This week’s musing finds me in a slightly better place than last week as far as productivity goes on my overall course creation progress.
I have always been a big picture/conceptual thinker when it comes to how I approach my academic work. Outlines, overviews, and task checklists are my bread and butter to complete long-term projects and goals that span over weeks, months, and even years.
From my previous work in Instructional Systems Design I, I have learned to live and die by the instructional design document as my outline when actually jumping into the nitty gritty of building all of the modules. It really makes a huge difference when things are clearly fleshed out and thought through methodically in the document, because then it is simply a matter of compiling the materials and spending time writing the more page and assignment specific instructions for all of the content within each module.
As a result, my course looks less like complete Modules 1-4 at this point, but instead, the outlines and organization for all of the modules exist, in addition to beginning to fill in the instructions for all of the portions described within my design document. I’ve also included some additions that I’ve noticed in some of my UNT courses, like an instructor info page and course goals and objectives overview page.
My next steps are figuring out what articles, listening examples, and score excerpts I want to incorporate into the course. My biggest struggle here is what is considered copyrighted versus public domain – the general rule of thumb for composers, is that they have to be dead for at least 50 years, and after that their works are fair game. However, even though resources like IMSLP exist, many of the more visually pleasing/easy to view scores are owned by publishers and thus subjected to copyright. Recent recordings of dead composers also are protected by copyright law, as the performing group receives “intellectual rights” to their own interpretation of the work, and thus entitled to royalties of their performance. There is a lot of bureaucratic red tape surrounding classical music, and it gets even more convoluted the deeper you go. Like the fact that you can look up the score markings/studies of many major conductors in the last century – it would be really beneficial to include those in the score examples! But if they were edited/published by Hal Leonard, and despite the fact that you can easily find PDFs of them on the web, is that not a little bit sketchy when you think about it?
I also am thinking quite a lot about what kinds of articles and readings I am planning on including for this course. My default thought would be to use the UNT library system to find academic articles about performance practice, music and emotions, etc. However, I find myself pausing because of the age of my audience – high school kiddos. I also think about the reading ability of the population this course will hopefully serve – only about 50% are reading at grade level. I am considering including more visual examples (like videos) to help bridge this gap in my audience population, and being very intentional about the reading level of what I include. I might actually pick the brains of some of my language arts colleagues this week to make sure I’m on the right track, or if there are any additional supports I should consider.
Beyond that, I feel like my work on my course went better than last week. I’m feeling less daunted looking at it, because it’s simply a matter of sitting down and writing now at this point. Conceptually, I’m feeling pretty good. I feel like there is purpose in what I am doing because it actually solves a very real problem and challenge in the music education field.
The title of this musing is referring to the dance of peer reviewing. It has been a waiting game for my peer reviewer to get back to me and give me access so I can provide the required feedback for him; on the flip side, I am waiting to hear back on his suggestions for my work so far at this point on Sunday. Peer reviewing is like a tango – both partners need to be mutually in step with each other in order to get things accomplished on time to be able to apply it before moving forward. It is a tad frustrating to be waiting, because one of my pet peeves is tardiness, especially when submitting work. (It takes A LOT for me not to submit something on time. Ever.) I am trying to be empathetic and encouraging, but I also a tad cranky when I am unable to get done what I need to get done because of something outside of my control. A little worried about it moving forward, but trying to keep it positive too.