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134. Unit Dreaming: Making Music and Building Class Culture with Jeanette Shorey

by Lindsay Lyons
September 26th 2023
In today's episode with special guest and music teacher Jeanette Shorey, Lindsay discusses how you can incorporate uni... More
Welcome to another unit streaming episode where we have Jeannette Shore on today, Jeannette Shore is a National Board certified music teacher with over two decades of experience teaching general music, choir orf ensembles and group guitar. Jeannette is an arts integration specialist, an instructional coach, a national presenter and a mentor. She has studied arts integration at the Kennedy Center through their C ETA program and has completed ORF levels one and two. She is presented at meas all over the country and mentors music teachers to the Happy Music Teacher Academy. Jeannette is the author of resource books, stories that sing and stories that sing too. I am so excited for you to hear from Jeanette in our unit dreaming episode today. Let's get to it. I'm educational justice coach Lindsay Lyons. And here on the time for teacher podcast, we learn how to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice design curricula, grounded in student voice and build capacity for shared leadership. I'm a former teacher leader turned instructional coach. I'm striving to live a life full of learning, running, baking, traveling and parenting because we can be rockstar educators and be full human beings.

If You're a principal, assistant superintendent, curriculum director, instructional coach or teacher who enjoys nerd out about co creating curriculum with students. I made this show for you. Here we go. Jeannette. Welcome to the time for teacher shift podcast. Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. I am so excited too because this is gonna be so fun. We're gonna merge curriculum building and music and our two like passion areas. So this is gonna be really nice. Excellent. Yes. My, this is, this is totally where like my zone of genius. So I'm really excited about it too. Yay. Awesome. Ok. So do you want to share kind of the impetus or the context for something that you're thinking about or just share kind of like the setting in which or the grade band in which you taught? And then we can kind of come up with a spark for the unit we're gonna create today. Like I know, for example, in your podcast, we talked a little bit about like ways to design and structure units that might not be around, for example, holidays, which might be like a traditional way you would structure unit but instead around um like other more deeper things that you wanted to capture and then pulling in like a bunch of genres of music around that deeper core concept or thing that we wanna capture.

So, um one of the things I've been thinking about um right now is because I'm designing some lesson plans for music teachers to develop classroom culture. And one of the things that I love to do is I have this one story book that I almost always started with and it was called All Are Welcome. And I've sort of designed my curriculum for the first eight weeks around building classroom culture and accepting people's differences. And in the process of that, excuse me, in the process of that, I would pull in just different genres of music, music from different areas. Uh, because, you know, when Children hear music that they're not traditionally used to hearing, they automatically start giggling and it, it's like this nervous giggle. Like, what am I listening to? So I find that it's really important from the get go to start getting them to hear different styles of music, different genres of music, different music from different places in the world so that they're used to hearing those sorts of things and they get beyond that nervousness about, oh my gosh.

This sounds so weird to my ears and they're, they're really used to hearing all kinds of different music. So, and I think in today's, uh, in, in today's society we are, it, it feels like music is so homogenous. Like there's, there's so many different genres out there and our Children are not listening to them and I, I just think it's important for them to hear it. It's, it's important for acceptance, you know, it's a it's a stepping stone for getting Children to accept different styles of music, getting to them to accept the differences in each other, to the differences in culture, that sort of thing. Yeah, absolutely. I, and I, so I think that actually connects to my next question, which is what you would want students to be able to kind of pursue. And I, I think about, I say pursue specifically because I'm referencing Dr Goldie Mohammed's framework. And she talks about three things that I love, which are identity, criticality and joy.

