Student Assignments

We have found that it is important to build a foundation of knowledge leading into The Big IDEA. We begin by teaching students how to set OMGs - Obtainable Musical Goals. We then teach them strategies to reach their goals, and how to analyze how they've done. The IDEA journals should be introduced one at a time, depending on the level of background knowledge the student or group possesses, all leading up to the Step 4 - The Big IDEA Journal. On this page we have also included other activities that go Beyond The Big IDEA. We encourage you to mix it up,  keep kids thinking, and trying to find what works best for them and you. The goal is to help students to Practice with Purpose!

IDEA Journals

Step 1: Identify & Decide: Goal Setting for ORCHESTRA
This assignment helps students learn to set goals that IDENTIFY a section of their music to work on as well as DECIDE what musical concept needs attention. This example acts as a one-day practice guide, or you can provide several copies for students to use throughout the week. 
Step 1: Identify & Decide: Goal Setting for BAND
This assignment helps students learn to set goals that IDENTIFY a section of their music to work on as well as DECIDE what musical concept needs attention. This example acts as a one-day practice guide, or you can provide several copies for students to use throughout the week. 
Step 2: Executing Strategies 
This assignment teaches students EXECUTE a variety of strategies to help them accomplish their goals. It can be introduced as an individual assignment, sectional activity or class project. We recommend introducing this step along with one of our practice strategy guides.
Step 3: Analyze 3-2-1
This assignment asks students to ANALYZE what went well and what needs to improve. It can be edited and used for group or individual assessment to reflect upon individual practice, ensemble rehearsal, or performance.

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Step 4: The IDEA Journal
This assignment combines all 4 elements of IDEA into one journal. Student will IDENTIFY a section, DECIDE on OMGs, EXECUTE their plan, and ANALYZE their work. Included are four variations (based on length of the project and quanity goal options) 
Beginning IDEA Journal
Guided IDEA-based journal for beginning and intermediate students to strategize and reflect on practice assignments.
5-5-5 Planning Guide
Done individually, as a class activity, or sectional discussion the 5-5-5 planning Journal is designed to have your students pre-plan their practice for the week. They are to IDENTIFY and DECIDE on 5 goals, come up with 5 strategies they will use to EXECUTE those goals and then use those things to guide their practice for the week, (at least 5 days). 

Beyond The Big IDEA

Music Growth Project

This zip file contains a Blended Learning Project where students earn points each quarter by completing different music activities. Included are sample documents that you can use to help students keep track of their points and activities. 

Choice Board

An alternate Blended Learning Project where students get to choose their own music activities to complete over one quarter.

Music Listening Project - Orchestra

A month long project that will get students listening to a variety of music. They will also spend time Analyzing at the end of the month. 

Music Listening Project - Band
Concert Check-List

A teacher-created checklist to help young musicians streamline their practicing leading up to concert day. Fill in everything in red. 

30 Day Practice Challenge

Inspired by Hilary Hahn's #100days of practice,  this activity encourages students to practice every day for 30 days in a row, while tracking their OMGS through FlipGrid.

Practice BINGO: Generic

A fun way to get kids practicing more! Try using it prior to a big concert and attach prizes to the game to really get kids motivated to play!  This generic version will work for distance learning and beyond.

Practice BINGO: Orchestra Specific