Roasting Bad Playing: An Educational Bonding Experience (I promise!)

Roasting Bad Playing: An Educational Bonding Experience (I promise!)

By Karin Dye


First, it is important to admit that I did not go into this lesson plan feeling particularly like a master teacher.

I had been running "regular" covid style rehearsal with my high school orchestra groups every day for the last 8 weeks. We had been smooth-ish sailing until a few days ago when I was informed that due to a potential COVID-19 exposure, I would need to get tested and quarantine until I received my results. I now had to come up with a virtual lesson plan and quick. I turned to the comedic genius that is TwoSet Violin and dug in. What I thought would be just a fun activity for the kids ended up being incredibly educational and motivating.

Photo by TwoSet Violin

My Quick and Dirty Lesson Plan

1. Log into class Zoom call on computer AND cell phone/other device

2. Explain to the students that you will be watching this video and roasting along with Brett and Eddy of TwoSet Violin in the zoom chat.

3. Share your screen and play this video for them

TwoSet Violin's "The World's FASTEST (and most INACCURATE) Violinist" Video

4. Monitor chat on your cell phone/second device and participate. Try not to laugh too loudly because you will be unmuted!

5. Bring it back to a full group discussion. Here is your chance to steer the conversation toward bigger themes. After viewing this particular video, we discussed themes like musical integrity, proper intonation, musical equity, and articulation. It was really cool!

They. Loved. It.

"Omg, if you test positive we could be doing this for 2 weeks!!!" ...Thanks, kid. 

Why will they like it? Why will you like it?
Kids love to "troll." An opportunity to type away in a zoom chat as they react to the video is fun and engaging. Plus they get to try to make jokes in front of their peers. You are able to monitor student engagement even if you are not in the same room as them. Them typing in the chat responding to the video means they are still with you...watching the video. 
TwoSet Violin is funny. The video editing will totally draw your students in. Brett and Eddy make classical violin/classical music very relevant to teens. 

Brett and Eddy will validate every thing you are teaching in your classroom and the students will adamantly defend these concepts. It is amazing hearing students get worked up about intonation, rhythm, and posture! 

An opportunity to defend their craft. Regardless of the playing ability of your students, they have all put time into learning their instruments. They enjoy taking ownership of their knowledge and roasting right along with Brett and Eddy gives them the chance to flex a little bit. Your students will demonstrate a bit of pride here. You will get to hear them defend the importance of good intonation, playing the right notes, and hear them say things like "playing fast for the sake of playing fast is sacrilegious." I'm serious. I was so proud.
An opportunity to engage with their peers in a fun way that does not disrupt the learning.  ...See left column. 

Keep calm and remember, if you have to quarantine, you will still be able to create engaging music lessons. I believe in you!