The Orchard School, Classroom Pop-In: Suellen Sharp's Orchestra Class

Suellen Sharp teaches Middle School Orchestra, 3rd & 4th Grade Music, and she's in charge of Orchard's Winter Pageant and Spring Pageant. It takes an exceptional teacher to balance all of those moving pieces. And that's just what Suellen exceptional educator.

Earlier this month, we spent an entire class period with Suellen's sixth grade orchestra class. The classroom was full of laughter, encouragement, and beautiful sounds. Suellen's ability to foster significant relationships with ages eight through 14-years-old is wonderful to watch. Students are able to learn the importance of The Arts in a meaningful way because they trust and love their teacher. 

From the teacher:
Suellen explains what was happening the day we popped in. 😀  

"Students in sixth grade orchestra class are learning the basics of playing their instruments in an ensemble. They also take ownership of their learning through problem solving and leadership roles.
 Several times a week, students are broken up into "sectionals." A student leader is chosen for the day and helps guide a group of instruments through rehearsing their specific part. This allows for students to independently spot mistakes and create ways to fix them. 

This independent type of rehearsal allows the students to take ownership over their improvement. Students develop leadership skills, and gain confidence in their musicianship instead of always relying on a conductor to correct their mistakes."

Progressive education tenet: Joyful learning occurs when a connection is made between the developmental readiness of the learner and the complexity of the material guided by a teacher who knows each learner well.

Parent portal users click here to see the photos.


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