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February 27, 2015
by: Drew Fredrichsen

IDEAS Rock Band Class to perform

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The public is invited to see one of the final stages of the journey the IDEAS Rock Band class has been on this trimester. Over the course of the trimester students have focused on learning key elements of what it takes to be in a rock band: communication, collaboration, and Habits of Mind.


Students' first month of preparation was focused on learning how to "speak the language" and apply that language to something musical. This was necessary to comprehend for conducting rehearsals and to communicate with others in their future groups. This was done by learning to read tablature, which is music notation system written specifically for guitar and bass respectfully. Students also learned another part of "speaking the language" by knowing the "Fretboard Geography" - identifying note names and where they correspond on the fret board.

Students refined these skills through daily check-ins and formal assessments to ensure comprehension by applying them to their respective instruments.

Both understandings (fretboard geography and tablature) allowed the class to use this new language as a way to analyze their first two songs as a class ("My Generation"- the Who and "Hardest Button to Button" -White Stripes)
They analyzed the music of the pieces by recognizing patterns within the songs they were learning. This formula of seeing the patterns within the music allowed the students to define and label the parts needed to mark specific sections of music. (verse, chorus, bridge)

After performing the two pieces for the school, the students broke off into smaller groups to start work on repeating the process more independently - applying new knowledge learned: reading tablature, fretboard geography, while analyzing song form helped to learn, and communicate with each other, how to perform the new pieces. This led to student directed rehearsals that were developed from daily conversations and group goals. Students kept a daily goal log showing progress and new objectives.

The final performances will demonstrate a mixture of specific skills learned on instruments and voice, combined with the effort and daily collaboration and planning. Each band will also demonstrate their ability to perform a refined piece which embodies each band's intentional interpretation, and how they present them to an audience to enjoy.

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