And so specifically, I am thinking that the identity piece that you just spoke about, the thing you just spoke about reminds me of identity and how she talks about it. So she says like, you know, how is this gonna help students both learn about themselves, like their own identities but also someone else's identity that's not their own. And so I think there's, there's something there, I also think it's it's helpful for the, the criticality piece. So she, what she defines as criticality is like, really how is the lesson or the unit in our case, engaging students thinking about power about equity, about disrupting any sort of oppression that we see. So we're not just like noticing that things are bad but like, what do we do to like you're saying kind of create that class culture that is beyond that, right? That, that remedies that um potential oppression or like the the giggling that might be harmful or you know, whatever and, and then also joy, which I think music is such a well connected to joy, right? Like so thinking about identity, criticality and joy in those ways.

What comes to mind as you're thinking about like a class culture? Maybe this is like a start of the year unit. We're thinking, yes, yes, this would be first eight weeks of school. OK, great. Thank you for giving us a boundary to. I love thinking about how often, oh, and how often do you see your students? Would this be weekly? I see my students, I saw my students once a week for 45 minutes. But most teachers, most music teachers traditionally see their students once a week for 30 minutes or sometimes they're on a rotating schedule of like every six days, every eight days, that sort of thing. Ok. So roughly we could estimate about once a week, maybe conservatively like 30 minutes if we were. And so as you're thinking about these eight weeks and the goal of kind of building that class culture, that goal of appreciating and valuing all different types of music and, and that all are welcome kind of grounding. What comes to mind when you think about identity, criticality and joy when you're thinking, ok, at the end of this unit, I want students to make sure that, you know, they, they hit these things or they pursue these things over the course of these eight classes?

OK. So when you say identity, I just wanna clarify a little bit. Are we talking about the the personal identity of the student or am I misunderstanding? That's a great question. I see identity as like a bunch of things. So I see it as like personal and then we have multiple axes of identity. A lot of times when people think about identity, they think about kind of like one thing, for example, like just a person's race or just a person's gender or just a person's language. And it's like all the intersecting aspects of that. So there's like the personal way that all of my axes of identity intersect. But then there's also the fact that I am connected to a group that also holds those identities. So I think it's kind of like both the personal and the group kind of connections that are, that are part of that. I don't know if that helps to answer it, but I, I see identity in a lot of ways, linguistic, nationality, race, gender class. Um It could be ability like, so we're looking at like neuro diverse composers or something like that.

I mean, it could be a, a range of things. Um Yeah, all the stuff there. So I think uh identity wise um I, I want there to be the identity of the student as a whole person. Um They, you know how they see themselves, um how they see themselves working with their class and especially because they're going to be composing and creating music. Um, together, I, I want them to feel confident in their identity as a creator and it's, it's really tricky because, you know, in our elementary realm we, we're really in school in general, we tend to give our students a lot of, you know, cookie cutter. Um, I don't know how to say it because that doesn't sound right, but we don't give them a lot of, I don't think they have a lot of time to be creative and then they get into the music classroom and they're like, you want me to do what, you know, so it's like, so they, they need to feel that confidence in themselves, not only as a creator, but the confidence that they're working in a safe space where everyone around them is also working as a creator and they're, they feel comfortable sharing ideas and they feel comfortable that no one's gonna laugh at them and no one's gonna think their ideas are, are bad or, or silly or anything else.

If that makes sense, that makes total sense to me. I definitely think right? Sometimes things aren't always like purely comfortable, but we certainly can like when we're creating and trying something new, but I definitely think we can have the kind of assurance or the confidence or the comfort in knowing that we are not to be picked on for sharing our ideas. Right. I think that's beautifully put, that no one will laugh at me. Right. That's exactly what we want. Awesome. And I think part of that too, in speaking to the multitude of identities and the different genres of music and how that connects to identity definitely comes in supporting each individual student as a creator, especially if they hold an identity or affiliated with a group of people who are not typically held up as like brilliant composers or this genre of music is super important. And you know, I think that um kind of ties to that criticality piece as well. I don't know if there's anything you wanted to speak to on the criticality or joy side, if if anything else was sticking out for you. So I think um if I understand the criticality that you push portion of it, I think that it would be important for the class, every class I see is a different personality like literally, and this happens every year, that part of the personality is formed by the teacher that they're working with the classroom teacher they're working with.

