“Engaging as cover artists, arrangers, and stylistic transformers” is a strategy I believe can be used to stimulate musical growth, and is something I want to experiment with in my teaching. I think covering an existing piece of music is a great strategy for promoting mastery over a specific style, honing aural skills, and implementing technical adjustments to achieve a desired sound. I believe engaging with music, and trying to cover it, broadens students’ overall musicianship. In relating it to the music I chose, the song “Jet Black Heart” is in the pop punk genre. It would be cool to cover the song in the style of: big band, metal, classical, etc. Using the style of covering a song leads into discussion as what constitutes certain musical genres and styles, and paves way into the discussion of how to implement said attributes musically. Doing instrumental covers of songs with lyrics also presents the challenge of “What do I need to do on my instrument to replicate the vocalist’s voice?” Articulation, intonation/voicing, note-decay, and such are all elements that come into play when deciding that. In using a strategy like this, one also brings in students’ interests into the classroom. Studies show that letting students explore their interests in the context of a class project that relates to material being taught helps them learn more efficiently and effectively.
Another strategy I could implement would be “engaging as music teachers and learners.” The idea behind this one is that repetitive listening to originals, covers, and video tutorials of a song leads to some sort of product, whether a live performance or a digital replication. While listening to various performances or tutorials of a piece, students are exercising their aural and analytical skills, as well as honing their performance or music production skills. Providing a space for students to do that could also allow them to explore navigating resources, and also allow them to bring their interests into the classroom.