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Cooperative Learning In The Elementary Music Classroom

Friday, January 14, 2022
11:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Marriott Water Street
Meeting Room 2
Classroom Management Elementary
Grade Levels
Sponsored By
Cooperative Learning in the Elementary Music Classroom


In an elementary music room, it can be hard to find time for individual student feedback given the pressures of performance preparation, classroom management, and curriculum responsibilities. Cooperative learning (CL) is a research-based teaching approach that promotes student excellence through teamwork with individual accountability. This session will demonstrate how teachers can eliminate worksheets stacks and limit one-at-a-time student responses. With CL, students are accountable for their own learning which increases participation, thus engagement, with the curriculum all while practicing sound classroom management. Cushing is a formally trained CL practitioner who has incorporated these strategies since 2005. She will demonstrate how teachers can lead students to interact with each other as musicians who sing, play, and most importantly, talk with each other about music. Teachers will experience CL structures and leave with practical strategies to take back to their classrooms.

Erin Cushing 

Oak Hall School
Lower School Music Teacher

Erin Cushing is currently the Lower School music teacher at Oak Hall School in Gainesville, Florida, and has been a music educator since 2004. She has specialized in conducting and was invited to conduct at the 2020 Frost Young Women Conductors' Symposium. Also in 2020, she attended the Carnegie Hall Musical Explorers teacher workshop to learn how to teach the curriculum. She has been formally trained in cooperative learning since 2005, and has implemented these strategies in both her 11 years of teaching elementary music and 4 years of secondary music. She has traveled with ensembles on state, national, and international tours. Erin earned her Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees from the University of Florida. Erin was the 2014 Teacher of the Year at a Gainesville elementary school, where she lives with her husband and son. She plays piano and clarinet for school and local ensembles and has enjoyed learning to play ukulele, guitar, and hand bells in the years since she graduated.

Session Coordinator:
Miss Meghan Jones

The FMEA Professional Development Conference and All-State Ensembles are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
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