But also they have their own unique personality and as they start working together, that's one of the really cool things about teaching all students and teaching all classes is, you know, they have this identity within themselves and but they also have this like the way that they work together and not all students work well together other. So you know, depending on the class, sometimes it's gonna be more difficult for me as the teacher, as the leader of, you know, the, the creativity to kind of, you know, I, I really have to change up the way I do things depending on the class and as I get more involved and, and the year goes on, I, I really get a sense of that class's personality, but also in the beginning of the year you're kind of waiting in blind because even if you know the students really well, you don't know them together as a unit. So I, I think it's important to, um, you know, think critically about what the students are presenting to you and what they, how do I say this, what, what they're responding to because every class is going to respond in a different way to what you have to say if that makes sense.

Yeah, it does. And it makes me think about the idea of nervous giggling and like, you know, how we address that and, and maybe each class gets that addressed differently but the be the ability to unpack or I'm thinking, you know, again, at the end of the unit, what are students getting out of this? Like that idea that like there is a reason we're giggling because there's some sort of dynamic at play and on underneath that. And I mean, again, depending on their age, you're gonna address this in different words. But it probably is still a relevant thing to address. But like that idea of there is some sort of power dynamic happening, right? So like we you are in a space where you hear as a child, whatever music is around you and that is normalized and then what is not normalized? And then now why is it, why are we laughing because it's uncomfortable? Right? And so there's kind of that dynamic of power that uh Doctor Mohammad talks about in criticality is like addressing that power and then disrupting that like uneven power that is there by normalizing all of the music. So I think that's, that's brilliant to be able to think about. And then I also love that you're bringing to the table, this idea of just like the idea of the class as a whole operating kind of in their own identity and ways that power and equity kind of show up in different ways and how we would address that for the different group dynamics kind of shifts for each class.

And because you have so many classes versus, you know, a an elementary teacher, for example, who has one like in a core content area, um that really is an important consideration. So I appreciate you naming that. I didn't even think about that. Absolutely. And then as far as joy, my goal as an elementary school music teacher was always that my students found joy in what we were doing. And if it looked to me like it was a struggle for them and they weren't enjoying it and they weren't getting anything out of it. Then I was going to revamp so that they did find joy because my goal was that they left my classroom and they were like, that was my most fun class all week. That's where I want to come back to. And then, you know, when they, when they go on to middle school, they're gonna be like, yes, I'm definitely doing music. I can't decide band or choir, but I'm definitely doing music because it was always so much fun, you know, and, and to make things easy for the students and I don't mean that I'm not challenging them, but I would try to find a way to make things easy for them and fun for them so that they were learning, but it wasn't a struggle, like whatever they were learning was not a struggle for them.

And again, that goes back to every class has a different personality and every class has to sort of, you know, you, you, you really have to work with the individual classes and go well for this class. I know that this lesson plan is not going to work but for this, you know, and, and I may have to, you know, water it down a little bit or um I may have to, to make it a little bit more intricate depending on the personality of the class. I love that and I love thinking about, yeah. How do we, like, keep the challenge but make it easy so that it's not the struggle. And I love the takeaway of like, that was my most fun class all week. I just think if every student said that about every class, that would be so great. I know. Wouldn't it be amazing if they, they came home from school and they were like, my day was awesome, right? Like I can't even begin to describe how cool it was, right? So OK, this is beautiful. I'm loving where this is going. So the next thing I'm gonna do is think about a project question. So a project question is what I used to call a driving question and and really this is kind of like thinking about the culminating activity.

