The Technology in Music Education’s (TI:ME) National Conference and the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) had a wonderful first two days of informative and amazing sessions. The presenters are the experts in their fields and giving sessions on topics that are currently relevant in music education and music technology. In addition, TMEA is celebrating their 100th year and TI:ME is celebrating their 25th year. The combination of these two organizations equals a conference with informative sessions as well as numerous resources for music educators to immediately implement into their classrooms.
TI:ME National Conference
TI:ME started the TMEA/TI:ME National Conference on the “Pre-Conference Wednesday” with all music edtech sessions. Presentations included a variety of topics that were geared for all grade levels. TI:ME does a fabulous job scheduling sessions so that similar topics are not scheduled at the same time. Therefore, you could look through the guidebook app and plan out your day so that all of your interests and goals were met.
Pre-Conference Music Edtech Sessions
One of the first sessions given was “My Elementary Students Come to Music Class with iPads”. This session was given by me and the handout can be found here. This session focused on 1:1 activities with an iPad for elementary students. Many schools now provide iPads for their students, especially those in grades preschool through two. In addition, schools might have an iPad cart devoted to the arts departments, or one that can be signed out, or students can bring their own devices (the latter would not be common for younger ages). Finally, many music educators use their own iPad as a teaching tool in their classrooms. Therefore, I made sure to address all of these scenarios so that I could connect to every audience member. I gave suggestions for apps and lessons that can be done in a 1:1 classroom as well as for a class with one device projected onto a screen.
One idea from the session: In a 1:1 classroom, have the students play the Staff Wars game (.99 app) a few times and record their scores for you to input into a database later. In a one iPad classroom, connect the iPad to a projector to project Staff Wars onto the screen. Once it is on the screen, have the class name the notes as they fly across the screen. You tap the note that the majority of the students state. When the students get comfortable with naming notes and the game, you can ask one student to come up at a time and tap the note name. You can also place them into teams. If you can add them to the iPads, then have the students play the app and record their scores on sheets so you have them for retrieval data. Finally, you could set up one iPad as a station and have five students name the notes and record their own scores.
The Beginners Guide to Technology in the Classroom was a session presented by Dr. Barbara Freedman and me. In this session, Barbara showed the foundations of technology from RAM to Storage to Google. Then we showed some music creation ideas with technology.
One idea from the session: Learning Management Systems (LMS) is essential when working in a 1:1 classroom so that the students have organizational tools to receive, record, and submit musical work. LMS are incorporated into Schoology and mostly in Google Classroom, or you can look into a specific music LMS by visiting MusicFirst.
Organize Your Digital Resources So You Can Find Everything: Katie Wardrobe of Midnight Music, gave a fabulous session full of numerous ideas about organizing music.
One idea from the session: When sharing many google docs, place them all in one folder and share the folder. Then, you do not have to change the permissions on each doc.
There were many more fabulous music edtech sessions at the TI:ME National Conference. Wednesday featured a variety of them, but there were more to come on Thursday through Saturday.
TMEA/TI:ME National Conference Day 1
Thursday brought in around 30,000 music educators and all state students. TMEA/TI:ME conference is a joy to attend because you can network with numerous music educators, listen to top-notch performances, find sessions about everything, and listen and talk to experts in the field of music education and music technology.
The featured elementary clinician was Jo Kirk of WeJoySing. Jo Kirk is a nationally recognized elementary and early childhood music educator with degrees from the University of Akron, a Kodály Music Education Certificate from Silver Lake College, and early childhood studies at the Hartt School of Music and the Westminster Choir College. On Thursday, she gave two sessions: The World at Play and Active Listening, Active Minds. I loved listening to her speak about early childhood music. She was passionate and very knowledgeable. Her Kodály background shined through as she quoted Zoltán Kodály’s expertise often and she clearly relayed the research on how children learn. She reminded me a lot of Dr. Missy Strong, as they both present on comparable topics and utilize similar research. Some of her handouts can be found here.
Dr. Freedman presented Free Resources for the Music Educator, which showcased a plethora of resources and websites for music educators. She covered elementary to secondary music education. In addition, she organized the free materials into topics such as Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), Music Theory, Music History, Creating Music, and more.
Three websites that spoke to me: I knew many of the websites she listed, but these three reminded me that there is so much out there. musicards.net (free music flashcards for when you need them in a pinch), jpglomot.com (chords and scales resources for piano, guitar, bass, and ukulele), and that every major microphone company has a website that contains plenty of information about their microphones. Therefore, if you need to learn about your school’s particular microphone because you are charged with running the sound system, this is a great tip to recall.
Shawna Longo presented Music Technology for 21st-Century Learning, where she addressed how music technology can enhance P21 Partnership 4C’s (Creativity, Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Communication, and Collaboration), Core Standards (Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting), Studio Thinking, Design Thinking, and Castle’s Competency Social Emotional Learning (SEL).
One idea from the session: Shawna gave a sequenced approach to teaching a music technology course that spans from grade six to grade eight. She showed how the skills from grade six transferred to grade seven, and then to grade eight. One idea I came out with was a way for my older elementary to compose a ringtone using GarageBand (Soundtrap or Band Lab would work on Chromebooks). If you attended TMEA, Shawna’s handouts are included in the guidebook app.
I was thrilled to present a new session this year titled, My Students Bring Chromebooks to Elementary Music Class! This session was full around eight minutes before it began. This reminded me that the research that shows that Chromebooks are being used in schools more than any other device is true. Though I experienced two tech issues during the presentation (yes, it happens to me and I move onto my plan B to plan Z sometimes), I gave the music educators various ideas, tools, and lessons that they could implement into their classrooms. For a handout, click here.
One idea from the session: Music classrooms should give opportunities for all students to “do” music. If your students cannot do music in traditional ways, then we need to find alternative ways for them to create music. “Creatability” Experiments with Google has virtual instruments where students can make music by just moving their heads or bodies.
Katie Wardrobe presented Simple Lesson Ideas Using Free Music Websites (All Devices!). She showed lessons that incorporated Groove Pizza, Flipgrid, Beepbox, Incredibox, and Chrome Music Lab, to name a few.
TI:ME Teacher of the Year 2020: Anne Fennell
It was a thrill to see Anne Fennell, the K-12 Music Program Manager for the San Diego Unified School District, be named the 2020 TI:ME Mike Kovins Teacher of the Year. This award is in honor of Mike Kovins, who was one of the original members of TI:ME and one who had a passion early on for integrating technology into music education. Mike passed away in 2006 and TI:ME renamed the award to honor his memory. The award was established in 2005 and Anne is the sixteenth music educator to be honored with this award. Congratulations to Anne!
Come back for the second part of the blog in the next few days!