Masterclass Review – My Opinion

After doing my masterclass, I have looked back on my lesson plan to review, in my own opinion, how it went.

Personally, I feel that my masterclass went well, but was expecting it to be much different. It felt like it was very rushed due to the short time we had (20 minutes due to the 40 minute lunch break which had to be shortened to allow students to eat) and when looking back on my lesson plan, due to being nervous, I did miss a few things out.

STARTER ACTIVITY: The starter activity which was to discuss warm-ups and have each student give an idea, did not happen quite as I had planned. We did discuss why warm-ups were important and I gave out the work-sheet allowing students to see some of the warm ups that I personally do. However, as all of the students were quite shy and didn’t voice their opinion too much, I felt that they might feel slightly uncomfortable and embarrassed giving their ideas and examples for warms ups. Because of this I decided to stick with just discussing them and doing demonstrations myself, that they could join in with if they wanted to.

ACTIVITY 1: This activity is where we would talk about harmonies in music, and how they create a fuller, more textured song. In my plan I said that I would show a clip of a song, and then talk about the four vocal parts, but during the actual masterclass, I did this the other way round. I asked the students if they knew what the 4 main vocal parts are, they were all certain of the answer which was great. I did show the class a small section of the song by Destinys Child ‘Gospel Melody’, but at this point felt they became uninterested. After the clips had finished I asked is any body else had a clip they wanted to share. As I thought, nobody offered to share any music, so we moved onto learning Amazing Grace. – The lunch break only had 5 minutes left, so we decided to stop there and work on it next week. – 

ACTIVITY 2: Activity 2 was to learn the arrangement of Amazing Grace. This week 14 students turned up during the lunch break for my masterclass, compared to the 7 in the previous week. This was great! Although only alto and soprano vocal parts turned up, but this was not a big problem. I gave a print-out of the vocal score to each student so they could follow the music and played the mp3 version whilst they were eating their lunch so they could hear what it was going to sound like. When we started to practice Amazing Grace, we found that the soprano part was too high for the students. Because of this we decided to make the alto part the soprano, and drop the original soprano part down an octave to make the new alto part. This worked well and all of the students felt much more comfortable singing this. For the few people who did not read music, I played the mp3 version so that they had a guide to follow and could remember the pattern. When changing the vocal parts, some of the sharps or flats did not match on the garageband project, so there were a few off notes played during a run-through. Mrs Oakland, the music teacher, did accompany the vocals on piano which was really helpful when wanting to focus on a specific part. I think this section of the masterclass went really well, all of the students were enthusiastic to learn and seemed to enjoy the lesson. It was also a great experience for me to be able to see what it would be like to be a vocal tutor or work within a school environment.

REVIEW/PLENARY: The review did not happen as I expected. We did run out of time and I was not able to open a discussion about the masterclass. However, I did give out surveys for all of the students to answer, so this worked as a review as I asked good questions about how they found the masterclass and if they learnt anything. The feedback was very positive and I am really happy about that.

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