So if students are gonna be creators, for example, I'm hearing like that there might be some creation happening, like what is the thing? And this is kind of paired with the the next question. But what's the thing that this unit will culminate in like what's the big kind of application activity where students are kind of taking what they learn and doing something very creative with it and what will house that project? And the question that students will want to be thinking through each lesson and and what we'll want to be thinking through as we plan each lesson is really that what that project question is so examples of project questions that I've seen are like, kind of like, might be like, what's the best formula for a fun music class or something? Like where students get to, like, say, like, well, it's a little bit of hearing a different kind of music and it's a little bit of me getting to create or play around with the music or, you know, or it could be like, um you know, is this type of music X or Y and like having some sort of concept that you're teaching them and they get to categorize like, OK, this type of music is placed in this category.

Um So I think a lot about like the formula for or does this music or this piece, do X or Y, what would it look like? If is another like, let's envision, you know, a a, there's an example of uh someone who came out on my podcast earlier that was talking about how in response to a current event, students created a um piece, a musical composition and they actually sent it to the families of Children and, and this is in a Parkland shooting and they, they sent it to the families and the families um were like, took comfort, I suppose or, or something like found it so, so helpful or so poignant that the students had created the piece in response that they like wrote back to them. And, and so for example, like something that, that would be like a project question for that unit might be something like, you know, what, what is the best thing we can do in the wake of X, you know, event or something? Um So that was just a lot of rambling on my part. Anything that comes to mind in terms of the, the start of a project question, I don't think you have to have it fully flushed out.

Um So I like the idea of what would it look like if, and um you tell me if I'm on the right track because I'm not 100% sure. But what would it look like if I worked with the students in my classroom to create a piece of music? Or um let me think about this. Uh What would it look like if I worked with the students in my classroom? And we each used our strengths and our differences to create a piece of music or to create a, a composition that expresses our differences, a composition that expresses our strengths. Um because the whole idea of those first eight weeks of school is to acknowledge each other's differences, to acknowledge each other's strengths, to acknowledge each other's.

Um like, what do you bring to the table as, as a student in this class? And how is that different? And how can we use your strengths and how can we use those differences to um create a, a wonderful piece of music. I love this. OK. So I, I think that what you have for now it, to me is a very teacher facing question in the sense of like, what would it look like if I created with my students? And like, you're kind of thinking through all the things that you want students to kind of pull out during the unit, which I think is perfect for like a planning lens. What I'm thinking for a student facing project question might be even more succinct. It could be like, what would it look like if we created a piece of music that showed how awesome we were or something? You know what I mean? And then it was like, like that you really like, then it would be like you pulling out from them. Well, our differences make us awesome and our strengths make us awesome and, and each of you bring something to the table. What is that? OK. So then how does that go into this piece of music? So that kind of idea that there's like a back end teacher question that's like here's the things I'm going to pull out from them or make sure I'm like tying to in each lesson and then there's the student facing often in very student friendly terms that are maybe more simplified.

Um But yeah, what, what do you think for the student vising one? I, I love what you just said. I love you. I remember either? Awesome or Fabulous. I, I fabulous. I love Fabulous. Ok. So what would it look like if we created? And so there's the collaboration I think inherent in like we created, right? As a class, a piece of music or composition. What's your preference? Um If we're, if we're talking about students, we, if we created music, just say if we created music that, what was the next piece that shows how, how fabulous we are? Oh, I love it. OK. What would it look like if we created music? That shows how fabulous we are so good. And I'm just imagining too the value of having so many classes here is that you could then have like a whole album because there's so many classes where they're each caring so much. Cool. OK. So then the project itself, I like to think of this in terms of publishing format.

Like where does it go once it's created? So if students are creating, for example, a piece of music, then like, how do family members or how do other school stakeholders or maybe the local community? Like, how do people, people hear it? Um Like where did the, is there like either a concert or are you creating, you know, like a playlist on Spotify or something? You know, like how does it go out? And then also what are the kind of various formats that you're envisioning for this unit? Is there a particular type of instrument or something that you're thinking here's kind of the container for what this could look like. Or could students choose like any type of music, any genre of music, any instrument that they want to use? I think um it would need to be for, for ease of organization for the teacher. I think it would need to be, for example, um non pitched percussion instruments. So um or, or instruments. So I would think you would want to choose one type of instrument or ukuleles or guitars or whatever it is that you have in your classroom that you really love to teach.

