Unit 3: Projects in Action


Return to: Project Based Learning in the General Music Classroom


Learning Objectives

After completing this unit students will be able to:

  1. Students will view various real world examples of PBL in general music classroom through online research
  2. Students will analyze these projects based on how they are created and structured
  3. Students will analyze these projects based on the content that they teach
  4. Students will analyze a case study of a project and determine its success based off of the 7 essentials of a good project and a project rubric

What Makes a Good Project?

When considering to incorporate PBL into your General Music classroom you must consider what makes a high quality project. Sometimes you will see that students are simply trying to complete their work as fast as they can and their work is not up to the standards that you have set for them. Make sure that when designing a project you consider the following ideas:

  1. Using rubrics and examples to help students understand the expectations
  2. Providing feedback to students at every step of the process
  3. Give students enough time to work on and complete the project
  4. Make the project relevant to students to keep them engaged
  5. Provide students with quality materials to complete their projects

The following link is an article from BIE that goes into more depth on the different design principles listed above.


Remember: All projects start with a driving question. Make sure that this is something that the students are interested in and can take the time to research and answer.

Real-World Examples of Project Based Learning

A simple search on any search engine can provide you with hundreds of real-world examples of PBL in the General Music classroom. Look at various real-world examples and start to make a list of ideas that you could possibly use in your own classroom.

One great resource is from the website "Portraits of Practice" created by music teacher, Phillip Greco. His site explains ways of creating projects, frameworks to keep in mind during the design phase, and provides examples of projects that he has uses in his own classroom: http://www.portraitsofpractice.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

Another article from Edutopia explains how PBL can be innovative in the General Music classroom: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/project-based-learning-music-andrew-miller

Finally, this page from the NAfME website gives several examples of projects that can be done in the music classroom with technology and cross-curricular connections: http://www.nafme.org/personalized-learning-through-project-based-music/


Use this link to go to a Google Presentation Document: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1QUV90p6KrCIaYPCwTyyC7dqm3uwJzBmuVC9_a0Jkzn8/edit?usp=sharing

Directions: Choose one project that you found online that seems interesting to you. Create a slide on the Google Presentation and answer the following questions based on that project:

  1. How was this project structured? (Ex. Are students composing? Creating a presentation? Etc.)
  2. What kind of musical content is this project teaching?
  3. How successful do you think this project would be? Think about the characteristics of a good project and the 7 essentials (Module 1)

Use this rubric from BIE to help you determine what makes a good project or not: http://bie.org/object/document/project_design_rubric

When you have finished comment on at least two other students' slides.

References & Resources

Greco, P. Portraits of Practice. Retrieved from: http://www.portraitsofpractice.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html

Hayden, M. (2015). Personalized Learning Through Project Based Learning. National Association for Music Education. Retrieved from: http://www.nafme.org/personalized-learning-through-project-based-music/

Lamar, J. (2013). How to Get High Quality Student Work in PBL. Retrieved from: http://bie.org/blog/how_to_get_high_quality_student_work_in_pbl

Miller, A. (2012). Use PBL to Innovate the Music Classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/project-based-learning-music-andrew-miller

Go To: Unit 4: Project Creation