Something very different is happening this year at PMEA.  Something very different indeed!   This year, I am very excited to have a number of Music Education majors from Grove City College actively engaged in broadcasting their thoughts and insights from PMEA through the use of Social Media.

I’ve been incorporating Web 2.0, such as blogging, Twitter and other Social Media forms, into much of “technology-side” of my teaching endeavors at GCC  since 2005.    This year, I have a number of under-graduate students that have taken some of my concepts along with some of their-own and have merged them together.  This merging has lead to the idea to  “Live Blog” many of the clinics that they will personally be attending at this year’s  PMEA conference.  This idea will be made manifest next week at the 2011 PMEA state conference in Hershey, PA.

To this end, a brilliant, yet rag-tag group of upperclassmen undergraduates from Grove City will be coordinating efforts through, fellow-classmate, Andrew Ritenour’s Website:  He has created a PMEA 2011 Live-Blog Landing Page where anyone may follow the journalistic endeavors of “the five” of them while attending the music conference, or because of the viral nature of the journaling, it can be followed while anywhere in the world!

So what is a Live Blog? A live blog is a combination of a Social Media Stream (Like Twitter) that is specifically moderated by one or more people where they focus their thoughts on a live event by recording it into a viral media form.  This form may be easily viewed or followed in real-time or viewed as an archive later.   We will be primarily using three forms of Social Media technology to “tie” this all together at PMEA 2011:

  1. Twitter- by using the hashtag: #pmea11 for general communication with everyone
  2. WordPress Blogging software –  Each undergraduate has their own blog in which they will be sharing and journaling their experiences
  3. CoverItLive – “live blogging” software that will be embedded into each of their Websites and provide the “journaling” medium

I’ve used CoverItLive here on a number of times.   It is a great social media platform for collaborating and sharing ideas at these conference type of events.   Andy Zweibel of has also used CoverItLive for collaborating and sharing information from music conferences as part of his music collaborative efforts as well.  I encourage anyone interested in this to take the time to visit the previous two links embedded in this paragraph to experience an archived version of a CoverItLive session.  CoverItLive comes in various “packages”, but anyone can get started with the basic version for free.

Live Journaling and Collaborative Coverage of PMEA events:

Our students’ efforts will be quite focused around the educational experience of live-journaling (live-blogging) their selected clinics while attending the various sessions at the PMEA 2011 conference.   The educational capital gained by doing something like this is greatly expanded beyond the content that each clinician is brining to his or her own session.  The students will be able to crystalize their own thoughts through the journaling process, learn to better implement cutting-edge social technologies, as well as to socially learn, collaborate, and network with others through the use of the extensive and viral Social Media forms they are utilizing.

Each of the students have their own Websites  (many have had them  for some time now) and have embedded the CoverItLive media into their Websites or at by way of “landing pages”.   Below is information pertaining to each of he students and their respective landing pages for the PMEA 2011 conference:

Andrew Ritenour –  Click to go to his PMEA Live-Blog Page

Andrew Ritenour is a junior Music Education major at Grove City College in Grove City, PA. He is actively involved in many performing ensembles including brass quintets, concert bands, marching bands, and choirs. Andy plays Tuba and Euphonium and is the Brass/Marching Instructor for the Somerset Area HS Marching Band. You can find him on twitter at @andrewritenour or atAndrewRitenour.Com!.


Elizabeth Heist – Click to go to her PMEA Live-Blog Page

Elizabeth Heist is a senior music education major at Grove City College Grove City, PA. She is actively involved in many performance ensembles including brass and woodwind quintets, French Horn ensemble, choir, and marching and concert bands. Elizabeth plays the French Horn and is a marching and brass instructor for the Somerset High School Marching Band. You can find her on Twitter (@heistes) or at


Emily Farrell – Click to go to her PMEA Live-Blog Page

Emily Farrell is a junior music education major at Grove City College in Grove City, PA. Her major is percussion with a minor in voice. Emily is involved with several performance ensembles including percussion ensemble, concert and marching band, and several choirs. You can follow her on Twitter at @emilyrfarrellor at her blog,!

