Music Discussion From the MPLN, September 14, 2011

Music Education PLNThis is a new series on MusTech.Net that pulls a number of the topics from the Music Educators Professional Learning Network (MPLN) into the “spotlight”.     Because the MPLN is FREE, but requires registration – I’ve decided to not have it indexed by the “bots” like Google and Yahoo.    However, this non-indexing means that people looking on the web through online search engines will not be able to find the information that may already have been discussed on the MPLN…

The goal for the MusTech.Net integration with the MPLN is to post a number of recent and interestings topics from the MPLN and have them indexed here so people may find them if they are interested and also to provide a brief  topic summary to encourage even more activity on the MPLN.    I will be parsing the names from the original posters of the MPLN when I’m posting here to maintain a partial modicum of privacy and the postings are verbatim, i.e. [sic].

The links posted here will be active, BUT you will have to a member of the MPLN to visit the actual posts and participate in the conversation: if you are not a member you will simply be taken to the MPLN home page (where you can sign-up if you would like).   Again, membership to the MPLN is FREE, but registration is required.

Current Topics of Interest on the MPLN for week of September 12th, 2011:
           (Please note our zero-tolerance disrespect and SPAM polices below)

  • Hi, I just embark on my journey to be a music teacher at TC columbia in this fall. Now I realize that I have a lack of American cultural background because I’m an international student from Korea. Can you tell me that what kind of songs American children including infants and toddlers typically listen to and sing, when they grow up? ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
  • Music Tech Lesson Plan Problem – Hi everyone! I’m a new teacher who got a somewhat long-term substitute position at a high school teaching band. However, the band teacher also has an Intro to Music Tech class that he teaches. Here’s my dilemma: I got the job the third week of school.
    –>The students had been making music using a program called Sequel. The first week I was there, he left plans to assign them their third project in the program. But there’s a problem of not having enough computers for the students, and not all of the computers had Sequel installed. So half the class would sit around doing nothing. I was informed that the next week, my class was being moved into a larger computer lab, but that none of the computers would have Sequel just yet. spent yesterday and today trying to get them to experiment with Audacity, which is on all computers in the school district.
    –>I had planned on giving them a couple little projects to do in that program, but it doesn’t work correctly on some of the computers. There’s no input or output devices, and students don’t have access to things like the control panel to change that. And on top of that, the students aren’t excited about “just a mixer”. They want to play on Sequel again. We could move back to our small computer lab, but administration wants the kids who aren’t working with Sequel to be doing something and not just sitting around. And of course, I completely agree, but there’s the problem of no resources.
    –>So, I’m just at a loss. I’m not sure what to do with these kids. Does anyone have any suggestions at all? Anything would help! Also, I apologize for the length. This whole situation has been a bit of a mess. ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
  • Reccommendations For Toddler Music Classes – I am a college music instructor with very little experience in early childhood music education. I have a 16 month old daughter and I have been trying to find a great music class for her. Many of the classes we have previewed have been dreadful.  Any suggestions out there for great classes in the NY/Westchester area? ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
  • Hello my name is XXX, I am a senior studying Music Education at Saginaw Valley State University and I am a Vocalist. I have close to year and a half left of school and I plan on teaching both in the classroom and teach private lessons. My question is what tools should i have in order to be a successful private voice teacher? Should I even attempt private lesson before i get my masters? What do you all think? ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view) ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
  • My name is XXX and I just started my Masters in Music Education at Teachers College. I am a vocalist and went to Ithaca undergrad. I’m not sure what age range I’d prefer teaching and if anyone has any advice I’d really appreciate it! ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
  • How can I go about starting an a cappella group? Should it be co-ed or should there be one male group and one female group? ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
  • My name is XXX and I just started my M.A. in Music Education at Teachers College– I already have my undergrad. in music ed. concentration in voice, so I think I just keep coming back for more! I’m fully certified- and I would like to keep building my choral repertoire for all ages– so I’m excited to still be learning about music education. I felt, for me, it was important to continue learning one thing- even though no one understands it!
    –>If anyone has any suggestions for more choral rep. for middle schoolers, (including pieces that are best for changing male voices) I’d love to hear about it! Thanks! ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
  • Teaching String in K-12 – I am a Music Education major at James Madison University, hoping to teach strings at the K-12 level. Knowing that music programs in general are losing interest and funding, I was wondering if anyone has suggestions about ways to make the world of string instruments more interesting to children at the K-12 level.
    –>as the daughter and granddaughter of two string educators, I understand the necessity of teaching the works of the classical and traditional composers. However, I feel that many students lose interest in these works after a certain amount of time.
    –>While I was home on winter break, I was introduced to Mark Wood. He had students from my father’s high school perform arrangements of classic rock songs in a casual atmosphere, even allowing some of the students to play on one of his “Viper” violins. All of the students had a great time getting to play songs that are not typically included in string orchestra repertoire, and this performance style intrigued me.
    –>although this is just one example of something that caught my attention in this particular aspect, I would love to hear other suggestions!  ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
  • Need to do some #Live Recording using #GarageBand with my class. Not really sure where to start. I have mics, mixer, and comp…. help!  ~ Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
  • Book Club: The role of community – “As musicians, we constantly and dynamically exist in the atmosphere of a larger community. That larger community can be defined as small as one or extend to hundreds. The relationship with an accompanist is community. The relationship with an audience is a community. The relationship between music teacher and classroom is a community. The interaction between a conductor and ensemble is community.” –>Talk about community in your personal musical life and your professional musical life. How can we help establish and maintain social and musical communities in our classrooms? ~  Link to this post (Free membership required to view)
* BOLD-type indicates a forum post – others are personal or group-based updates.
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Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is the creator of many education websites, a lecturer, clinician, trumpeter, and conductor. He is currently the Associate Chair of Music and Director of Bands in the Calderwood School of Arts at Grove City College in PA. He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award and the PA Citation of Excellence. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators and the current Vice-President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He also writes for DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and is the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. Find out more at his website jpisano.com.
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