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Sunday, November 6, 2016

SUB PLANS for Orchestra

It's not easy preparing for a sub in orchestra.  I have tried many different activities for students to do when I am gone and some work better than others.  I always wish students could just work in small sectionals and practice but they just don't use their time wisely and some students don't cooperate when there is no teacher present.  Here are some ideas for sub plans in orchestra:

1.  Plan a composition activity.  Let students create a short piece of music.  You can create a worksheet and keep it on hand for those days when you will be gone.  A fun variation might be to show a short clip from a silent movie - there are lots of options on YouTube - and let students work in small groups to create music for the movie.  Here are a few worksheets I have used over the years:

2.  Create a listening assignment.  Have students listen to music and draw pictures of what the music make them think or feel.  You could have them listen to their concert music and mark the sheet music with things they need to work on.  This is a listening assignment I created using The Planets:

3.  Play a game.  Recently I used this ORCHESTRA OLYMPICS (click the link for access to the presentation) game for my beginners.  The sub showed the presentation from google drive and students completed each activity and filled out the worksheet with their scores.

Next week I am heading to  Dallas to present at the NAfME National Conference.  On one of the days I will be gone students will play this card game I just made - Music Matching Spoons (This is a free download at TPT - just click the link!).  The rules are the same as regular 'Spoons.'  I bought a couple packages of plastic spoons from the Dollar Store and I think students will have fun.  Students need to pay attention and have good reflexes when playing an instrument and this game is all about developing those skills.  This did require a lot of prep work because I printed 4 sets of the game and had to cut out all of the cards.  

4.  Make a video.  I don't usually do this, but since I will be missing 3 days next week I wanted to make sure my students are practicing and rehearsing in class.  I recorded 9 videos using my iPad and uploaded them to YouTube so my sub can project the videos in front of the class as they follow along with my teaching.  Learning music takes a lot of repetition so my sub will use the same videos for 2 days in a row as students follow along.  I recorded videos for our warm-up, method book, and concert pieces.  It didn't take me very long and I have 45 minutes total...which is the length of my classes.  My beginners will use the videos through most of the class period.  I didn't record as much for my intermediate and advanced groups because it is easier to rehearse those groups.  This was really easy to do....Here's a sample:

5.  Practice Assignment.  This works well for smaller classes.  If the class to very large it would be too noisy for quality practice unless students can spread out into practice rooms.  Assign specific sections of music for students to play perfectly 10 times.  I like to use this repetition tracker: