Matthew Gaulin

Revision as of 10:02, 9 May 2016 by Gaulinmd (talk | contribs) (→‎Task Analysis)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

Return to: ETAP 623 Spring 2016

Go to: Project Based Learning in the General Music Classroom

About Me

IMG 0107.jpg

My name is Matthew Gaulin and I am 23 years old. I am from Hudson Falls, NY. I graduated from SUNY Potsdam, the Crane School of Music with a BM in Music Education with a concentration in Voice and Choral Music. I also hold a Performance Certificate in Voice and a minor in Mathematics from Potsdam. I currently teach Chorus 6-12 and General Music 6 in the Ballston Spa CSD. I have a private music studio where I give voice and piano lessons. I am also the director of the Glens Falls Symphony Children's Chorus.

My Topic/Purpose

The intent of this course is to help music educators incorporate project-based learning into the general music classroom while fitting into the National Core Art Standards.

Topics that will be covered:

  • What is project-based learning?
  • Why use project-based learning in the general music classroom?
  • What are the National Core Art Standards?
  • What does project-based learning look like in the general music classroom?
  • How can music educators use project-based learning to shape the curriculum?

Needs Assessment

1. Instructional problem: The incorporation of project based learning (PBL) in the general music classroom is a challenge for many music educators. What kinds of projects can we do? How can we make them relevant to the students' lives? How can we present these projects in their final stages? How can I plan projects in an already shortened curriculum? These are all valid questions that arise when discussing PBL with music educators. Many times music is seen as a non-core subject, in other words, an "extra" class. However, there are many ways to use PBL in the general music classroom to create cross curricular connections and make the learning to relevant to students. Also, many music classes are set in different schedules (i.e. 10 week courses, full year courses, etc) and finding time to create and fully use a project in the allowed time is sometimes a struggle for music educators.

2. The nature of what is to be learned: Participants will learn how to incorporate relevant, and vibrant projects in their general music classrooms that engage students and keep them motivated. These projects will coincide with the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) and other statewide arts standards.

3. About the learners: Participants are current and pre-service music educators. They come from a variety of musical backgrounds (instrumental, choral, general, technology, composition, etc) and are interested in updating current curricula to incorporate project based learning. Participants will be motivated to review and research current examples of PBL in the general music classroom and then start to develop their own projects and ideas. Participants will have strong pedagogical knowledge of music education and the music content. The participants are both intrinsically and extrinsically motivated and will be engaged participants.

4. Instructional content: Units will be designed in a sequential building of knowledge. First, participants will learn an basic understanding of what project based learning is. Next, participants will learn the importance of using PBL in the general music classroom. Participants will understand how to incorporate the National Core Art Standards (NCAS) with other state and local standards regarding the arts. Participants will then discover examples of how PBL is being used currently in real-life classrooms. Participants will find the connections between the projects and the students' lives outside of the classroom. Participants will also reflect on how they can use PBL in their curriculum to update and make learning more student-centered. Finally, students will have the opportunity to create and share their own project ideas based on the curriculum that they already teach in their current or future job placements.

Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own practice and use the information in this course as they need. Participants will construct their own knowledge of PBL based on real-world examples and presented definitions of PBL. Participants will also discover the newly created NCAS and how they can be used to plan curriculum and relate to the Common Core.

Participants will learn in an online context; a connection to the Internet and a computer are required.

5. Explore instructional problem/solution: Participants will explore what PBL is and how they can apply it to their own curriculums. Participants will understand the importance of selecting and creating relevant projects that keep students motivated and engaged. Depending on the class schedule for the participants own class, they will develop projects that can be completed and presented in the time frame that they are allowed to teach.

6. Generate goals:

  1. Introduce participants to the idea of project based learning and its importance in the general music classroom.
  2. Demonstrate real-world examples that can be replicated and expanded on in the participants own classroom.
  3. Create examples of projects that participants will use in their classrooms.

Analysis of the Learner and Context

Participants will be pre-service and current teachers of both K-12 and college level courses. Participants will be motivated to learn more about Project Based Learning and its applications in the general music classroom. Participants should have an understanding of different musical concepts and teaching methods that can be applied to the course. Participants will also be motivated to align their curriculums with current state and national standards.


  • Students will have knowledge of a general music classroom and the topics taught
  • Students will have a computer with an Internet connection
  • Students will have basic computing skills such as using word processing software, etc.
  • Students will be motivated to discover information for themselves and use that information to create their own projects

Performance Objectives

Learners will be able to:

  • Define project-based learning by researching what PBL is and the theories behind its success
  • Identify the National Core Art Standards by finding resources of where they can be found online and how they be used in the music classroom
  • Analyze different examples of projects in the general music classroom for structure, content, and their success
  • Create projects to use in the general music classroom

Task Analysis

Unit 1: What is Project Based Learning?

  1. Students will define Project Based Learning through readings and discovery
  2. Students will identify the educational theories that lead to PBLs success through research

Unit 2: The Current State and National Standards

  1. Students will identify online resources that will provide them with the framework for the National Core Art Standards
  2. Students will examine the various examples provided by the online resources of how to implement the NCAS in the general music classroom

Unit 3: Projects in Action

  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

Unit 4: Project Creation

  1. Students will map out a project that can be used in their general music classroom
  2. Students will identify a driving problem that will be the leading idea behind their project
  3. Students will identify learning objectives that will be the driving force behind project creation
  4. Students will create a timeline for how long their project will take and the various tasks that students will complete during the project
  5. Students will create assessments and rubrics for their project for how they will evaluate student and project success
  6. Students will share their project ideas with other participants for feedback on structure, content, and success

Curriculum Map

Click here for a link to the Curriculum Map for this course: File:Gaulin Curriculum Map.pdf

References and Resources

Tobias, E., Campbell, M., Robin, M., Greco, P. (2015). Bringing the curriculum to life. Enacting project-based learning in music programs. Music Educators Journal 102(2), p 39-47.

Krajcik, J. & Blumenfeld, P. (2006). Chapter 19: Project-based learning. The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences: p 317-333.