The final days of the TMEA/TI:ME Conference were full of amazing sessions. From the beginning of Friday to mid-Saturday before I left, any music educator could find a session that would rejuvenate his or her teaching. Some highlights were:
- Free Tech Resources for the Elementary Music Educator – I presented this session to a room full of wonderful elementary music educators. They were very receptive to all of the links I showed them. I also saw legends in this session that made me awe-struck like Cherie Herring (http://www.cphmusic.net/), Don Muro (http://www.donmuro.com/), and Norm Hirshy from Oxford University Press. To see what I presented, please visit my website and download the handout.
- Free Technology for Musicians and Music Educators – Barb Freedman (http://musicedtech.com/) gave a great presentation that presented more free tech resources for music educators. If music educators attended both of our sessions, they would no longer need to buy many items for their classrooms because they would walk away with numerous free resources.
- Met my Hero – I was thrilled to be able to sit down and talk to Cherie Herring!
For me, Cherie is the Queen of Elementary Music Technology. Cherie is an elementary music educator, a SMART Board trainer, and teaches in a school that is 1:1 iPads. When you read her blog, you not only get a great sense to how wonderful her classroom is, you can also view her classroom through her videos. She writes wonderful tutorials and sells a lot of her lessons and SMART Board files on her Teachers Pay Teachers website.
- TI:ME Teacher of the Year Presentation – It was so wonderful to see Will Kuhn receive the MikeKovins 2015 TI:ME Teacher of the Year! He is the 11th winner in a long list of amazing music educators who successfully integrate technology into their classrooms. From his website: Will teaches Music Technology at Lebanon High School, and also serves as District Music Coordinator for Lebanon City Schools. In 2006 he designed the pop-music focused music tech program, which now involves over 350 students annually. He also advises the school’s TV Studio and Recording Club, which produces a full length album of student produced music each year as well as the innovative Electronic Music Group. The school’s Electronic Music Group has been invited to perform at numerous state and regional conventions.
He also serves on the advisory board for TI:ME Ohio.
- TI:ME Teachers of the Year: 2005-2015 How Technology has Changed – This was a great sight to see as I (2005), Karen Garrett (2006-via video), Mike Fein (2007-via video), Ace Martin (2008-via video), Wayne Splettstoeszer (2009), Rick Dammers (2010), Joe Pisano (2011), Barb Freedman (2012), Richard McCready (2013), Catie Dwinal (2014), and Will Kuhn (2015), all described our programs and how technology has changed our programs for the better from musicality, to differentiation, to research, to music creation, to composition, to more.
- How MIDI Revolutionized Music Education (1983-Present) – First thing Saturday morning , the legendary Don Muro presented
about how MIDI revolutionized
music education. He began the session by showing how MIDI came to be and its effects on the music education as well as the music industry. Watching this legend present reminded me of the TI:ME courses I took that he taught and how amazed I was to learn so much history as well as musicianship from him.
- Help! I’m an Elementary Music Teacher with One or More iPads – I presented a session that is based on the free iBook by the same name. I showed the basics from how to project the iPad onto a screen to how to use a variety of apps in the music classroom whether you have one iPad, a few iPads, or 1:1 iPads.
- Checking out PreK Music Education Resources – Finally, before I left for the airport, I researched some more PreK music resources as I feel that PreK music is essential. PreK students are sponges and they innately feel and move to music. This has become more apparent to me as my youngest daughter is a PreK student who will stop and listen to music, sing at a moment’s notice, and move to music whenever she gets the opportunity. There are so many wonderful PreK music resources (Feierabend, Gagne, Kleiner, and Music Together to name a few) and I took time in the exhibit hall to look over more materials with the goal of how to teach music to mixed PreK ages.
This was the 6th time I have visited San Antonio and my 5th time being a presenter at the TMEA/TI:ME Conference. Every year, this conference gets better and better. I thank TMEA and TI:ME for hosting an excellent conference. I hope to return again in the future to present and learn more from great music educators.
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