Community Involvement Through Musical Outreach

Teacher(s): Wendy Tenney
Main Contact: Wendy Tenney      Email:
Date: Spring 2012      Building: Lowell High School       Grade Level: 9-12
First Trimester:           Second Trimester: x             Third Trimester:

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Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Students will develop a program for musical outreach in the community. Students will work under teacher’s guidance to contact venues and community groups to schedule events. Students will learn to plan the program for such events based on the audience and timing for the event and will also gain musical skills in rehearsing for the events. Musical outreach to the community may include any of the following or more: performances for area senior groups, retirement homes and assisted living facilities, demonstrations at area elementary schools or for preschool groups, entertainment for civic functions such as chamber of commerce events, arts council events, and more.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

Various groups in the community have requested musical outreach. The Senior Neighbors group and retirement homes in particular have expressed a desire to forge a relationship with students through musical offerings. The need to train young people from the music program to interact with, value and support elderly and younger generations will also be directly addressed through this program.

What service will you provide to address the need?

Students will communicate with senior groups and retirement homes as well as other groups and venues to create relationships to connect across generational divides. Students will reach out to seniors and provide connections to what is happening with the schools, and will also learn to act as role models for younger students through outreach to youth.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

This project will help in many areas of our curriculum. Rehearsing for the musical performances will help develop independent musicianship, collaborative musicianship, music literacy, and technical proficiency on the instruments. It will also address interdisciplinary facets of the curriculum such as celebrating cultural diversity through music, connecting music to other disciplines (such as history when relating to the senior audience members by performing musical works from earlier in their lifetime).

What are the educational goals?

The project will help develop intrinsic motivation of the students by giving them deeper relational meaning as they study and rehearse musical and technical skills on their instruments.

The project will also foster a sense of community involvement and teach the students that music, while being an important personal experience for the music creators, is also important in the way it brings people together.


Curriculum Crafter Connections

Strand: 11-12 ELA: (Speaking and Listening)

TLW:  Build comprehension through collaborative conversations about grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues. (Gist: Comprehension and Collaboration)

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.

Strand: 11-12 ELA: (Speaking and Listening)

TLW: Add a visual or auditory presentation to enhance or to help clarify the knowledge and ideas. (Gist: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas)

Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.


Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.

Content Standard 1: All students will apply skills and knowledge to perform in the arts.

ART.I.M.HS.3 Perform an appropriate part in large and small ensembles, demonstrating well-developed ensemble skills.

ART.I.M.HS.4 Perform artistically on electronic instruments.

Content Standard 2: All students will apply skills and knowledge to create in the arts.

ART.II.M.HS.7 Create or adapt music to integrate with other media.

Content Standard 3: All students will analyze, describe and evaluate works of art.

ART.III.M.HS.1 Demonstrate extensive knowledge and use of the technical vocabulary of music.

ART.III.M.HS.4 Evaluate the use of music in mixed media environments.

ART.III.M.HS.5 Make informed, critical evaluations of the quality and effectiveness of performances, compositions, arrangements, and improvisations applying specific criteria.

Content Standard 4: All students will understand, analyze, and describe the arts in their historical, social, and cultural contexts.

ART.IV.M.HS.1 Classify by genre or style and by historical period or culture unfamiliar but representative aural examples of music and explain the reasoning behind their classifications.

ART.IV.M.HS.2 Identify sources of American music genres, trace the evolution of those genres, and cite well-known musicians associated with them.

RT.IV.M.HS.3 Identify various roles that musicians perform, cite representative individuals who have functioned in each role, and describe their activities and achievements.

ART.IV.M.HS.4 Analyze the impact of electronic music in society and culture.

ART.III.M.HS.6 Evaluate a performance, composition, arrangement, or improvisation by comparing it to similar or exemplary models.


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

Students will have opportunities to socialize with audience members at each event. We will take time to talk with the students after the event and ask for their input as to how their performance was received, what they learned from the performance, and what they liked from the performance. We will then strategize how we could make our performance even more rewarding for both the students and audience in the future. We will use this student discussion and feedback as we guide them in planning future events.


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc.)

Students will gain diverse perspectives through various genres of music. From German and Italian classical, to jazz standards, to rock of all generations. We will perform the music sets at various venues for diverse populations of generations from the Lowell Arts Council, to the Senior Neighbors, to elementary schools and retirement homes. We will experience first-hand how each genre is received by the audiences we are performing for. We will socially interact with the audience to gain their feedback on the performance. We will focus on how to create a meaningful experience for all types of audiences.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

Students will have input in deciding what pieces of music to play. If there is no published music, the musicians will arrange songs for the group. The ensemble will then help arrange performance venues. They will work together on scheduling, planning, rehearsing. They will also work together to evaluate how their performances are received and how to adjust future performances for an even greater impact.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

The Lowell Area Arts Council, Lowell Education Association, Lowell Music Boosters, Rotary Club, Lowell Chamber of Commerce, Lowell Area Schools and more.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

They will gain knowledge of the community partners and gain exposure in the community. They will feel a sense of involvement in the community of Lowell. They will feel accomplishment and ownership of the musical ensemble. The connections they make in the community will provide them with resources in future endeavors such as job searches, support in other areas of their education, living a broader more connected life in the community.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

They will receive musical entertainment for their functions. They will be energized by the efforts of these young musicians to their organization. They will feel important and respected because of the effort the student musicians put forth for them.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

We will evaluate their performance quality as they increasingly value the work they do they should increasingly put forth effort to perform well. Students will also become more effective and efficient in their planning skills. Students will increasingly make connections to how their performances affect the audience they intend to serve. Student planning conversations will center more on their specific audience and decision making will include sensitivity to issues of diversity.

How will you assess your service goals?

Invitations to return to venues and organizations will demonstrate the success of our service. Letters, e-mails and phone calls of appreciation will show that our service was well received and met our goals of making a positive impact on our audience members.



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

We will share ideas and connections to community groups at the start of the project to begin alerting students to opportunities and needs within the community. We will rehearse regularly. We will observe others’ performances and discuss.

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

Perform at retirement homes, community events, elementary schools. Specifically, they may perform teaching concerts for elementary students where they will teach about music in general, the history of music, families of instruments, and inspire younger students to become involved in music. At retirement homes performances may include holiday celebrations, concerts of appreciation to veterans for their service, nostalgia concerts celebrating music of past generations. Students will also engage in activities such as rehearsing and preparing for these performances. Students will contact venues and organizations to schedule and plan performances.



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

This project will encourage the sustainability of community social networks by connecting across generations. It will also sustain local business economically by encouraging community involvement with local business. It will also sustain musical involvement and service by the student ensemble recruiting and mentoring younger musicians into the performance ensemble and teaching very young students about music and playing instruments.