Ashley Hall's Professional Education Portfolio

K-12 Certified Music Educator

Substandard G


Use of technological tools, operations, and concepts to enhance learning, personal/professional productivity, and communication, including the ability to:

g.  Use technology to engage in ongoing professional development, practice, productivity, communication, and life-long learning.

This substandard addresses the ability for a teacher to utilize new tools, media, communications, and so forth in their own professional development, practice, productivity, communication, and life-long learning. In my student teaching semester, I spent quite a bit of time researching how instrumental music teachers utilize lesson plans in their weekly instruction compared to my own use.

Each resource I discovered gave me a different answer or opinion on the value of the lesson plan in the music classroom. In researching, I have found the following statements to be true about pre-service verses experienced teachers’ lesson plans;

“[Teachers] with more-structured plans gave significantly more approvals, and their students had significantly higher achievement compared to those using less-structured plans.”

I was also very interested in the level of detail in lesson plans between the two types of teachers. In our education courses here at Albion, contextual or music, we often hear our teachers stress the use of typed-up dialogs or detailed notes to aid us during our early lesson plans. Creating a dialog for yourself can keep your lesson plans focused and organized. My research showed me similar results between pre-service and experienced teachers’ word counts;

“Experienced teachers used fewer words than undergraduates but revealed the same number of strategies and level of detail, on average.”

-Ruth Britten, Preservice and Experienced Teachers’ Lesson Plans for Beginning Instrumentalists, Journal of Research in Music Education, vol. 53, no. 1, 26-39.

Following is an example of one of my daily lesson plans used for my 6th Grade Band rehearsals at Pennfield Middle School. My level of detail, as a pre-servie teacher, is high but the same ideas can be used in a simplified version and still prove just as effective (especially for veteran teachers).


Lesson Plan Topic: Prelude and March: Playing with a March Style, Fast Tempos, Note Duration, Cut-Offs

Date: 10/15/10

Group: 6th Grade Band



Content Standard 1: All students will apply skills and knowledge to perform in the arts.

• ART.I.M.M.1 Sing and play with expression and technical accuracy a repertoire of vocal and instrumental literature, including some songs performed from memory.

• ART.I.M.M.2 Sing and play music representing diverse genres and cultures, with expression appropriate for the work being performed.

• ART.I.M.M.3 Sing accurately with good breath control throughout singing ranges.

• ART.I.M.M.4 Sing music written in two and three parts.

• ART.I.M.M.5 Perform accurately, with appropriate technique, on at least one instrument —solo, in small and large ensembles.

• ART.I.M.M.8 Read whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth (percussion only), and dotted notes and rests; simple, compound, and alla breve meters. (This piece does not address the standards in italics as it does not contain these musical concepts).

• ART.I.M.M.9 Sight read simple melodies in treble and bass clefs.


Content Standard 3:  All students will analyze, describe and evaluate works of art.

• ART.III.M.M.1 Describe specific music events in a given aural example, using appropriate terminology.

• ART.III.M.M.5 Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of one’s own and others’ performances, compositions, arrangements, and improvisations by applying specific and appropriate criteria and offering constructive suggestions for improvement.



Students will identify and play the exercise(s) with the appropriate tempo, dynamic, articulation, and phrasing as notated in the music or else by the director.

Students will identify other instrumental sections that share the same rhythmic and melody ideas as their own.

Students will articulate passages with the correct technique for march-style playing.

Students will hold notes for their notated duration (1-and, 2-and, 3-and, 4-and…).

Teacher and students will rehearse to properly stop their sound on beat three with a point-style cut-off by the conductor at the end of the piece.

•  Students will continue to self-correct musical and technical mistakes as they become apparent, including breathe control, dynamics, accents, rhythmic elements, and expressive markings.



Prelude and March, Andrew Balent, Carl Fischer Inc. Copyright 1994.



Teacher will take to the podium. As is instructed in the classroom rules, the class will become quiet at this time. Teacher will remain standing still on the podium until the entire class has quieted.

Teacher will announce exercise number 86 and give the students a few moments to find it in their textbooks. The teacher will take the students though exercise numbers 86-89, with the idea of performing these exercises “as if they were in a concert, mom and dad in the audience.”

The teacher will take the students through a few rounds of the F Concert Scale, and then begin dismissing the students by row, three-at-a-time, to take their test with Mr. Driver.

The teacher will have the students play the march section of Prelude and March (Letter C) to the end of the piece, addressing the march style, the rushing or slowing of the tempo, and the cut-off at the end of the piece (this is for students and teacher, setting a formal concert cut-off).

In particular, the clarinets have been slowing down at Letter D, causing the rest of the sections to keep slowing down at their entrances at Letters E and F. Run these sections a few times, going back to Letter C any time the clarinets slow in tempo. Insist on the correct tempo from the clarinets.

The note duration in the chords of the low brass from Letters E to the end of the piece need to be addressed. At Letter E, the chords need to be held to their fullest length (1-and, 2-and, 3-and, 4-and, 1-and, 2-and, 3-and, 4-and (quick breath), 1-and, 2-and, etc…). Do not let the chords drop out early. Also, at Letter H, the fanfare in the low brass needs to be articulated with the tongue and played stylistically with proper air support and a bold color.

The cut-off for this piece needs to end in a point of the baton on count three. The sound should just end. Stop, as if the breathe is cut off. The conductor will not give the formal cut off (a twirl of the baton at the wrist). This needs to be run a few times so that students and conductor are familiar with the cut-off. Flutes, in particular, tend to hold this pitch over. Repeat the cut off from Letter H until it is “concert clean.”

After fifteen to twenty (15-20) minutes of rehearsal work with individual sections, the teacher will bring the beginning through Letter E of the piece together in a run-through (a start-to-finish performance of the piece without an audience). This is necessary to give the students a sense of accomplishment and put all of the components of the rehearsal together.

The teacher will provide feedback to the group (two positives, one negative policy as needed).

The time remaining in this rehearsal (approximately 20 to 25 minutes) will be dedicated to “Your Choice” time. During this time, the teacher will call on individual students modeling “good behavior” (not talking, sitting still, eyes focused on the conductor) to pick a piece from their textbook for the entire ensemble to perform. Normally, the class will cycle through approximately six-to-ten (6-10) pieces.



Informal: Ask questions and/or give prompts aimed at addressing elements in the music to highlight and choose individual students to respond. 

Informal: Full band run-through of the music after sectional/part work.

Formal: Have students evaluate the sounds and articulations they produce. Ask students how it should sound and what they can do with their technique to achieve said sound.

Formal: Have students play individually or in instrumental sections specified sections (rehearsal letters or measures) of the piece and assess the technical and musical quality with which they performed. 

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.