Suggestions for Differentiating Assignments and Instruction in Composition and Skill-Based Areas of General Music Studies
By Lois Veenhoven Guderian, WMEA State Chair, Research
1) For students with several years of private study or for students with special needs, eliminate the participation requirement from a large-group-skill-based activity. Make an individualized plan of study with the student that allows them to work at their own pace including accelerated pacing if necessary.
2) Use flexible groupings to involve students in creating and organizing examples for class practice and peer teaching.
3) Allow students to work at their own pace in computer assisted research, composing or skills programs.
4) For students who finish composition assignments early, or prefer to work alone due to advanced understanding, assign additional creative work such as composing a second piece or a counter melody for a piece, multi-part piece, etc. Note: assign this extra work if student interest warrants it, not as extra work because they finish early.
5) Allow students who are similar in skill ability to work together in pairs and other groupings.
6) For students who accomplish instrument study quickly provide opportunities to learn to play additional classroom instruments and/or learn accompaniments on piano or other classroom instruments; From a prepared resource of additional pieces, allow students to choose additional pieces they would like to learn how to play.
7) For students with visual-cognitive challenges, remove the requirement to read and write music, and allow them to prepare music assignments by rote and memory.
Lois Veenhoven Guderian is associate professor of music and music education coordinator at UW-Superior. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org