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I’ve decided to go “high-tech” (like that’s a new one!) and put a number of the terms that I require my instrumental conducting students to know, by rote, on the super-cool site, Quizlet. Quizlet is a free to use site that boasts: “The End of Flashcards”. Quite candidly, it really is an amazing learning tool that more people need to become aware of and utilize.
Quizlet pokes fun at vocabulary learning by stating there are 5 ways to learn vocabulary:
- Brain injection
- Reading a list a gajillion times
I’ve had a quizlet account since I became aware of it last year, but had not done anything “officially” with it until this morning after I promised my conducting class a new way to help them learn the enormity of vocabulary that I require of them. Quizlet offers a number of great and fun ways to learn your “list”. You can:
- View one sided (flip type) flashcards
- View two sided flash cards (term and answer)
- Take true/false tests
- Take rote tests
- Take matching tests
- Take multiple choice tests
- Play games
- Print the terms
- Print flashcards (kind of funny since they claim the “end”!)
- Create favorite lists
- Export the list so that you can use the terms in other applications
To show you how this can be useful, consider my Beginning Instrumental Conducting class… Throughout the course of the semester, they are required to learn multiple terms that relate to the discipline of conducting. To help them learn the the terms, I’ve recently created a Conducting Mastery group at Quizlet.com. Within this group are currently 5 “sets”, or lists, (soon to be more!) of information that I have created. The students will eventually be teted, in class, about these terms at some future point. These sets are:
- Tempo Related Terms
- Metronome Markings and Tempo
- Orchestral Instruments: Eng. to It.
- Orchestral Instruments: Eng. to Fr.
- Orchestral Instruments: Eng. to Ger.
The group, “Conducting Mastery”, allows me to keep the information related to my conducting course into one easy to find webpage. From there, the students can choose which “set” they would like to practice and work with.
Quizlet is so fast and easy to use, that it will soon become one of your favorite learning tools for you and your students. I do not know of any other web 2.0 software that is as good at learning “rote” type information like vocabulary lists than Quizlet.
I was able to create 4 sets in well under 1 hour. Once you get “on” to it, it is really easy to use, implement, and deploy. In addition, you can make your sets “private” or share them with everyone, or whomever you wish!
Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D., is an industry innovator, educator, clinician and lecturer, trumpeter and conductor, and the creator of many music and education websites. He is currently the Vice President of Innovation and Engagement at Keystone Ridge Designs, Inc. After twenty-three years as a professor and administrator in higher education, he made the move into industry in 2018.
As one of the youngest full professors in Grove City’s history, he served in many capacities during his tenure including Professor of music, Director of Music and Fine Arts Technology, Technical Director of the Pew Fine Arts Center, Associate/Assistant Chair of Music and Fine Arts, Director of Jazz Studies.
He finished his tenure at the college as the Director of Bands, where he directed the college’s Symphonic Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Band, and various smaller ensembles. He continues to guest direct bands, consult with music programs, and adjudicate ensembles and programs today.
He has been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award, the PA Citation of Excellence, and named a “member for life” of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators, an associate member of the American Bandmasters Association, a past President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association, and a member of various education and music honoraries.
He has written for numerous publications including DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, SBO, and was the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine for eight years; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications.
He is an active conductor, trumpeter, clinician, and educator. Find out more at his website: jpisano.com.