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For the past two days, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the great music educators from St. Maarten. This workshop is to assist most of the teachers who will be having some iPads for their students to use in their music classrooms next school year. This was a wonderful opportunity and I greatly thank Janelle and Georgiane from ISTEP SXM, for inviting me and planning this event.
St. Maarten is gorgeous. Hurricane Irma hit St. Maarten in September of 2017 causing considerable damage. The music educators told me that some of them were out of school until December. Our taxi driver, Rodney, stated that his house’s roof was torn off and is still being replaced with concrete. However, the island is bouncing back and the residents were joyful and inviting.
Before the workshop, I created a google form for the participants to fill out. This form helped me gear the workshop to their goals. It also helped me prepare better for the technolgy that we would utilize most often.
The music educators were supplied with iPads and the free apps that I requested. They experienced how technology can engage, enhance, and extend learning through performing, creating, composing, and connecting music with other subjects. They utilized the following apps:
- GarageBand – recording, creating, performing, and utilizing the jam session
- SoundTrap – recording, creating, performing, and collaborating
- SoundForest – creating music with younger students
- MusicFirst – I explained that they had great materials for all ages because the high school music educators wanted to see software for music theory tests (Auralia)
- Assessment apps – Kahoot! was a hit
- Seesaw – Digital Learning Portfolio
- IMove – Movie Creating
I created a webpage for them to list the resources, handouts, and more, so that they can access them throughout the year. I also used a padlet throughout the workshop so that they could list resources or ask me questions when needed. They were a wonderful group of music educators and I cherish the time I spent with them these past two days.
Tomorrow, I will be working with classroom teachers that will be piloting the iPad program in their schools. To prepare for this, my school colleagues pointed me in a good direction by telling me their favorite apps to utilize in the elementary classroom. Stay tuned!
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