That would be um For me, I love to start with non pitch percussion instruments in the beginning of the year. Um It gives me a chance to, you know, kind of review them and all that sort of thing and the kids love to play them. So for me, I would probably choose non pitched percussion, percussion instruments. Awesome. OK. I love it. And then in terms of publishing, do people, how do you want people to experience or get this music? I would want them to see the video of um the, the final product and that would be probably our, our private youtube channel. I love that. OK. Super cool. And then you see, and they can hear because I think there's value in being able to see Children perform music and you know, just, just the, the excitement when they're creating something that they're excited about and they're playing something that they're excited about. It is like, you can just feel it when in the expressions on their faces and, you know, it's, it's different than just listening to it.

Oh, I love that. That's so true. That is so true. So, as we start to think about, OK, this is eight weeks. So we're talking maybe eight lessons. I usually think about kind of three phases that I like to build out. And then I like to also have some like work time for students to actually like be working on this actively, maybe for a full lesson or two. And then also an opportunity for students to kind of test out maybe their, their ideas or share with a peer and get some feedback on it before it's like presentation ready or youtube video ready. And so the first three that I like to think about are kind of like the hook, like how do we get students to just engage in this conversation from the beginning? And I know you um you often use story books. And so maybe that's like the storybook lesson and then I build the base, which is like, what are the core ideas? So it might be core content ideas in terms of inclusivity and celebration of difference or something like that. But it also might be um a musical, right, a musical concept that we're working on throughout the unit or something. What's that kind of like core thing.

And then from there, I like to look at key studies. So I don't know, you are the music expert. So I don't know if this will make any sense. But I'm thinking like, OK, so let's say there's kind of a build the base that's like a core musical concept. And then we look at case studies of where this musical concept lies in this genre of music or this genre of music or this genre of music. And so each day is kind of like a dip into a different genre or a different type of music in some way, but it all kind of ties back to whatever that core music concept is. I don't know if that would work or is if that's typically how you would play in your lessons. Um So the hook would definitely be a storybook. Um We, there's a couple that I'm thinking of off the top of my head. One is all are welcome here by Alexandra Penfold and that is uh set in a classroom on the first day of school and the parents are there and the students are there and the students are um literally, they all look different. They, they all um some, there's one little boy in a wheelchair, there's one little girl who's blind, there's or um that's the wrong word, visually impaired.

Um And you know, so, and, and it's all about uh how while they eat differently. They um live in different places, et cetera, et cetera. Everyone's welcome. So, I love that book. That's usually my, my second lesson of the school year is that book. And then we do some um musical elements to it. But if I was designing um something like this, that would be my starting point. And so that one and then there's another one called, your name is a song and that is by Jamila Tompkins Bigelow, I think. Um, and that one is all about a little girl who goes to school for the first day and she says her name gets stuck in her teacher's mouth and her mother is like, well, tell your teacher that your name is a song. And so I think that names are so important to, to Children to really, to everybody and, you know, sometimes people are very accepting of, ok, well, you can just call me, you know, me or Mylene or, you know, whatever.

But to me, I'm always like, I want to pronounce your name the way your mom or your grandmother or, you know, your loved ones pronounce your name. So, you know, I think there's, um, there's a lot of power in names. So those would be two possible starting points and, and they really would take us in different directions. But, um, you know, depending on, on uh what we chose. I love that. I think about this probably won't work for a music class. Maybe it will, I don't know. But I, I always do story of my name as one of the first like week of school kind of activities where we literally sit in a circle and every student gets to hold the talking piece and just literally share anything they want about who gave them their name, what their name means to them. Do they hate their name? You know, are they named after someone, anything regarding our name? Because there's no prior knowledge required, right? And every student has a story to share. And so I'm wondering if there's even something with that that I'm sure you already have a lesson in mind of like what you would do after reading that storybook.

