Screen shot 2013-02-12 at 11.02.48 AM

Pre-Conference: The 2013 TI:ME/TMEA conference was a wonderful success. It began on Wednesday with the TI:ME pre-conference day. TI:ME produced many veteren presenters along with numerous new presenters. It reminded me of the first time I ever presented on behalf of TI:ME, which was back in 2004 at TMEA. So presenting at this conference was a bit like coming home.


There were sessions that were geared for elementary, middle school, high school, and college teachers, along with sessions that covered integration, iPads, websites, apps, free resources, composition, performance, improvisation, interactive whiteboards and so much more. I was able to see “newbie” teacher, Catie Dwinal, present about recording, composing, and mixing with elementary music students. I adored her students’ works that she showed during her session. TI:ME President Jay Dorfman presented about assessing students’ works with music technology, which is a precursor to his book coming out in March.

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 1.20.08 AM

Find our handout at

Our Integration Session:

Catie and I presented a session on technology integration in the elementary music classroom that went very well and was highly attended. She and I based our presentation on meeting the Texas elementary music standards with such technological tools as websites, apps, networks, and cloud-based software. Our handout, presentation, and resources can be found on my website:

More Pre-Conference Highlights:

I was thrilled to meet Phyllis Thomas-one of the authors of the Interactive Now! Series, a series of music lessons for the interactive whiteboard-who also presented a resourceful session about her wonderful products. The pre-conference day continued with many sessions about free resources, composition, technology and Kodály, technology and Orff, the NJ music tech expo, and a finale with a TI:ME reception and a performance by UAB Computer Music Ensemble, conducted by Scott Phillips, Univ of Alabama/Birmingham.

A Small Portion of the Exhibit Hall

A Small Portion of the Exhibit Hall

Highlights from Thursday: 

Thursday was the official start of the TMEA conference and the opening of the exhibit hall.

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 1.34.55 AM

Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music, powered by Silver Burdett

TMEA’s exhibit hall is amazing and very large. It is divided into two sections, the east wing and the west wing. A music educator could spend the entire conference in the exhibit hall and still feel like he/she did not see everything in there. I was thrilled to go to Romeo Music’s booth and see my book being sold there. In addition, Pearson was showing at their booth some of their newest product, the Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music, powered by Silver Burdett, which I am one of the proud authors. I was thrilled that Shirley Lacroix, Product Marketing Manager at Pearson for music and art, attended Catie and my session the day before and saw me briefly show the series. It was also wonderful to see 2012 TI:ME Teacher of the Year, Barbara Freedman, and her new book, Teaching Music Through Composition-A Curriculum Using Technology at the Oxford University Press (OUP) booth.

Screen shot 2013-02-17 at 1.34.36 AM

Teaching Music Through Composition-A Curriculum Using Technology

On Thursday I also volunteered at the TI:ME booth, networked with PreK music teachers, went to a workshop on assessment in music class using composition and improvisation, attended an amazing recorder app (Learn and Play Recorder) session presented by Denise Gagne, and finished the day by attending Yigal Kaminka’s session about the JoyTunes Recorder app. In the evening, many of us met up for a tweetup and discussed/tweeted/read the tweets from all of the amazing sessions from the day.

Another Thursday highlight was Dave Sebald, UT/San Antonio, TI:ME Keynote Presentation titled “The Future of Music Education: a Geek’s Perspective.” It was wonderful. In a humorous, but effective way, Dave discussed technology through the decades and reminded us as educators, to acknowledge the trends and prepare our students accordingly.

Highlights from Friday:

I began the day by attending Richard McCready’s presentation Using the iPad with Special Needs Music Learners, and discovered some new teaching techniques for special learners and some new apps. When Richard speaks about his students, you just want to sit and listen to him all day. You can easily see why he was chosen to be the 2013 Mike Kovins TI:ME Teacher of the Year. It is obvious that he is dedicated to the profession and to his students.

