TMEA/TI:ME 2016: Music Technology in the Elementary Music Classroom

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 7.34.53 AMThe TMEA/TI:ME Conference was an amazing success! I come away from this conference in awe of many of my colleagues who presented terrific sessions, rejuvenated because I learned so much from a variety of music educators, and excited to return back to the classroom this week.logo

TI:ME Preconference Day

The conference began on Wednesday with the Technology For Music Education (TI:ME – http://ti-me.org/) preconference which offered numerous sessions from how to use certain apps to how to integrate technology into the music classroom at a variety of levels. Those who registered for the preconference were given a one-year membership to TI:ME. This offers great advantages from articles written by top music tech educators in the field, to lesson plans, to many other items. If you did attend the preconference day, please access the membership by following the directions on the back of your badge.

Elementary Music Technology Sessions:

As a member of the TI:ME Conference Committee and a current Board member, I was in charge of presiding over many of the elementary music technology sessions. Here are some of the highlights from those sessions from the entire conference:

  • Digital Do Re Mi: Making Tech Choices for K-5 Music and Tradition + Tech: Technology in K-2 General Music: Both of these sessions were given by Denise Lewis from White Pigeon Community Schools in Michigan. Denise teaches K-5 general music along with being the school’s technology coach. Her website can be found here: https://sites.google.com/a/wpcschools.org/music-and-more/. Denise’s first session gave music educators many ideas on how to use a variety of tech tools to make their lives easier. She showed items from digitized planbooks, to altering MP3 files, to interactive whiteboards, to apps for learning. It was an informative session and a wonderful one for a music educator who is new to music technology or needs ideas for tech tools in the classroom. Denise’s second session focused on technology useful for our youngest ages in elementary and showcased apps, software, and successful lessons for that age level.
  • Lesson Plans: Elementary General Music Classroom with iPads: This was my first of two back-to-back sessions. This session focused on successful lesson plans to implement into the elementary general music classroom using one iPad, a few iPads, or a 1:1 learning environment. 1:1 means that each student has access to a tablet or mobile device (an iPad for this session) in your music classroom. I showed lessons that addressed numerous TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) from reading and identifying notes to creating music. The lessons and apps that I used for this session can be found on my website: http://www.amymburns.com. Thank you to those who attended the session. I was thrilled to present to a full room of wonderful music educators!
  • Saddle Up Your Music Class: Giddy Up, SAMR!: This session about Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition) was presented by the fabulous Cherie Herring and me. Cherie is an elementary music educator, SMART Technology exemplary educator, and an educator in a 1:1 iPad school. Her website is http://www.cphmusic.net/, where you can find many of her lessons for free. She also has numerous lessons on Teachers Pay Teachers. Cherie and I showcased our lesson units that displayed the substitution phase (using Plickers to substitute paper and pencil for exit tickets),augmentation (Music and Math),augmentation to modification (2nd graders using noteflight and soundtrap to create and compose music),modification to redefinition (4th grade Debussy unit),and redefinition (Handel unit and 2nd grade empathy unit). The handout and ideas used for this session can be found on my website: http://www.amymburns.com. Cherie and I were so thrilled to see you all at this session. One of the best things I read after our session was the tweet that reminded those that when you use
    Cherie and I presenting at our SAMR session.

    SAMR, you might fail or you might only use the substitution and augmentation phases. And as Dr. Ruben Puentedura stated, it is OK to fail and it is OK to only achieve the first two stages. One of things that I stated to those who attended is when your students try something new, you allow and encourage them to fail. This goes the same for us: We, as music educators, are allowed to try new things and we are allowed to fail so that we can learn and teach in a better way for our students.

