School motivation and failure, low academic performance, a high number of students per classroom, different cultural background, different educational needs … The causes that give rise to the school conflict are multiple and the answers are few. Often, we do not know how to address certain problems that prevent us from developing our teaching as successfully as we would like.
Most of us, unfortunately, have experienced at some point in their career the feeling of impotence that produces a lack of coexistence in class. Some groups become rival subgroups, sometimes a partner is an emptiness, other times the emotions overflow the classroom in the form of howls, insults, and even physical aggressions. It is impossible to learn anything.
After much experimenting, I dare to recommend some guidelines so that any teacher colleague can successfully develop them in their center and improve the classroom environment.
Attention: it is not necessary to have musical knowledge. It does take a lot of patience, recorded music, rhythm, sense of humor, perseverance, and goodwill.
What do we do?
It is not so much about what we do to deal with cases of violence, or about what we do to turn our centers into suitable spaces for learning about coexistence.
Faced with the reality we face daily in the classroom, we need new alternatives that appease the mood of adolescents, techniques that favor self-control and the channeling of tensions rather than continually resort to studies to apply repression, confrontation Direct, expulsions of class or center and the bitter taste entailed by all these measures.
I propose to carry out a routine based on techniques of music therapy adapted to the school environment since we started the course with the kids:
1. Observation and Sound Identity
Through inquiries and surveys, we can identify the sound identity of our students and work from that intimate connection between music and our emotions. Once our captive audience has the hairs on end because of what is listening, we are ready to create a link with them, we are moving with the same measure.
Next, we will have to identify how the group breathes: related and discordant personalities, isolated elements, positive and negative leaders, subgroups, history, events that have left their mark, needs, likes and dislikes … The first part begins: to know us, to know us, Lay the foundations of the class and mark the boundaries before putting group dynamics into practice.
2. Hands on the job
The structure of our class will be fundamental to ensure success, we cannot leave any room for improvisation. Everything well organized, you have to draw a target. What do we want to achieve with this particular student body? Plan the resources counting on the fact that sometimes the internet is slow and we must plan a plan b, take into account possible adverse reactions or lack of collaboration, visualize the exercise and try to record it to later reflect on what has happened and prepare the following session. However, the most important thing is that you adapt the dynamics to your reality, to the personality of your kids, to your cultural context and the sound identity of your group.
You may also like to read: IMBALANCE BETWEEN EMOTIONS, ORGANS …
Observe the problem that you would like to address and reserve at least one session per month to deal with music. What we usually need teachers: activities to release the aggressiveness (exercises with palms, heels, body percussion, heavy metal music …), to create community (hymns, group performances, own music of your community …), to learn to relate With different people (musical role plays, couple changes, choreographies, activities with families of instruments …), for inclusion in the group (sweepstakes, blind dynamics …), for relaxation (music of Tibetan bowls, breathing to beat …), for cooperative learning ,
A few words of encouragement to finish
I dedicate this post to all those who, despite the current circumstances, continue to dedicate their life, energy, and enthusiasm to teaching. To paraphrase my great teacher, Fernando Savater, an accomplice in this task of defending the presence of Music in education, I will end by saying that teaching presupposes optimism as swimming requires a liquid medium to exercise, so much encouragement ( Which our profession deserves. I hope from the heart these brush strokes will serve to improve your teaching task a little and, citing my colleague José María Toro, do not forget that the resource par excellence is always you.