TI:ME Teachers of the Years 2010, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2005

TI:ME Teachers of the Years 2010, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2005


Me, Denise, Linda, and Debbie

Next was prepping for my own session titled, “iPads in the Elementary Music Classroom.” Keith Mason, who is TI:ME’s Conference Committee Chair and who ran a wonderful conference this year, as well as the years previous to this one, told me that people are attending sessions that have “i” or “free” in the title. Since my session was the same time as Barb’s session, which was titled “Free Technology for Music Educators,” I could only imagine that our rooms (202 and 204 respectably) would end up being too small to hold the audience. That is exactly what happened. Rm 202 could hold 300 educators and my session had them out the door, making it standing room only. I was shocked and very nervous. I was so glad that Catie was there because when I needed assistance, she popped right up and turned up the volume on my mic, or gave me the VGA cable from her iPad to show the audience so that I would not have to disconnect my iPad from the projector during the session. My session went well and I showed a variety of apps from note reading to virtual instruments to PreK music to recording music to creating music to recorder music. I was very pleased with the presentation, especially when Denis Gagne and Debbie Anderson (another author of the Interactive Now! Series and two music education legends in my book) came up afterwards to compliment the session and to take a picture of us all together.

TI:ME Leadership Academy directed by Rick and VJ

TI:ME Leadership Academy directed by Rick and VJ

After this, TI:ME held a business meeting. TI:ME’s meeting highlighted how it is moving ahead with more publications, membership drives, website revival, monthly newsletters, and the meeting also officially honored Richard as the 2013 Mike Kovins TI:ME Teacher of the Year. Dr. Jim Frankel, who serves as the Head of Digital Education for Music Sales Group and is the Director of MusicFirst ( which sponsored the award, reminded us all the impact that Mike Kovins had on TI:ME and if it were not for Mike, there would be no TI:ME. Rick spoke about how TI:ME is influencing future educators and leaders with their Leadership Academy. Finally, I was so happy to see Richard’s wife, Julia McCready attend all of the events. Julia is a teacher of Music and Movement to Special Needs to Preschoolers in the Howard County Public School System. I have known Julia mostly through tweets and the #musedmot day. During the June 2012 #musedmot, Julia opened my eyes to new ways to reach my PreK music students and to some music apps that my 3-year-old would love, like the Duck Duck Moose apps (she does love them Julia-Thank you!).

I walked the exhibits to get something to eat, witness Barb’s book signing (very cool Barb!), see Delta Planets cloud-based

My book.

My book.

software from Music First and thought that I could apply it easily with my young students so they could learn about music history in a very fun and exciting way, and to look at MakeMusic’s Smart Music app for the iPad. They were showing the beta version of this app and I was loving what I was seeing. I texted my colleague immediately to discuss how the iPad app would positively affect our assessments of the 5th grade instrument classes (all fifth graders learn clarinet, saxophone or flute during one of the three music classes per a seven-day cycle at Far Hills Country Day School).

Joe and Richard improvising during their session.

Joe and Richard improvising during their session.

My last session was watching Richard and Dr. Joe Pisano present a session titled “Using the iPad to Encourage and Teach Improvisation.” I found some new apps that I could utilize immediately in my classroom. My favorites are Everyday Looper and Cube Jam. Everyday Looper can be a wonderful app that my students can use to create ostinatos that would play along with each other. Cube Jam gives the students the opportunity to create and record loops and jam to them. I also loved watching Richard and Joe improvise! To me, watching music educators take the time to jam and improvise on their instruments is absolute joy. This day ended with our dinner that honored Richard as the teacher of the year. Afterwards, I returned to my hotel with all these new resources, new ideas, feeling rejuvenated, and feeling like everything from this trip was a successful experience.

I left Texas ready to come back to my classroom, happily teach, and of course and most importantly, hug and kiss my husband and my girls, whom I missed tremendously. A big thank you to my school for giving me the time to go learn and present, to my husband to taking over mom duties on top of his own, to my mom and dad who helped my husband whenever possible, to all of the folks at TI:ME (Mike, Jay, Keith, Floyd, Scott) and to all involved at TMEA (you all are amazing!).

Here are some more reflections from other bloggers, music educators, and participants from the TI:ME/TMEA 2013 Conference:



Print Friendly, PDF & Email