Imagine a world where schools require students to study literature only by rewriting the words of great authors—verbatim. Teachers dive into texts, analyze sentences, share tools of expression, and tell students why these texts are so beautiful; the students, however, are never asked to write their own words.
Like more and more states around the country, my state is experiencing growth in music technology programs in our schools. A major challenge for many of these teachers is that they were not trained to teach music technology. My music education degree included classes in brass, woodwind, string, and vocal methods – and I had to pass a piano proficiency exam – but I had no classes in music technology.
A great recruitment strategy is key to keeping your program healthy and maintaining or increasing enrollment. Equally important is to retain the students you already have. Making sure that kids don’t run off for a shiny new elective is just as important as getting them in your door in the first place.
I teach in Gwinnett County, Georgia, one of the largest urban school systems in the country, serving approximately 187,000 students. Our high school music programs had an established music technology curriculum in place and access to the equipment, hardware, and software needed to have a music technology class. I came up with the idea of creating a music technology course at my middle school.
When using technology in the classroom, we are interested in tools that will enhance our teaching and help us to better reach our students. We’d like to share some music tech that has helped us meet these goals while keeping our classroom music- and student-centered. The following phone or tablet applications can greatly benefit both music educators and students.
The right classroom data can drive administrative decisions. It can help you communicate effectively with parents. Most importantly, it can aid student development and success.
We’ve compiled tips – from music educators across the country – on what data to collect and how to best share it. We’ve even included tips on how to manage data (which can be helpful if massaging a database isn’t your idea of a fun Friday night).
It is not unusual for performers to worry about memory slips and technical insecurity when playing before an audience. Understandably, anxious performers wish they could get rid of performance anxiety! As a therapist, I wish I could wave a wand and make this happen – but I must share the unwanted news that I cannot supply this magic.
Savvy music educators know that getting students signed up for their program is a critical part of the job. If your program isn’t growing, it isn’t thriving. Having a great recruitment and retention strategy not only keeps your ensembles sounding great, but also helps expand your budget, secure support from the community, and show value to administrators.
Many band directors are frustrated by sub-par performances from their ensembles and mistakenly blame their students. My 33 years of conducting and observing have helped me identify some common band rehearsal mistakes that lead to poor performances. They can be divided into two basic categories: time management, and critical listening skills.