At Quaver Music, we believe in the importance of keeping students engaged with the learning process.
That’s why we work so hard to put resources in the hands of teachers that will be effective, easy-to-use, and Seriously Fun for students.
We found ourselves nodding along excitedly when the president of video gaming developer XEODesign recently noted what she considers the four keys to engagement for its products: novelty, challenge, friendship, and meaning.
Notice any similarities to music education?
More than irate birds, zombie zonkers, or temple escapees, these qualities are intrinsic to what you do in the music classroom.
Is there any subject that bursts with more novelty than music? Pick a genre, any genre. Make your own instruments. Yes, there are basic rules to learn but once your students learn them, they’re free to creatively challenge them. Challenge them to write an anthem for a hamster or a reggae retort to cafeteria food, and you’ll quickly see how the novelty of music engages your classroom!
From keeping on the beat to practicing scales and learning the basics of notation to mastering an instrument and writing a song—every sliver of music involves an intriguing challenge!
Singing together, playing in a school band, learning a few dance steps, co-writing a song—all are easy ways to create a sense of community and sharing. So many academic subjects these days emphasize individual achievement (often in a competitive environment), but music opens its arms to others and encourages camaraderie among students!
In the realm of video gaming, the role of meaning might incite a snicker or two. But just think of the nature of music—self-expression, practicing new skills, probing history, exploring cultures, realizing the power of music to create a dance craze or rally national pride.
So next time you stand before your students,
think of Major Sir Ponsonby Smythe and his command,
“Ready! Aim! Engage!”