Friday, February 10, 2017

Year 8: Week 22 - Festival #2

So last year we hosted our first music festival. (I wrote about it here) and we did hosted second one last weekend.

We tried some different things this year. The traditional way that a festival works is that an ensemble performs and then the clinician works with the students. Many of our students felt that they wanted to work with the clinician before they performed, so they could show off the work they had done. So we flipped it around and had the clinician run a rehearsal and then we had the students performed.

There was also confusion with the performance times for parents, so we chunked together the times that groups performed to create mini-concerts throughout the morning. This resulted in larger crowds and less confused parents.

Instead of only one school visiting, we hosted four. These schools brought less students individually, which resulted with the total number of students who came being about the same. Our students reflected that they enjoyed having students from different schools.

The planning of this festival was more spread out this year. After we all had experience the festival last year, everyone in the music department figured out different ways they could help and this was clearly evident in our planning for the festival this year. It was still a ton of work, but it felt less stressful as other people in the department took on more responsibility.

Even more than the delegating of taks, there was another part of the music department’s teamwork that was even more meaningful. This year the vision became a shared vision. Last year I was the one who could envision how all the little parts and pieces would fall into place in a way that others did not.

This was different this year. Department members had a sense of that big picture and pushed against some of my ideas and processes, which led to great discussions and some really beneficial changes. One such change was having our 6th graders have a shortened schedule without any breaks. This allowed for more meaningful experiences, less behavior issues and made it easier for us as teachers.

Quick to reflect, our department already has a long list of idea for next year’s festival. Personally I need some time to let the day sink in. It’s interesting how my brain is already on to the next thing, which is the nature of the beast. However, I’m going to make some space in my mind to enjoy the great festival we put on.  It was more a community event in its planning and execution than last year, and once again it was a time to enjoy the positivity that can only come from sharing music with others.

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