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MUED 273 Engagement Project Reflection: JMUke at Restless Moons and Explore More Childrens’

Museum
Chandler McLaughlin
For my practicum experiences this semester, I was given the opportunity
to help run two JMUke outreach events, one at the Restless Moons
Brewery in Downtown Harrisonburg, and another at the Explore More
Children’s Museum, also located in Downtown Harrisonburg. These two
placements were polar opposites of each other in terms of the clientele,
as one was full of adults looking to have a fun night out with friends, and
the other was largely children under ten years of age and their parents.

1. Professional Knowledge 2. Instructional Planning


Especially at the Restless Moons event, one area that I felt I grew Another area of teaching that I felt I grew in as a direct result of my
extensively in was that of professional knowledge. In order to facilitate practicum experience was that of instructional planning. For one, it
the experience effectively, all of the 273 students had to know the helped that we were familiarized this semester with templates and
procedures of playing the ukulele and knowing (or at least having guidelines for planning instructional goals and methods. While it is
familiarity with) all of the songs in the presentation. There were all sorts certainly true that educators must be able to adapt their lesson plans
of songs across various popular genres within the last 50 years, which throughout the course of instruction, a well-made lesson plan should
allowed the material to be relevant to the participants, regardless of contain accommodations for unplanned situations and different
their preferred genres. To check out the repertoire we went through, learning tendencies of students. To see an example, take a look at the
follow this link: http://bit.ly/2GGIAUn to view the slides from that plan that my colleagues and I made for the Restless Moons JMUke
evening. experience design here: http://bit.ly/2V7IC1F

3. Professionalism Pedagogic Principles


Yet another aspect of my development as a teacher that I can attribute During my time with my practicum placements, there were several
to my practicum placement is my professionalism. With the extremely educationally pedagogical concepts that surfaced, including:
different crowds at the events, I had a chance to interact with a diverse 1. Appropriateness of content: To be sure that the participants got the
group of people, allowing me to learn varying approaches of helping, most out of their time with us, we had to be sure to include repertoire
and reading other people. Additionally, this placement allowed me to that suited the clientele. For example, we mostly used Disney songs,
collaborate with my peers on an assignment that was far too large for YouTube hits (i.e. Baby Shark), and nursery rhymes with the kids at the
any one person could handle. I truly believe that any opportunity to Explore More Museum. This applies to any music classroom, as one
work with peers on something is a great way to help build collaborative should be finding ways to pick repertoire that fits the musical
and general people skills. development of students.
2. Modeling: When introducing a topic, such as a new fingering/chord, it
is hard to beat the tried-and-true method of modeling for one’s
students. However, as teachers, we should be sure not to let our
students use our modeling as a crutch for their musical activity, and
should be encouraged to think critically about topics and apply them
without simply just following whatever the teacher does.