Spotlight on Genius Hour in the Elementary Music Room 

In Episode 58, Kathryn and Theresa interview Jamie Widener, a music educator passionate about incorporating Genius Hour in her elementary music classes. The episode focuses on Jamie’s approach to engaging students by allowing them to pursue music-related passion projects, inspired by Google’s strategy of allowing employees to dedicate 20% of their work time to personal projects. Jamie discusses the practical aspects of implementing Genius Hour in the music classroom, including project selection, time management, and fostering creativity and autonomy among students. This method has been successful in engaging students by allowing them to explore topics they are passionate about, leading to diverse projects like instrument building and experimenting with different musical genres. The episode emphasizes the importance of student choice and empowerment in education, highlighting the benefits of Genius Hour in developing not only musical skills but also soft skills like collaboration, research, and presentation.

They [students] are working on their own, they're self-directed. I don't feel like it's really chaotic, because it's loud, absolutely, but they're focused, they're working, and it's something they're interested in.

Here are some key takeaways from our interview with Jamie:

  • Genius Hour encourages students to explore and create in music, leading to increased engagement and learning enjoyment.
  • Effective integration of student-driven projects in music classes enhances creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking skills.
  • Allowing students autonomy in their projects enhances their enthusiasm and investment in learning.
  • Adapting Genius Hour in music education fosters an environment where students actively participate and innovate in learning.

Connect with Jamie to learn more about her work:

Ready for more?

You can check out the full interview on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform. Or you can listen right here, on Spotify Podcasts!

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