But you know, this idea of, um having students maybe incorporate some of that name piece as like uh in the music itself that, that they end up creating or like as kind of a starter activity where they're playing with the music that best represents their name or something. Yeah. Um, so I, one thing that I love to do is I love to go around and have them, you know, say their name and we echo back their name, but I love the idea of they say their name and then maybe, um just a little bit about their, their story of their name. So, and we, we could go around the circle like that and then, um I could have them, you know, do it in rhythm. So for example, um you know, I can't think of a good example but um I'm Jeanette. Um my name is French. I don't know, something like that. Um So, you know, you would, you would start it with just like tell us one or two sentences about your name, the story of your name.

And then um now make it into one, you know, 11 measure sentence, 11 measure sentence and and do some rhythm with it. So I love this so good. OK, so then what would your build the base be in terms of a core concept, either musically related or related to the kind of ideas that you want to teach? Tell me again about build the base. Yeah. So this is like, I like to think of it as like if students learn one thing from the entire unit, like what would it be? And given that it is a music class, like I think ultimately we want students to learn about like the idea of all are welcome, right? In, in this idea of class culture. But I imagine there's also some music stuff that you do in a unit like this or, right? So if there was like one musical concept that you're like, OK, let's say I only have like four units for the whole year or something, right? This is one of the four things that I want students leaving the year. Absolutely knowing they have to know it, it is present in a bunch of musical genres, like they, you know, whatever it is.

And so the build-up base is like the one, maybe two lessons of this core idea. Um So I am, I am super like my chorus teacher, my piano teacher would be really ashamed of me, but like this idea of like, I don't know, maybe like a, like the whatever that is like the four beats, like the quarter notes or something, right? Like something like really basic that students would be able to kind of pick up in different genres because then like what we do after the build the base is like, OK, now, where does that concept appear in different types of music? Um So that's, I don't know if there's a particular musical concept that you would teach early on in the year or that would go with the idea of like a lot of different genres. So one of the things that I like to do a lot is I like to have students build rhythms. And so um maybe a um four measure rhythm, like if I gave them any concept, they would be able to create a four measure rhythm with lyrics and they would be able to play it on, we don't want to say any instrument in the classroom, but um on any one of four different instruments in the classroom.

So like that to choose the four instruments that they knew how to play. Um, because they forget, you know, they're only with us once a week. So, um, you know, for the, for me to say every instrument wouldn't work but probably any student could pick up four different instruments and know how to play them. Awesome. Oh, I love this idea because there's so much you could do with it. Right. Once you have the form as a rhythm, like, create for any concept, like anything. So you could do just a preview, like our a session, right? Like the idea of like taking a current event and adding song to it or something and as a response as an emotional response to something happening in the world, like there's so many things that you could do. And then I'm wondering, OK, so for key studies now how we take that and actually like bring it to life, one thing I was thinking was like genres. So we could do genres or we could do like nations or, or something like that. But I'm also wondering if we would want to yes, do those things but maybe have something else that centers or becomes like the case um for each of those days.

And so what I'm thinking here is like, you know, your uh students response to like core values or or experiences of life, like maybe students are kind of co creating what the case study topics are like. I'm just thinking about this idea of identity and criticality and joy, right? Like maybe those are even the case studies. Like what is like, you're creating a four measure rhythm for your identity, you're creating a four measure rhythm for um what it means to like, hear someone be offensive or interrupt that someone being offensive or you know, what does it mean to be joyful, create a four measure rhythm about that? Like, I don't know if that's resonating, but I'm just thinking about all the possibilities here of how you could organize those case studies. What do you think? I mean uh all of those sound amazing. I, I would say um one of the things that comes to mind right away is create a for measure rhythm on how it feels when someone disrespects you and then um or create a for measure rhythm on how you react in a positive way when someone disrespects you um how, how you react or, or how it feels when someone is um doesn't understand your differences.

