You're listening to that music podcast with Bryson Tarbet, the curriculum designer and educational consultant behind that music teacher at the elementary music summit each week, Bryson and his guests will dive into the reality of being an elementary music teacher, and how music can truly be transformative in the lives of the students you serve. Show Notes and resources mentioned in this episode can be found at that music teacher.com.
Welcome back to that music podcast. I am super excited for you to be joining us today, we're going to be talking about one of my all time favorite ways to use transitions in the lessons. So if you haven't listened to Episode 47 of the podcast, I highly recommend you stop, go listen to that, and then come back to this one. Because Episode 47, we talked about my favorite ways to use seamless transitions and a lesson, why that's important how we can make sure that we're using them to maximize our instructional time, keep our engagement up, but also keep our classroom management just super simple. Because the students are having fun and they're constantly being given something to do even when it's something that's a little bit more of a relaxation thing or a little less, less stressful that is allowing them to kind of have a little bit of a break during the lesson. So if you haven't listened to that episode, go and listen to it and come join us back. But if you have already listened to this, let's talk about why story is important. As humans, we love the power of story. Think about the ways that we teach children like young children basic concepts, right stories, you know, there's books for our you know, teeth or not for biting, and everybody poops, and all these wonderful books that are just like, ways that we can explain what the world is and how the world goes through story. If you think about just how stories began, it was just people talking to other people and sharing their expertise, whether that be through a fable, or through sharing family history, things like that. Stories are incredibly innately human. And they're really good at keeping engagement and keeping are things in your memory. I know I remember stories from years ago, that were told to me or read to me that if I was just kind of presented that information, I wouldn't remember it. I'm thinking Magic School Bus or you know, the Magic School Bus books or the you know, the Boxcar Children and magic Treehouse, all those wonderful things that they were told their story, I got that information because it was told through story. So that is another wonderful reason to use story in your classroom is not only is it helping your transitions, but it's also really helping that memory form, which let's be honest, that's what teaching is, is getting students to understand concepts and skills, and to get that from the short term memory into that long term memory. So what might using story look like? Now, you probably heard about how stories can be used in early elementary classrooms to bring things together. But I truly believe that you can use storytelling in a way that is good for any elementary grade, even up to sixth grade where I you know, my highest grade is six, right? I think that again, it's just a human. So at least first look at the younger age. When I'm thinking of using stories, I have to go towards my kindergarten class because that is where I probably use stories the most, because we're going through a lot of basic repertoire, because this is the first time they've had music class. And I like to bring things together. So let me start you off on one of my kindergarten plans. So I meet my students at the door I say, oh my goodness, friends, we are going to go on an adventure. We're not going to take a bus. We're not going to take a car. We're not going to take an airplane. What are what else could we take? The might say a tank or we might say of of submarine. But eventually really no. Oh, we're going to take a train. Perfect. Alright, I want you to make your best train and we're going to walk around the room. And Jen and Jen number nine and we go around the room. And we're going around I see we Oh goodness. We are coming up to a hill who a train is really heavy and my struggle go up the hill. Alright, are you ready? Let's try. And Jen and Jen. And we do it slowly. So to say like we're getting into speed tempo, right? And then once you get to the top of the hill, what's going to happen? We're gonna go down and then we go down the hill, and we're gonna get faster. Alright, so now we've done that a couple times, we end up in a circle and I say, oh my goodness, all of that tree. Or you know, our train was so heavy. I wonder what was in our train what could be in our train? Call me because maybe it was a bunch of apples. Oh my goodness. I don't know. They're, you know, apples could be that heavy. And then we could talk about different things that we can use to make apples you can make apple butter apple pie. And that reminds me of oh my goodness, that one time I went up the apple tree. And then I got to the top of the apple tree and there was one apple that was like really far away. So I reached up to the top and accidentally broke a branch. And then all the app pulls fell on me. Oh my goodness, that hurt kind of hurt a lot. But then I noticed there were all these different apples. I took up the apples. I took them home and took them in the kitchen. I chopped them up I cleaned them up and made sure There weren't any worms in it. And I started making some apple pudding apple pie. And then my mom came in, my mom said, Where did you get all these apples? And I'm like, Well, I went to the store, and they were giving them away. And she said, Did you ever tell a lie? And throughout that entire thing, I just, I just kind of we went through, we did the entire chant. I climbed up the apple tree, the apple fell on me, Apple putting apple pie. Did you ever tell a lie, and then we go right into the activity, or maybe we go into using some manipulatives or something. But what we're doing is we're really