performances.

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