Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WK 3-Art of Possibility Reading

The Conductor doesn't make a sound

In reading this week, one phrase stood out. The conductor doesn’t make a sound. He uses the strengths of his orchestra to produce it. The first story that made me think about my classroom was with the Cuban and American Youth Orchestras. Due to unseen circumstances one piece of music was not given to one group. This almost ruined the concert until one conductor came up with an idea. Let the youth teach each other. This pressure caused them to think outside of the box for a moment. I want to say for a moment because when they saw a solution that worked they almost resort back to business as usual. How many times do teachers find that ah-hah moment and then resort back to the routine? In the next scenario, one viola blanks out during a crucial time in the performance. The violinist sitting next to him seamlessly plays the part on his instrument that is not tuned at the same pitch. The piece went off flawlessly. Wouldn’t it be great to be in a class and not be noticed? Not because you are ineffective, but because your students are collaborating so well that they embrace the assignment and make it their own.


  1. Duwaine,
    On the other hand using silence to quite a group of students. I did that many times in a college situation. They were quite talkative and I refused to yell over them. So I began writing on the board. It was amazing on how a quite jester on my part quieted them down. We began the lesson and found that they were more attentive. As a matter of fact, subsequent class meetings they behaved differently. They came in quietly and took their seats and raised their hands when they had a question. It was truly amazing how I got more notoriety for not raising my voice. It showed them respect and in turn I got it back.

  2. Yes Golda, that is so true. I feel that my students already have enough people yelling at them. I only raise my voice when there is an emergency. The text stated that while the orchestra is playing the conductor doesn't make a sound. I love to be in class when the students are so engaged they forget I'm there. i would like to tell everyone that yelling only leads to being hoarse.

  3. Great application and reflection on the reading. The musical aspects obviously appeals to you.

  4. Duwaine,

    Your post reminds me of the fact that as teachers we cannot possibly be the masters of every single bit of content or tool used to teach that content. As a teacher I find it my duty to help teach the students to be self sufficient learners. This could mean, instead of being embarrassed I don't know the answer to their question and making it up, telling them to look it up and report back to the class tomorrow. It could also mean have a student show the class how to use a new web 2.0 tool they are more comfortable with than I am. It's all about giving power back to the students, it's amazing what they will do with it, we need not be afraid!