As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on middle school chamber music recitals, I’d like to share some of the feedback that I’ve received from students during the past week. This is actual feedback from real students.
- “I did not have a least favorite part! I loved chamber music!”
- “My favorite part was playing with my friends because we got to help other improve and got to learn more about them as musicians.”
- When asked about their favorite part: “Learning how to work individually, and problem solving without help from Mr. Guarr.”
- “…taking the responsibility for us to make the piece sound good.”
- “Co-leading a ‘band’ gave us more confidence.”
- “I like that we were on our own to work out our bumpy roads in music.”
- “I loved it! Can we do it every concert?”
- “My favorite part is that it was peer-led and we all had a say in how things worked.”
- “[My favorite part was] bonding with my group because I was a new student when this started.”
- “Independently having the ability to add/change dynamics.”
- “At some points we would disagree with some parts and we would have to fix them by coming to a compromise.”
- “My favorite part was being able to pick groups and pieces of music, because we got some independence.”
Some common themes emerged during the post-concert reflections we did as a class. Students were excited to step outside of the normal “band concert” box and do something new. They loved the independence offered by chamber music (though at times it was a double-edged sword). And perhaps most gratifying of all, with the exception of a few students, everybody said that they’d like to do this again.
It was definitely a strange feeling to give up so much control for a concert, but seeing the end result has been incredible. This kind of student growth and engagement is going to be a big positive for our music program; I’d encourage others to consider making chamber music an option for their students as well.
The Trombonist’s Mouthpiece by Joe Guarr is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License