Fostering a cooperative learning environment while also addressing state standards and preparing concert repertoire can be a difficult task. Using a rehearsal for sectionals can accomplish all three goals while also improving your students’ ability to assess their own playing.
We’ve built a free lesson plan you can use to guide student-led sectionals.
The Cooperative Learning Plan Includes:
- A list of NAfME standards addressed in the plan
- A sequence of activities that encourage positive, honest feedback between students
- A focus on improving repertoire for your concert, including tone production and intonation
- Space for you to customize things to fit your needs
A little preparation will help you get the most out of this lesson plan. Student-led sectionals most often go awry when your student leaders don’t know precisely what they should be working on. Give the section leaders written instructions that include specific goals. Include both technical and musical goals. For example, “perform measure 17 to measure 52 at quarter note equals 132, being sure everyone is using the exact same articulations and beautiful tone.”
The plan uses a “fishbowl” approach to encourage students to perform for each other in a safe setting that still holds them individually accountable. This approach is most effective when students also offer each other quality feedback. Model this feedback during the warm up and when moving from section to section so that students are working in a cooperative learning environment. The more comfortable students are working in a cooperative environment, the less modeling you’ll need to do up front.
We hope this lesson plan helps you build a cooperative learning environment – and have more productive sectionals – this school year.