The days are flying by this week. By Wednesday, (hump day), I can see the educators becoming mentally exhausted and I can understand why. At the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Summer Music Institute, music educators have the opportunity to take two classes in one week and receive a total of four credits. This is amazing. When I earned my Masters of Science in Music Education at CCSU, I did this often. It meant some very long days and obtaining a lot of knowledge in a short period of time. Due to this, I try to give the educators in my class, time. I give them time to explore and test items because during the school year, the one consistent item I know that I experience is that I do not have enough time to truly dive into a tool, a concept, a methodology, etc. I hope that my class is giving them a gift to have the time to explore and create.
One Highlight from Day 3
One highlight of Day 3 is creativity. We notated songs using Noteflight. Then, we shared them to Soundtrap and added accompaniments. We exported them and placed the music in Book Creator. Finally,we took screen shots of our original melodies from Noteflight and placed them on our personal page in Book Creator. This resulted in an ebook of compositions.
One Highlight from Day 4
Day 4 was a long one as we had our evening class in addition to our normal class time. One highlight was the tech playground. We were able to explore Specdrums, Makey Makey (which gave me the excuse to bring in candy to hook up to the Makey Makeys), Dash and Dot, and coding. All of these tools make it possible for all students in your music class to “do music”. If they cannot make music in a traditional way due to limitations, then these tools make it possible for them to create music.
My bonus comes from the night time class. Scott Watson and Missy Strong appeared to show the class how to podcast. Scott has about 45 episodes in his podcast titled, “What Music Means to Me.” Missy just started a podcast at the beginning of this year titled, “The Tuneful, Beatful, Artful Music Teacher“, which focuses on Dr. Feierabend’s work with his First Steps and Conversational Solfege curriculum. There were 12 episodes in this first season and I am thrilled to report that there will be more coming in the future. Missy interviewed both of us about how we use tech in a meaningful way in the band rehearsal and elementary general classroom!
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.