The Five Pure Vowels
Want to know if your students really understand how to form proper space and create resonance? A picture is worth a thousand words.
For our first graded assignment, I had all of the kids take pictures or videos of themselves modeling the five pure vowels: i, e, a, o, u. I left it open-ended enough that they could complete the project in multiple ways. I got some pic collages (like the one above), and many slide shows like the adorable presentation below:
I also got a few great video demos:
I posted this assignment on Google Classroom for my students, and gave them 5 days to complete and submit it. Here are the directions I left them:
The great part about this assignment is that I get to really see individual concepts of vowel formation. I've been able to give feedback to them through Classroom that I wouldn't have the opportunity to do in a regular class setting. I can correct tongue placement, jaw space, etc. very easily with just a quick comment. Plus, I've been able to go through and grade an entire class and provide individual comments and feedback in about 30 minutes. Did I mention that you can grade assignments with Google Classroom on your phone?
I would be remiss if I didn't mention our initial setbacks. Since this is our first graded assignment, some students have been struggling with uploading files from their Chromebooks. I've taken class time several days in the last week to go over how to upload files and submit them.
I think it's really important to establish a strong foundation with vowels and vocal technique now...especially since the majority of what we sing is based off of these building blocks. What better way to assess than by getting a close-up look?