This week, Kathryn and Theresa spoke with Jared Brockmeyer about how he has incorporated game-based practices in his middle school band classes! Jared currently teaches 6th-8th grade band in Missouri. He also has experience teaching high school band and worked with the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps. As a game-lover, Jared has found that there are several elements in video games that not only engage students but also give them agency, and by incorporating those elements in the classroom, he has transformed the learning experience. 

Student Agency Through Game-Based Practices

Using Game-Based Practices in Music Classes

Throughout the interview, Jared shared about how his interest in games and game design led him to discover how people are motivated by games and how you can use games as a learning tool. In addition, Jared shares: 

  • How Super Mario Brothers continues to be a model for teaching and education, as does the book, What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, by James Paul Gee 
  • The importance of what we say as teachers and the language we use with students
  • How he uses short iterations cycles during rehearsals to help students learn and gain agency in the classroom 
  • How to encourage intentional practice
  • The benefits of “bonus assignments” and rewarding hard work 
  • How to motivate students with brag tags and incentives like “donuts with the directors” 
  • And more! 

Spend a day making sure that every instruction you give and every word out of your mouth is aimed toward the kids, their interests and focus.

Jared recommends all teachers start by looking closely at the what they say in the classroom, making sure that all instructions and feedback are aimed at the kids. While it may be uncomfortable at first, this can be an eye-opening experience that will make a big difference in the classroom. He also highly recommends the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, for its terrific explanation of how people work, instead of just the way we wished they did.

Connect with Jared and learn more about his work: 

Be sure to check out the full interview on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform. You can even listen to the interview here, on Spotify! 

Interested in learning more about using games in the music room? Check out these interviews!

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