When it comes to arts integration in high school, the standards don’t always make it easy. That’s because high school arts standards need to provide pathways for students who haven’t had additional arts experiences in elementary and/or middle school, as well as for those who have access to the arts all the way through their learning experience. So trying to integrate the arts appropriately at this level can prove challenging by making a virtual compositions lesson plan.
That’s why today’s arts integration music and technology lesson plan is so exciting. It connects both a music composition standard with one of the new 2016 ISTE standards for a truly unique and accessible integrated learning opportunity. This high school music virtual compositions lesson plan is based on the work of innovative contemporary composer/conductor Eric Whitacre, who founded the Virtual Choir. The Virtual Choir provides a way for people all over the world to sing together without ever being in the same room. In this technology integrated lesson, we’re using this concept as a springboard to other ways students can utilize digital media in music composition.
Highlights from this Virtual Compositions Lesson Plan
- Students not only use technology as part of their composition, they are considering how to manipulate the technology for artistic purpose and vision.
- Students are encouraged to explore not only the product of Eric Whitacre‘s work but also his process as a composer and conductor of a group that only gathers together online (even for performances).
- The technology standard and the music standard are woven into this lesson equitably – both are critical to its success.
- The assessment takes place through peer feedback of the final performance. There are prompts provided for students to consider as they watch each performance so that they can provide meaningful insight to the performers/composers once they have finished.
What’s also great about this music and technology lesson is that it is a slightly different “take” on the STEAM process. So often, STEAM is seen as primarily utilized with art and design, or with makerspace ideas. But this technology integrated lesson proves that you can utilize music as a STEAM avenue and stay true to the integrity of both the musical composition and the digital media format. This could easily be used in either a music class, a technology class, or even an E/LA or Social Studies classroom.
For more free arts integration and STEAM lessons like this, please visit our arts integration virtual compositions lesson plans page!
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Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.