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A few of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting “Interactive Music: New Resources for Today’s Classrooms” at the 53rd NAfME Eastern Division Biennial In-Service Conference in Hartford, CT. I adore this area of CT as I earned my Masters of Science in Music Education at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) in New Britain, CT, and I now teach there each summer. Side note and shameless plug: This summer, I will be teaching a course for elementary music educators that shows them a variety of ways to integrate technology into their elementary general music classrooms. Websites, iPods, iPads, Interactive Whiteboards, free tech resources, and new curriculum like the one I presented at NAfME, will be shown and used in this course.
This presentation for NAfME was actually a first for me in the nine years that I have been presenting. I usually present about technology. This time, I was presenting about Silver Burdett’s newest curriculum, Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music with Alfred, which showcased the newest Silver Burdett curriculum that is completely interactive and online. Although this involved technology, this was truly a curriculum presentation where we got up and moved to music, performed music (with instruments provided by Peripole), sang, danced, and created music. I am very proud to be a contributing author to this new curriculum and was thrilled to show how to utilize this new curriculum in the PreK-8 general music classroom.
Some of the highlights of this curriculum are:
- Wonderful selections of songs and instrumental pieces. Many Alfred songs, including popular composers such as Sally Albrecht, Jay Althouse, Andy Beck, and more, are now included in this curriculum.
- Interactive Notation using the Interactive Player. The music educator has the ability to project most songs on the screen with Interactive Notation-the notes light up when you sing the song. With the Interactive Player, you can also change the key of the song, turn the vocals off, change the tempo, and begin the song in various places during the song.
- Activities: Each song comes with numerous interactive activities. These can include performing rhythmic patterns with instruments, creating and composing new rhythmic patterns that can be utilized on a computer, interactive whiteboard or tablet, and more.
- Movement: This curriculum shows a video for many of the movement/dance activities. The video teaches the dance by showing animated feet performing the dance.
- Recorder Activities: Many songs in grades three and above come with recorder songs and countermelodies. These recorder activities can be printed out and given to each student. They also come with an Interactive Fingering Chart so when the part is displayed on screen, the students can just tap the note and see and hear the recorder note and fingering.
- Orff and Kodály activities are emphasized and well organized. Orff arrangements are included and also have Interactive Notation in the Interactive Player. My students like to listen to the arrangement before they practice it because it assists them in learning the orffestration correctly.
- The grades 6-8 curriculum utilizes songs, activities, and projects that compliment current music trends like recording with portable devices and utilizing music from various to current styles. It also supports current educational philosophies such as project-based learning, core standards, and more.
- Downloadable and adaptable: Many of the items in this curriculum can be downloaded onto the computer and be printed out. All songs come with powerpoint® song projectables. I enjoy this because I can edit the powerpoint® projectable if I decide to customize the lesson to fit the needs of my classroom.
- Organization: Any music educator can organize the curriculum so that they can easily find activities that they would like to utilize in a certain lesson.
- Accessible: This curriculum can be accessed from any computer. If you teach in various rooms or schools, there is no need to worry because you can login into your account from any computer and access your organized materials.
Those are just some of the highlights in this curriculum. As with any Silver Burdett curriculum, you will have access to numerous lesson plans, music, listening maps, a variety of activities, and so much more. To peruse it, you can visit the sampler here: http://www.onlinelearningexchange.com/content/products/music.html
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com