These lessons showcase good practice approaches to enhance student engagement and learning. The approaches include station-based lessons, use of laptops and recording/sampling technology, field excursions, a guest musician, a variety of individual and small group exercises, and an effective mix of teacher-led and student-led activities. Student-led activities and extensions were designed to allow students to gain musicianship skills, and to project their own creative ideas into the lessons.
Music requires a balance of approaches to encourage both making and responding. In this package, music-making was implemented through lesson sequences and activities, such as playing available instruments; improvising; composing; listening to, arranging, performing, and recording music; and using available music technologies. Students responded to music through listening, developing and using musicianship skills, and analysing and responding to their own performances and those of their peers.
The design and use of assessment tools measured students' achievements of specific content descriptors described in Student Learning. By using observation and assessment tools, teachers were able to gather evidence of progress towards the expected Year 6 achievement standards. Throughout this package, students rehearsed and performed songs and instrumental pieces with a focus upon other world cultures (in this instance, Africa). Students were able to combine and record sounds and silence to create compositions. They also learned to document their compositions through recording technology and basic music notation systems.
A lesson study program approach was used to evaluate the implementation of this lesson sequence. Both the music teacher and a senior teacher consultant agreed to plan instruction, observe what happened in order to analyse instructional effectiveness, and identify ways to improve the overall package. This lesson study program approach is one of a number of suggested professional learning mechanisms recommended by the Northern Territory Department of Education and Child Services.
As agreed upon by the music teacher, in Lessons 2 and 3, the senior teacher consultant served as a peer observer. The senior teacher documented the lesson implementation and participated in a post-lesson reflection, implementation debrief and video interview (see Planning).