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:

  1. Brain injection
  2. Quizlet
  3. Flashcards
  4. Reading a list a gajillion times
  5. Praying

Picture of Quizlet 

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!

       Dr. Joseph M. Pisano

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