room service

Making It Work: Room Service, Please!

Teaching Music on a Cart

As schools attempt to determine best practices in this unprecedented situation, many music educators are being asked to switch from using their beautiful classrooms to teaching from a cart. Samantha Puterbaugh was asked to provide ‘Room Service’ Music Lessons a few years ago when the population at her school expanded. She has some great advice on stocking your music cart, communicating with your colleagues, and staying positive about this less than ideal situation.

Her cart was assembled before the pandemic, but most of the instruments she lists could be wiped down easily. If your students have their own instrument kits, then you will have more room on the cart for other props.

Link to Samantha’s Blog

Music Class Anywhere – How I Made My Cart Home

Link to Samantha’s Pinterest Board

Teaching Music From a Cart

Email to Colleagues

Hi Friends!

I wanted to communicate with you all about my schedule this year and how things have changed. As you all know I will be teaching on a cart due to the pandemic. I know this is not ideal for myself, you, and the kids, and I am committed to giving them the best music experience possible. I’ll do my best to communicate with you about any changes in location in advance as long as I know it’s happening! 😉

I ask that you leave space in the front of your classroom for a 2×4′ cart PLUS an empty surface for me to unload stuff- could be a desk or table close to the front of the room. I will also need access to your smartboard and whichever computer is hooked to it- PLEASE label which computer is “the one” that is smartboard connected. In addition, I would request that students have names easily visible on desks so I can learn them easily. If you have a seating chart, I would love a hard copy for my records.

Procedures – I will wait outside your door until you signal me that your class is “ready”= that means desks are clear of all items, and students are ready to transition to music. I will return the class in the same fashion on your return. If you choose to remain in your classroom during music, I request that you do not interact with the students as all questions, etc., should be directed to me during the music period.

I realize this is not an ideal situation and is out of my control. There may be days where I will request that we move desks for more space but I promise that everything will return to exactly the way I found it!

See you soon!

If you are working with ‘Room Service’ music lessons, what do you have on your cart or in your bag? Do you have tips or tricks to make the situation the best it can possibly be? Please add your ideas to the comments in the blog, so we can all “Make it Work.”

Samantha Puterbaugh

Samantha Puterbaugh is an elementary general music teacher in Chardon, Ohio. She teaches 600 K-3 students at two schools in the district and has taught in a variety of different spaces and capacities over the last 7 years. She is currently attending Case Western Reserve University, working towards her MA in Music Education. She is a member and former treasurer of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of AOSA. Samantha received her Orff-Schulwerk training through both Baldwin Wallace University and The University of the Arts and earned her Orff Certification in 2016.

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