The RDS is alive with the sound of music

It’s Feis Ceoil week and I spent this afternoon listening to the under 17’s clarinet competitors as they played two very demanding pieces, Glick’s Circle Dance from Suite hébraique no. 1 and Lefèbre’s Allegro moderato from sonata no. 6 in B flat. Having only a superficial knowledge of what is required to play the clarinet, I marvelled at how each competitor interpreted each piece in their own unique way. In addition to this competition, these teenagers will also be entering for practical exams in the next month. As anyone who studies music will tell you, this time of the year is the most hectic in terms of exams, competitions and performances. It was a welcome respite from compiling my ePortfolio artefacts and writing my reflection pieces. My own students will be taking their musical theatre exams next week, and they have been compiling their own ‘artefacts’ in the form of background information on the characters and the musicals from which their songs are taken.

While reading around the topic of social media, I came across this post by Peter Timms, who addresses what he calls ‘The Curriculum of Chaos’. This is essentially about using social media as a jumping-off point for finding information and harnessing it for learning opportunities. Certainly, I have found it invaluable to have so many methods of obtaining information at my disposal, and there is an energy and immediacy to this type of learning. I will admit that I was sceptical about any benefits that would accrue to joining Twitter or Instagram, but I’ve been converted (although I still need to curate much of what is in my news feed).

As this module draws to a close, I decided to revisit a paper written by Edith Achermann, Piaget’s Constructivism, Papert’s Constructionism: What’s the difference? that I had read earlier in the term. Papert’s constructionism centred around externalising our inner feelings. He wrote that in expressing ideas and giving them form and sharing those ideas with others, we help ourselves to shape and sharpen those ideas. I think this is key to educational blogs. In my educational reflective blog, I have to say what I think or don’t think about something. I have to commit to a point of view, but I may revisit this later and readjust my position. I think I may continue to blog even after this module ends as I find the process of reflection through writing helpful in synthesising my ideas.

And in case you were wondering about those clarinet pieces, here is the YouTube link to John Moses playing Glick’s Circle Dance from Suite hébraique no. 1.






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