Um doesn't understand you as a person. I don't know. I'm just like throwing out ideas here. I love this. Yes. OK. So we got how it feels when someone disrespects you, how you react, when someone disrespects you and how you react when someone doesn't appreciate your differences. Mhm mhm Awesome. I'm wondering about um because these are kind of, I think entered on the criticality domain of like identity, criticality, joy. Are there, are there some that could be focused on like the name. I mean, we could even do that. You could even do that in like the hook one of the hook lessons where you are doing your name, like create a four measurement for your name, but you haven't quite introduced it yet because build the base comes after. But um I'm wondering if there's an identity one that we could do and then a joy one, something related to joy. Um So an identity one. I mean it could be as simple as um design your name. Hi, it's Lindsey just popping in here to tell you about today's episode. Freebie Jenette is sharing her lesson plan sampler. This link will give listeners the lesson plan for all are welcome the storybook along with another storybook lesson and a fun outdoor music activity to grab that.

Go to Lindsay Beth lions dot com slash blog slash 134. Back to the episode. What do you want us to call you? And why? Ok. Cool. And then for joy, what would be a prompt for creating a forward measurer then related to joy when you feel happy? What does it look like? What is the one thing that comes to mind that makes you happiest? Um If we want to tie it into music, what kind of music do you listen to? That makes you feel happiest. I love these. Ok, super cool. So I'm wondering so I have seven. I think you could maybe combine them to maybe there's like some that would go, you know, into the same lesson. But I'm wondering if you chunk them even like, so we have maybe like two lessons for like the hook, maybe like one per storybook. Are you thinking storybook, lesson, storybook, lesson circle about their name. Would that be three lessons? Usually when I do this kind of a thing I would do storybook and then lesson and, and the lesson would center around the storybook and then I would go into the next storybook and a lesson for that.

All right. So the hook would probably be two lessons, like two kind of books. Yep. And then build the base. Would you teach a four measure rhythm in one lesson? Depends on the grade level. Um You know, if I'm talking second grade, I, I probably wouldn't do this kind of activity lower than second grade. But if I'm talking second grade, um, we probably wouldn't do a four measure rhythm. We do a one measure rhythm and we wouldn't call it a measure because they're not at a lot of times they're not at that concept yet. Depends on the school. But um, yeah, so I would say, um the base would be kind of a progression, you know. Um And, and maybe we would start it with like my fifth graders, my fourth graders, you know, they're gonna know that right away, create a four measure rhythm. They're gonna be fine with that. Um, 2nd and 3rd grade, we probably would have to work together. I'd have to do some modeling, that sort of thing.

Ok. So if we said like, on average, maybe it was one lesson then it would be like, maybe a little bit more for some, maybe a little bit less for others. Yeah. Yeah. Ok. Cool. And so then we have five left so we could do maybe like three for case studies and then have two for students to just like, either create something new or I'm imagining if they're creating during the case studies, maybe it's just their recording time. Like they, they already created it but they're just putting it into youtube or whatever that would be. I think that would work best is to have three that way. And then how many, how many lessons do we have? We're doing, we've got 3456. I think we had thought about eight initially and now we're up to six. Yeah. So we would have two left for the, yeah, I would say two for, for recording time for, for like rehearsal time and recording time. And of course, when you're doing this whole thing, you would want to be really careful to give them a time limit because I, I know for probably all teachers if you don't give them a time limit, like, ok, we're gonna set the timer and you've got three minutes to come up with your 44 measure rhythm, that type of thing because otherwise they're gonna spend the whole class on it and I learned the hard way.