Brittany Bell – Click to go to her PMEA Live-Blog Page

Brittany Bell is a junior Music Education (voice) major at Grove City College. She as been involved with chapel choir, pops choir, opera workshop, jazz ensembles, marching and concert band, and orchestra, and has also done technical theater work. You can find her on Twitter at @brittany_bell, at her blog site,, or


Ryan Dore Click to go to his PMEA Live-Blog Page

Ryan Dore is a junior Music Education major at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa. He is currently studying applied trumpet with Drew Fennell and is actively involved in the Grove City Jazz Ensemble, Wind Ensemble, Concert and Marching Band as well as several small choral and instrumental ensembles. You can follow Ryan on Twitter at @britishbuegler, on the (Dorerj15), or at his blog –

Again, we are encouraging all PMEA 2011 attendees to use the Twitter hashtag that we have selected to implement for the PMEA event, #PMEA11, so that we can all share information that we find valuable at the conference and to network with each other.  Below is a “window” into our activity at the event (Note the Twitter widget will not be showing anything past May, 2011).

The students have elected to choose a very rigorous live-blog schedule and will be attempting to attend as many of the clinics as possible.  Below is their proposed schedule at PMEA 2011:

Thursday (4/14)


  • Advocacy in Action: Winning Tomorrow’s Battles Today,
  • Conducting Technique for Music Educator,
  • The Power of Performance. . . It’s Showtime,
  • Selecting a Music Theory Textbook: A Guide for High School Teachers

11:00 – 12:00

  • All Aboard! Techniques for Anchoring Literacy in the Beginning Choral Rehearsal,
  • Performance Practice in the Music Curriculum,
  • Teaching Improvisation Using What You Already Know,
  • Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century Music Classroom,
  • The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Scat Singers

12:30 – 1:30

  • Beyond the Book: Making Music Visible,
  • Creating Your Own Acoustic Guitar Lab from Scratch,
  • Cutting Edge Teaching Strategies: Cool Ideas for a Cool Era,
  • New Directions for the Male Changing Voice

2:00 – 3:00

  • Choral Techniques for Young Choirs,
  • Jazz Workshop for Music Educators,
  • Play! Dance! Sing! Music of the Masters for the Elementary Classroom,
  • Raising the E.E.Q. of Your Ensemble

3:30 – 4:30

  • A MultiSensory Approach to Teaching Music to MS Students with Autism
  • Advocacy through Evidence
  • Digital Audio for Beginners: Essential Tips for Teachers and Their Students,
  • Listening Journals in Middle School Music,
  • Vocal Health 101: Speaking and Singing Voice for Music Educators

Friday (4/15)

8:30 – 9:30

  • Classroom and Behavior Management with Children with Special Needs in Inclusion Settings
  • Orff Schulwerk: A Winning Way,
  • Preparing Your Students for College Auditions and Interviews,
  • Vocal Improvisation; and I’m Not Talking Jazz

9:45 – 10:45

  • The Composers Circle: Composition Instruction in Elementary General Music
  • Here Comes Treble! What’s New for Two-Part Choirs
  • M.U.S.I.C.: Don’t Burn Out
  • Transfer of Learning: Students Can Perform the Sforzando Every Time
  • You Want Me to do What?!? Creating an Urban General Music Program

11:15 – 12:15

  • Advocating for Music Education from the School Board Level
  • Bringing the World to an Urban Classroom K-5
  • Quality Tried and True: Choral Repertoire for Singers of All Ages
  • Sense of Community and Social Intelligence Within Music Classrooms and Ensembles
  • Successful Cooperating Teacher Relationships: Student Teacher Perspective

2:45 – 3:45

  • How to be a Proactive Advocate for your Music Program
  • Inclusion! Rethinking Success in the Music Classroom
  • Promethean Boards for the Elementary General Music Classroom
  • The Well-Rounded Choir: Something for Everyone

4:15 – 5:15

  • Counting What Really Counts with Performance Assessment
  • Going Global: Google Earth as a Tool for Teaching World Music
  • Percussion Skills They Don’t Teach You in School
  • The Choral Rehearsal: Process to Product

In addition to Live-Blogging the various clinics, they will be using Q3-HD video cams to record many of their “escapades” at the event itself…  I look forward to seeing these and bringing them to you all!

I am very much looking forward to the “fruits of our labor” with this project and encourage as many of you that are attending and/or those that read or participate in our Twitter/Facebook PLNs or the to join us in this very  Web 2.0 PMEA 2011 experience!

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