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Music Education

“Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and by studying music in schools, student’s have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives, and experience the world from a new perspective.” – Bill Clinton. Music is such an important part of our early childhood development, one that stems down deep into their academic and artistic foundations. It’s an art, a science, a universal language, and a student’s most powerful creative outlet. Here are some examples of my experience in the field of music education.

 
 
Cloud Music Ed Connecting Countries ( cloudmusiced.com ): Berklee's (right) Chee-Ping Ho and Gillian Desmarais collaborate with Singapore artist Shun Ng and Fabian Lim using online music collaborative tools. 

Cloud Music Ed Connecting Countries (cloudmusiced.com): Berklee's (right) Chee-Ping Ho and Gillian Desmarais collaborate with Singapore artist Shun Ng and Fabian Lim using online music collaborative tools. 

 

PCSS Music Teacher

Currently the Music Teacher for Pioneer Charter Schools in Everett, MA. Gillian is teaching general music to K-4 with a focus on music technology and STEM integration. Stay tuned for more projects and updates from PCSS!

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Student Teaching

Participated in conducting and educating students at Grace Farrar Elementary School and Norwell Middle School in general music, band, and choral ensembles. Managed the direct communication of event logistics to parents and staff members. Conducted the Norwell Middle School Combined Chorus in performance at the Providence Bruins and all ensembles at the Norwell Middle School Winter Concert.


Internship

Performed as head stage manager in charge of the set up/breakdown of music equipment, the safety and organization of the performance venue, lighting, sound, and the assigning of specific jobs for stage crew members. Managed the direct communication of event logistics to important staff and volunteer members and handled schedule conflicts. Assisted in the preparation, presentation, and catering of dishes including the clearing and setting of tables, maintaining waste control, and interacting with guests. Assisted in the decoration, assembly, and breakdown of the performance venue and monitored parking.

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Summer Music Instructor 

Participated in conducting and educating students from the Duxbury High School Summer Music Camp and Catch The Beat Camp. Instructed both repertoire and technique based flute sectionals as well as large and small ensemble rehearsals. Assisted in daily scheduling, instrument and classroom preparation (including the set up and breaking down of chairs and stands), managing student behavior, advising and carefully monitoring student achievement, and the assembling of copies and repertoire for assigned ensembles.

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Lesson Plans

Here you can find some examples of lesson plans created for the elementary and middle school classroom. The following includes activities representing genres and styles from diverse cultures and periods. Please email me if you are interested in using the material as I have additional files available for use. 

 
 
Grace Farrar Cole, 5th Grade Recorder 

Grace Farrar Cole, 5th Grade Recorder 

Recorder Pop Unit

“Recorder Pop” is a curriculum unit developed for the elementary school classroom, Grades 3-5 (Ages 8-11). In this unit students learn to listen and identify, read and improvise and compose on the recorder using contemporary pop music. By incorporating popular styles of music students learn to associate familiar melodies with music notation, which helps improve their music literacy, aural skills and overall musicianship. Students complete the unit learning appropriate playing and recorder technique, followed by call and response activities and an introduction to the notes B, A, G, and E. Using scaffolding students will exercise each note by improvising “echo” rhythms over a pop recording along with movements. Following improvisation students practice “echo” rhythms using visual rhythm cards and compose their own music using the appropriate notes and rhythms learned. Students finish the lessons by performing their compositions for their peers and alongside the recording. At the end of the unit students in Grades 4 and 5 perform a “Recorder Remix” which includes reading music notation, improvising and movement. 


 
Middle School 6-8 Chorus at Providence Bruins

Middle School 6-8 Chorus at Providence Bruins

Choral Improv

Choral Improv is a short unit (5-6 Classes) developed for 7th-8th Grade Middle School Chorus. In this unit, students will practice improvising with movements, sounds, and circle songs. It is sure to spark the interest of your most theatrical students! 


 
Cherry Blossoms - Black and White Photograph by Gillian Desmarais

Cherry Blossoms - Black and White Photograph by Gillian Desmarais

Hitori & Moshi Moshi

The following lesson is based off of interpreting lyrical ideas for 6th Grade Chorus. In the warmup students will learn the lyrics and melody to a Japanese song based off of the classic children's song London Bridge. Students will then discuss the English translation of Hitori (by Mary Donnelly and George L.O.Strid) reflect upon it's imagery, and respond musically.