Music Ed Mentor Podcast #025: Google Tools for Music Teachers

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #025: Google Tools for Music Teachers

My guest for this episode is music technology guru and master educator Katie Wardrobe. Her Midnight Music website offers amazing resources for music educators including help with all things tech – from lesson plans to general advice.

I invited Katie to join me for this episode because she is a wizard with one of the most common pieces of classroom technology: Google Classroom. Together we cover all aspects of the free Google suite of tools. You’ll learn how other teachers are making the most of Google tools and how you can start putting them to use in your classroom (or summer office) right away.

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In This Episode, You’ll Learn How To:

  • Access the Google tools that are most relevant to music educators
  • Use Google tools to stay organized
  • Save time and stay efficient when working with Google tools

Top Google Tools Tips

I’ve included a short checklist of Katie’s top tips from this episode you can reference as you get started using Google in your own classroom. Enter your email address below to download it for free!

Three Key Takeaways

“Use naming conventions”

Using a system to keep things organized makes it much easier to search and access files when you need them later. You can name everything having to do with grades “ADMIN,” for example. Being consistent from the start will pay dividends when you need to reference materials later. Put these code at the beginning of the file name so you can also sort your files easily in a folder.

“Create a training document for yourself”

Once you learn how to do something new, write down your process! You can even use a Google doc for this. Having a reference document for yourself will help, especially when performing tasks you only need to do once or twice a year. Instead of starting from scratch you can pull up the process from last year.

“Edit file URLs to ‘/copy’”

The end of many Google files ends in “/edit,” but changing that url to “/copy” when you share them prompts people to create a copy of the document when they open it. This is perfect for templates, forms, and parent letters where you want to have an “original” that you modify as necessary.


Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country, and serves as the conductor of her local community band. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Elisa was a top presenter at the NAfME National Conference in 2017 and will be presenting at state conferences in 2018. She is the founder of the International Music Education Summit and the author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.

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