Absolutely. And so I think this is a beautiful like outline for a unit. And I, I'm so excited. How are you feeling? Like, how did this process feel? How are you feeling about the unit in general? I'm really liking it. It's first of all, great to talk through something like this with someone and that, that's one of the things that I really want to have in my community. The happy Music teacher academy is the ability for music teachers to meet up together and do something like this because, you know, we're, um, there's a, there's a music teacher out there who calls us on music teacher Island. And, um, that is a true fact. And so, you know, you're, you're trying to come up with wonderful creative lessons for your students and it's really hard because it's just you. So just to like, be able to bounce the ideas off of you and you give me suggestions and vice versa. It's like the most amazing process ever. Oh my gosh. That's so heartening to hear. Thank you. And I think that's a perfect segue for you to tell people about all of the things that you do and the space for any music teachers listening to be able to go find you online and like, how do they do that?

I guess. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, I run a, uh, community for music teachers. It's called the Happy Music Teacher Academy. And you can go in there and first of all have professional development. I have a couple of, uh, courses that teach you how to use storybooks in your classroom and to, to use them to teach music skills, that sort of thing. I also have a course that tells you kind of teaches you the music teacher lingo if you will. So that the connection is really very vivid between the classroom and the music room. And it, it really just adds a whole level of um just, just another level of, of uh I can't think of the word um like a level of respect um among the students because when they, when they hear that you're using the same lingo, it, it's really good for them and, and it, it also shows them that connection. So there are two courses in there, couple more courses on the way.

And then the biggest drive for the music teacher academy is that I want there to be a community among music teachers. And we just really don't have that ability, especially in the elementary realm. So, um where can you find me? My website is stories that sing dot net. And you can um if you wanted to see a little bit about what I do as far as developing lesson plans, stories that sing dot net forward slash lesson plan sampler. And if you wanted to hear more about the music teacher, Happy Happy Music Teacher Academy. It's stories that sing dot net forward slash join the Happy Music Teacher Academy. Brilliant. Thank you so much, Jenette. Also, Jeannette has an awesome podcast. I don't know if you want to talk about that, Jeanette. Oh, yes, I do. I have a podcast. I meant to mention that it's called the Happy Music Teacher. And I dramatically changed the way that I was teaching and the just kind of my whole drive and my whole purpose as a music teacher about maybe seven or eight years ago.

And I, I sort of just reset my mind and, and just, I, I just really approach things from a very different perspective. And I found that I was a lot happier in my job after that and I was a lot happier as a teacher and my students, I saw a lot more smiling faces and I saw a lot more engagement and interactivity. And so I've, I just have been thinking for a long time about ways to help other music teachers be happier in their jobs because it is a hard job. And, you know, I think a lot of times people don't realize because they're like, oh, they're just in there singing and dancing and it's so much fun and yes, it's so much fun. But if you are an elementary music teacher or a music teacher. Of any kind, you know that it is also a hard job. So, um my goal is to just give you tips and suggestions and help you to kind of wade through all of the garbage that comes along with your job.

So if you, if you'd like to check that out on any podcast format, um it's the happy music teacher. Awesome Jeannette. Thank you so much for spending time with us today and for doing this kind of episode. I know it's a little daunting to kind of just jump in there and you created something beautiful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And I thank you for having me. I really thoroughly enjoyed this process. Yay. Oh, I'm so glad if you're leaving this episode wanting more. You're going to love my life coaching intensive curriculum, boot camp. I help one department or grade team create feminist anti racist curricula that challenges affirms and inspires all students. We weave current events into course content and amplify student voices which skyrockets engagement and academic achievement. It energizes educators feeling burns out and it's just two days. Plus you can reuse the same process any time you create a new unit which saves time and money. If you can't wait to bring this to your staff, I'm inviting you to sign up for a 20 minute call with me. Grab a spot on my calendar at www dot Lindsay beth lions dot com slash contact.

Until next time. Leaders continue to think. Big act brave and be your best self. This podcast is a proud member of the Teach Better podcast network better today, better tomorrow and the podcast to get you there, explore more podcasts at teach better dot com slash podcasts and we'll see you at the next episode.

134. Unit Dreaming: Making Music and Building Class Culture with Jeanette Shorey
134. Unit Dreaming: Making Music and Building Class Culture with Jeanette Shorey
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