Teaching Australian Music– A recipe for Success
Hi there lovelies, I am half through my Spring Holidays, and starting to think about what I am doing, not only next term, but next year! Here in New South Wales, as it is in many states of Australia, we only have ONE compulsory topic that we have to teach in Music—Australian Music. I will be teaching this unit to my Year 7 classes next term, and it will see us through to the end of the year. I have totally revamped how I teach this unit and am sharing it with you on Teachers pay Teachers.
Now I am a child of the 80’s, and I grew up when a lot of Australian Music acts were making it big on the world stage— Bee Gees, Little River Band, Men at Work, INXS, ACDC, Crowded House and even later Kylie Minogue. So I grew up with some great music, but on the home front there lots of other bands that were big one what was called the “pub scene” – The Angels, The Radiators, the Divinyls, Midnight Oil, Dragon, Skyhooks, Screaming Jets, and the list goes on and on…. As a result, I consider myself very lucky, because my musical formative years were filled with lots of amazing home grown talent that was played on high rotation on the radio, but today, I am not so sure 🙁 I have found that ever since I started teaching, in 2001, that whenever I would foreshadow the next unit, students would just groan as soon as I mentioned “Australian Music” 🙁 This has always been a challenge then for me to make Australian Music as interesting as possible, and this new unit available in my store, is solving this problem.
Below is a link to the contents page, for you to download and have a look at what is exactly in the unit.
The unit truly covers everything from Traditional Indigenous Music through to Hip Hop, and everything in-between! The best part of this unit, you can choose to teach as much or as little as you like. Each sub topic in the unit can be taught independently, so you choose what will work for your students and their particular needs or likes. Accompanying each of the “lessons” is everything that you will need to make the learning interesting and relevant. Included are all the YouTube links to music or artists that were a part of the era or music genre. There are also options for listening activities, again with links to YouTube—saving you time and money because you do not need to purchase the music needed for the activities! The options for the listening activities include two different musical choices that have a focus on a particular Concept of Music, or you can choose to do the two other listening worksheets—one a single set of questions relating to a concept OR a comparison of how the two songs use the concept being focused on.
The best part of this unit is the flexibility it provides you. Personally, I teach this unit over the course of a term with my Year 7 classes, and I choose what will work with my classes and spend more time on some lessons, and less time on others depending on the class. My focus with my Year 7 classes is not only developing listening skills, but also their writing skills, and this unit allows for that to happen. There are T.X.X.X.C. paragraph writing templates for you to use, if this is a skill that you would like to develop with your students as well. Of course, there are the Super Six Reading Strategies embedded throughout the unit, and these too will help develop those all important skills in your students of comprehension and retention of information.
Another great feature of this Unit of Work, you get two different files in the download. One file is a printable version and the other is the one you can use with your IWB. The only difference between the two is that the IWB version has coloured backgrounds—making it much easier on the eye when looking at the board. In my classes, we have the printable version printed with enough copies for one between two students. They use them as a reference for whatever lesson we are doing, then I will display the other version on the IWB, and it is exactly what they see—this is such a helpful strategy for those students who need either something tactile in front of them or they simply don’t like looking at the board for whatever reason, and it is especially helpful for those students who struggle with reading.
The only thing that you will have to do to accompany this unit is decide on what music you will learn in your practical lessons! And that, is the only thing that you will have to research yourself, the rest of the hard work has already been done—just purchase, download and teach, simple!!!
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Julia from Jooya