making sure that one activity one repertoire, one piece of repertoire, one song, one, game, one activity, whatever, is all moving together. And it doesn't need to be around the same theme. For instance, the tree train had nothing to do with apples. But you as a teacher can come up with a way of morphing the two. So for instance, if now we're at the apples, and I said, Oh, my goodness, we ate all those apples, and I left them on the counter. And the next morning, there were some little nibbles out of it. I was like Mr. Tarbet. What did you did you sleep off? Did you eat a bunch of pie? And I'm like, No, I don't think it was me. And I go up closer. And I realized there's nibbles on the Apple pudding too. I'm like, what is that? All of a sudden, they see this little mouse skier across the counter. And they go Oh, no. So there's always one kid. It's like, oh, it's so cute. And like, Okay. And then I said, I don't want mice in my house. I like mice in the in the woods. That's fine. But what can we do to get or what can we put get in our house to make sure that the mice don't eat our food? And someone might see a trap? Like, yeah, we could do a trap? Like, I don't know, that kind of sounds scary. I don't want to in this moment, I might see a cat and like, yes, we can get a cat. And if the cat is in the house, the mice might want to stay away. Most most see little mouse see me? Hurry do and I might say, uh, what happens if the mouse doesn't hurry in some of those screams that
God's gonna get me right the cats kind of got him or that
kid tema how see will be chasing you. And then again, we can move into wherever we want. We could play the game, we could do an activity. But again, we've used that transition, the power of story to move from one piece to the next or from one activity to the next. This might seem super basic. But the reality is, is it's super impactful. And your students are going to be engaged the entire time if you're doing it right. So what might this look a little bit older? Because yes, it works a little bit older, a little bit on the younger kids. But honestly, I think sometimes if we're gonna if we're okay, giving a little bit of cringe, our students are going to be so like, we're going to love the stories if, especially if they've been using the stories all the way throughout. So sometimes for my sixth graders, I might kind of play up the stick a little bit and like oh my goodness, I went to the Ohio State Fair and I saw this giant pig. Oh my goodness, you guys know what a pig is being called a PE they call it something else. They get a bore. No, it wasn't a bore. It was a sow. And we're on a road SAO is getting ready for that kind of mucky muck, I'ma and we go through the whole shtick again, and again, even moving things through. So we get to that we will we get to the end of that and we can move into another activity. You don't have to make it this huge, not the ideally it's short, we're going from one activity to the next in a simplified way that allows them to have that that pivot point rather than ra everybody stop. Now we're doing this, we want them to be gently brought along with us on the journey rather than Alright, now we're gonna get some whiplash and move over here. Now it's time for them stuff, right? We want things to be going through. The reality is story can be incredibly impactful for our lessons. And it doesn't need to be this super crazy, wonderful, high intensity novel. It just can be as simple as pretending something happened to you, Mike, my younger kids that probably think I live the most extravagant life because, you know, I had my cat, she was missing for a while. And then she went and visited the Queen and then she came back and she had butter all over her whiskers, right? Because I whenever you're able to bring it into your life, it turns that magic on, it lights up that story, you know, the innately human, we want to know what happens next. It allows that that short term memory to go into long term memory, because it's kind of like attached to that story. And I think the classroom management and transition side aside, being able to have things more concrete in a child's memory is huge. So that's why I use stories in my classroom. And sometimes I plan them out and sometimes I kind of make it up as I go. Sometimes they work better than others. But I love using stories. They're my favorite type of way to do a transition. And I think that if you have a chance if you want to take a chance and like alright, I'm going to try something new. Try one class, whether it be a kindergarten class, first grade class, I don't care and make one lesson Where you are focused, at least primarily on your transitions being part of a story and see what happens. And then I want you to try it again the next time, like you have like the same class or the same grade, but a different class and see what you can do to improve it. And that kind of iteration where you're trying the same thing on different classes is where the magic comes in. Because you're gonna start noticing where students are lighting up where students are getting bored, what students are really engaged. And that's how you can use that in future lessons. I hope you'll give this a shot. I hope you'll reach out and let me know how you put some transitions in your lessons through story and how it went. Send me a message over on Instagram at that music teacher. And I really hope you'll reach out and let us know how your little experiment went. Send us a message Hello at that music teacher.com Or you can DM us at that music teacher we'd love to hear from you. With that being said, thank you so much for listening to this episode of that music podcast. It would mean the world to me if you would leave a review wherever you're listening. Ideally, we'd love a five star review. But even if you leave one below five stars, we'd love for you to let us know in the review what we can do better and what you'd love to see more of in the podcast. With that being said, we'll see you right here next week for that music podcast.