The TMEA2019 Technology in Music Educaiton (TI:ME) Preconference Day was a wonderful way to kick off the conference. There were numerous music technology sessions that ranged from novice to advance tech and tech ed ranging from PreK to adult. Here are some highlights from the day.

Coding in the Music Room 

Catie Dwinal, 2014 TI:ME Teacher of the Year and member of the Quaver Music team, gave a session titled, “Coding in the Music Room.” She spoke of how coding and composing are very similar. Both require the engineering process of ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve.

After taking us through each process, she showed us some coding examples. These included legos, makey makey (, Scratch ( – which is now HTML5), and Dash (

I loved how she compared coding and composing with the scientific method. When she spoke of collaborating, problem-solving, and testing the product/piece of music, it reminded me of Design Thinking, where students use empathy and creativity to problem-solve.

Watch how Catie codes Dash to perform at TMEA!



John Ivers presented about Bandlab for Education. Bandlab is a free online digital audio workstation. This new education portion showcases how students can collaborate in, what he termed, forkable ways. This means, collaborate with others by saving new revisions. The education side of this product is still very new, and has the clause that students must be 13 or older to use, but has a lot of potential. It also appears to not currently be COPPA, CIPA, and FERPA compliant.

“Teachnology” in the Elementary Music Classoom

I presented this session that included how to integrate technology into three popular music teaching approaches: Dr. Feierabend’s approach, the Kodály approach, and Orff-Schulwerk. I love presenting at TMEA. It was a standing room only crowd who participated and, from what I saw, enjoyed the session. The ideas I covered involved websites such as and, Noteflight, Soundtrap, Book Creator, Groovy Pizza, and so much more! Check out for my handout.

And So Much More!

The final sessions involved 2013 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Richard McCready demonstration three amazing programs from IK Multimedia products because those who registered and attended the conference will receive a code next week to try their products. It also included 2016 TI:ME Teacher of Year Marj LoPresti and 2019 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Shawna Longo showcasing more elementary tech resources, with their main focus on MusicFirst Jr. MusicFirst Jr is the only place where you can find Groovy Music, which basically is a garageband for young students. They create music using various landscapes that include squares for rhythms, circles for melodies, and so much more. My students love Groovy!

We ended the day with a keynote address by Gavin Tabone, a choir director whose approach to teaching includes his students being his “bandmates,” and a repertoire of largely great classic rock songs. This was followed by honoring Shawna Longo with the 2019 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award. I adore that Shawna received this award this year as she has become an advocate for arts integration, music technology, and STEAM activities in the music classroom.

I cannot wait to see what Thursday has in hold!

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