The scope of my class follows two threads - world music and drumming.
The first day I hammer home the syllabus and get the kids drumming on the first day. The second day we really go over posture and the kids complete an skill and interest inventory.
Every day after the first day I follow this general structure -
I open class with a video, recording, podcast, activity, or reflection that takes 15 - 20 minutes. I typically start with a recording or 5-7 minute video and a guided reflection question that they complete in a Google Doc that they have shared with me. I will give the students the reflection question before we start so they know what to be watching for or thinking about. The video could be about anything ranging from history, music, dance, signing, or anything awesome. When we finish the video, I have to see them working for a good 8-10 minutes.
What I have noticed about this time period is that my students need a quieting and focusing exercise at the beginning of class. They need something that focuses them and takes the energy out of them before we go to the drums. It has really helped me with behavior and focus apart from my content and academic objectives.
The rest of the time we spend making music : ) The topics flow and change at the beginning of class, but the drumming progresses throughout the semester. We always do some type of warm up and then go to ensemble playing.
The general semester will flow through African colonialism, to the slave trade, to slavery in American, development of American music (work songs, gospel, blues, jazz, and free jazz), and then we circle back to Africa and talk about the continent today. I take time for current events in Africa as they come up and are relevant to the class. We make breaks periodically to take a look a music around the world. We spend about 15 days exploring a different country each day (short I know) and we will conclude the semester listening to modern classical music.
The kids have a lot of grades in the book, but I do two big summative assessments mimicking a midterm and final exam. One is on the African diaspora and the other is a listening test where they have to identify types of music by ear and name a time period and area of the world it came from.