  • GarageBand for iPad in the Elementary Music Room: This session was presented by Ian Boynton, an elementary music educator from Redford Union Schools in Michigan. One of things that I like about watching Ian present is that he gives an interactive session. He asks you to take out your iPad and follow along as he guides you through the app. He showed many ways to use the iPad with young students from recording them to creating music.
  • TI:ME Keynote Address: This year’s TI:ME keynote speaker was Robert W. Smith, a professor of music and coordinator of the music industry program at Troy University’s John M. Long School of Music. Robert gave a great address about creativity in the music classroom and how important it is for all of us in the room to encourage creativity in our classrooms in whatever ways possible.
  • Show What You Know with iPads: Make It-Take It: This session was given by Cherie. She brought 12 iPads from her school so that the participants could follow along when she displayed her lessons using three apps: Explain Everything, Book Creator, and Shadow Puppet. She showed how she creates lessons from drawing rhythm patterns to inserting videos of her playing the recorder to flip her classroom so that the students can learn the recorder lessons from home and email her their performances.
  • Teaching Music with Technology: Two Approaches: Though this session was not elementary-focused, this session showed two excellent teachers, 2012 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Barb Freedman (http://musicedtech.com/) and 2015 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Will Kuhn (http://willkuhn.com/),displaying how to get middle to high school students creating music using two different methods. The wonderful parts of this session were Barb and Will’s playfulness when presenting together and how their students achieve great success even though they use different ways to get there.
  • iTeachMusic: Interactive Technology in Elementary Music:This session was given by Manju Durairaj. She stated that it was a repeat session from one she gave earlier in the day. It focused on lessons using SMART Notebook.
  • Engaging Lesson Plans for GarageBand on iPad: This session was given by the famous Katie Wardrobe from Midnight Music (http://midnightmusic.com.au/). Katie is a music educator from Australia. She originally began teaching Sibelius, which turned into her teaching music educators about everything technology. Her webinars are excellent with those who have taken them, raving about them afterward. Her GarageBand session showed many of the new items in GarageBand from more choices of instruments in the synth setting to the live loops, which reminded me of the Loopy app. She showcased wonderful lessons from creating music with samples to using sound effects to make a spooky poem come to life (I am using this one in the near future). It was such a great joy to see Katie fill her rooms for both of her sessions (her other session was on scoring movies) and I sincerely hope that she will return to TX next year. She has so much more to offer!
  • Teaching Traditional Skills with New Technologies: For K-6: This session was given by Lynn Basinger from Travis Elementary School. She showed wonderful examples from her music classroom, which consists of 25+ students per class. I liked the way she showed how effectively and engaging her students were using technology in stations. Lynn stated that her session became more philosophical than she planned, but if you stayed for the entire session, you agreed that what she was showing you was a philosophy for successfully teaching and differentiating instruction for each child, which was enhanced with technology.
  • Online Resources for the Elementary Classroom: This session was given by Kathryn Kuddes, Plano ISD and TMAC President. She showed mostly free resources for organization, song collections, and Youtube channels. It was an informative session and I liked finding new resources for authentic recordings.

How to Access the TMEA/TI:ME Handouts:

If you are a TMEA member, you can access all of the handouts from the session if the presenter uploaded them before February 1st. To do this, watch this video by clicking on this link or the picture below:

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 10.52.16 AM

If your presenter did not upload a handout, perform a simple google search to see if the presenter has a website where the handouts might be located.

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TI:ME Teachers of the years from 2005, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Me with the famous Katie Wardrobe from Australia!
Six amazing ladies of music technology: Amy M. Burns, Marj LoPresti, Katie Wardrobe, Stephanie Sanders, Cherie Herring, Barb Freedman

Finally, the most wonderful item that I came out with from the TMEA/TI:ME conference (and there were many to choose from),was networking with so many amazing music educators. Connecting and discussing numerous topics with other music educators was priceless. I especially adored spending time and talking with Barb Freedman, Cherie Herring, Stephanie Sanders, Katie Wardrobe, KT Dwinal, Floyd Richmond (President of TIME),David Mash (TI:ME Administrator of the Year),Marj LoPresti (2016 TI:ME Teacher of the Year),Mark Lochstampfor, Jay Dorfman, Richard McCready, Radio Cremata (Ithaca College),Will Kuhn, VJ Manzo, John Mlynczak (President-Elect of TIME),and so many more. Thank you for making this such a great conference for me!

There were many other sessions at TMEA. I am giving you a small look into the elementary music sessions that focused on technology. I wish that I could have attended every session from technology to vocal. If you ever get the opportunity to attend TMEA/TI:ME Conference, please do so. You will not regret it!


Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award and the 2016 NJMEA Master Music Teacher Award. TI:ME . You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com
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