The school year is coming to a close at River Hill High School. Seniors are finding out where they are going to college, and finishing their AP exams, and as anybody who has taught high school knows, this is the time of year when those seniors tend to “check out.” Many teachers find it difficult to keep the seniors excited about school. To me, it’s just another challenge. Learning should always by authentic, relevant, meaningful and fun – if it is, you will easily manage to keep your seniors engaged and enjoying the school experience. So this year I charged my seniors with building a website, containing all their favorite compositions, cover versions, performances, and collaborations from the year. Some students took on the task of finding an appropriate web design tool and constructing the site. Other students collected and archived material from the past year. Monday is our last day of school for these seniors, before all their graduation shenanigans, so we will be holding our official launch party and evaluating our experiences in working together to create our web site.
We used an online service called “webs.com” and found it very reasonably priced and easy to use, and we were able to register our own domain through them. I would certainly recommend webs.com to other teachers wanting to find a quick and intuitive web-building service.
Please visit our site, listen to some music, check out our videos and photographs, and send us some feedback. The work on the site will continue even after our seniors leave for the year, but I’m pretty sure we’re ready for business, as of today. Our new web address is http://rhhsmusictech.com
Richard McCready is a composer, musician, and the Director of Music Technology at River Hill High School in Columbia, Maryland. He was born in Northern Ireland and studied tuba performance, piano, and composition at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England. Since emigrating to the US in 1992, he has held teaching positions at The Park School of Baltimore, Towson University, and Mayfield Woods Middle School, Elkridge, MD; he has also played professionally with the Monumental Brass Quintet, the Lexington Brass Quintet, and the Denhard/McCready Duo. He has earned two Masters degrees from Towson University, one in tuba performance and one in vocal performance. He plays many musical instruments, but the focus of his teaching is Music Technology in which he is widely regarded as one of the outstanding innovators in the US. His book, Making Music with GarageBand and Mixcraft, was published in 2010. Richard was awarded the TI:ME 2013 Mike Kovins Teacher of the Year Award and also the Howard County 2013 Music Educator of the Year.