A Window Into Music Class – Episode 1

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Have you ever wondered what a SWAN music class looks like? Thanks to our teacher’s notes we’ll be sharing with you some ups and downs that happen during class. It will be like a window into the classroom. We hope it will give you a better picture of our work and be an encouragement as you join us in this noble mission.

 

Today went fairly well. I brought in my porta-kit, small bass drum, snare, and HH. Rolled the drums in on a dolly, carried my Taylor backpack. Carried the dolly upstairs. Tuned the 6 ukes. Setup the kit as the kids came in. Played some drums for them. Then split the set into separate pieces. Taught them to play a drumset pattern, each one playing a different instrument. Then I passed out the ukes to 3 kids who remembered the chords from last week. We strummed the chords along with the drums. We went round-robin on the concept for most of the class.

 

I told them that I would be loaning the black uke to the person I saw trying the hardest and listening the best. If they practiced the chords, took care of the uke, and brought it back next week, I would loan them a guitar and give the uke to someone else. 

 

It was a toss-up between the R brothers and J. I gave the uke to A. He asked me if he could keep it, meaning indefinitely. I told him each would have an instrument for 2 weeks. I told the kids, “We can make this better and better if we work together, if we work with each other as a team.” All in all, we had the entire class playing more or less in sync for a good portion of the time. The kids asked if they could play ukes at the performance. I told them that’s the plan. I had the kids help pack up the instruments then lined them up.

 

 -George Yellak, SWAN music teacher

The names of students are represented by a letter for privacy reasons.

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