So I had an experience this week and I wonder if any of you (especially you, rotary people) have had something similar.
I gave a lesson near the beginning of the week on the personal nature of composition, and the way in which many artists will use music as a way of talking about things that are important to them. Our activity for the lesson was to interpret and then compare the lyrics of two different autobiographical songs by different artists. Our examples were Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel, and Dear John by Styx.
I deliberately chose songs that the students were less likely to be familiar with, so that they would have to work from scratch when deciding what they thought the songs were about, rather than working from their preconceptions. The main point behind the analysis was that one song (Solsbury Hill) has a very implicit meaning, while the other (Dear John) is very explicit.
Anyway, the first grade 8 group I did this with loved it. Hands were up, everyone had an opinion, there were lots of creative interpretations – some students even started to sing along when we listened to the songs a second time, which I hadn’t asked them to do. It was great.
So great, in fact, that my AT was all, “That was cool, you should do it again with (other grade 8 group). They’ll like it.”
So I did. And it was….terrible.
Dead silence. No opinions. I had to prompt through every part of the analysis. I mean, no one was goofing off, everybody listened, but response? Nada.
At the time I had no plan B, so I just sort of plodded on through and vowed (secretly) to do better next time.
Has this happened to you? What did you do? What happens when you’re giving what you think is an awesome lesson, and halfway through, you realize it’s bombing? A disaster. A masterpiece of disaster. Disasterpiece.
I’m going to go work on a plan B.