SoundTree Institute – The Next Evolution Of Online Professional Development For Music Education

Music teachers both new and established, take note – SoundTree has recently launched an incredibly tech-savvy website that offers unprecedented and accredited professional development opportunities.   SoundTree’s new Institute for Music Educators is one of the most impressive and ingenious uses of online learning technology for Music Teachers that I’ve seen to date.   The site offers online training and support twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

In the fast-paced and jam-packed world that music educators are navigating today, there can be little doubt that having this type of professional development opportunity available will be a boon for all of them.   Through SoundTree’s affiliation with the University of the Arts, both graduate credit and continuing education credits are available to those taking advantage of the myriad of courses offered through the institute.

The SoundTree Institute is also tightly integrated with the TI:ME curriculum and offers a number of TI:ME approved courses that will count toward obtaining any of the TI:ME certifications.   Interestingly, many of the TI:ME certified instructors and TI:ME curriculum developers are currently offering courses and webinars through the SoundTree Institute -just another reason to consider joining this innovative institute.

SoundTree is noted for the comprehensive expertise in music-related technologies specifically for Music Educators.   Their expertise as a music technology provider is unparalleled and their staff includes a number of noted music education and technology experts such as Dr. Jim Frankel, Robin Hodson, as well as a boasting a “who’s who” of expert music education and technology clinicians and authors.

In the traditional, non-virtual-related “world” of professional development, you may find SoundTree and their staff presenting at such noted places such as the Conn-Selmer Institute and NAfME (MENC) headquarters.  You can also find SoundTree presenting and attending numerous Music Education Conferences across the country throughout every year.   They are deeply rooted in the industry.

Soundtree recently launched another ground-breaking professional development opportunity for Music Educators in 2010 with the advent of the Music Education Online Technology Summit (METOS).   METOS is literally an entire conference themed around Music Education and Technology and is held online in a virtual environment complete with a keynote speaker, multiple online sessions and clinics to select from and even holds “break-out sections” –other than not being there physically -there is not much difference between it and the more traditional music conferences.  METOS has successfuly completed its second conference and has now become a part of the SoundTree Institute.

The SoundTree Institute is an incredibly affordable adjunct to any music educators’ current professional development (PD) plan and the availability of the online webinars and frequent classes allow anyone the flexibility of scheduling their PD at any time or on any day that might be convenient for them.   The standard pricing for an annual membership of the SoundTree Institute is $64.95 (but is currently having a limited time offer of $49.95 at the time of this post).   This annual subscription includes a number of benefits:

  • Weekly Live Webinars (and archives)
  • Price of “attendance” at the yearly METOS conference (roughly equal to the cost of attending without membership)
  • A host of Music Technology Videos (currently, over 100 hours!)
  • Lesson Plans, articles, and Resources
  • Educator Web 2.0 Tools
  • Access to specific discussion forums and live online support
  • Special deals and discounts
  • expert one-on-one advice with the SoundTree technology staff
Listed below are some examples of the content and courses being taught/available currently at the SoundTree Institute:
  • Finale 2012
  • 21st Century Professional Development
  • Noteflight
  • Intro to MAX/MSP
  • Intro to MIDI Sequencing
  • Arranging Styles in Sibeilus
  • Smart Boards in the Elmentary Classrom
  • Mixcraft Basics
  • Garage band
I’ve personally been involved with SoundTree for about three years now as a clinician and advocate for their work and company.   One thing that I can state with certainty that sets them apart from others is that their staff truly makes music education a priority and understands the needs of music educators and school systems.  Their zeal and passion may be observed in any number of ways: from supporting undergraduates and graduate students in their music education related efforts, through their development of music education materials for teachers, and seen through their visible support of many online music education and technology initiatives (many of them free to take advantage of).   They simply don’t “just” sell products and services, they are immersed in the field as educators, are innovators of ideas for the profession, and actively advocate the benefits of music and music education for all…

Additional Resources;

A video overview of the SoundTree Institute by Dr. Jim Frankel (Managing Director of SoundTree):

A couple of additional reviews of the SoundTree Institute by noted bloggers and media:

Direct Link to the SoundTree Institute:

I hope that you take the time to consider all that the SoundTree Institute has to offer music educators and take advantage of the incredible professional development and learning opportunities available through it today.
      
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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