Random Ramblings…

Is everyone else equally crazy this time of year?! We just finished our Music Progressions evaluations this weekend – hooray! (So that’s my excuse for a dearth of posts this week.) I told my students I would even give them one week off of playing scales as a reward for all their hard work. 🙂 They were thrilled! Now I’ve been thinking through some new things I want to try next year. I think I’m finally ready to take the plunge and offer an “official” computer lab in my studio. We do various technology-related things throughout the year, like recording CDs, participating in the Clavinova Festival (another one of my students just won a new Clavinova this month! That makes three from my studio now. If you have a Clavinova Festival in your area, I highly recommend it!), notating compositions in Finale, etc., but I’ve never offered a full-blown computer lab.

So, I’ve been exploring the Music Learning Community website more indepth and considering whether I should develop my computer lab around it to start with. I’ve heard wonderful reviews of it from lots of teachers and I know my students love the free games they play on it. The site offers “more than 450 web-based, fully interactive, multimedia learning games for music students — beginners through Level 4.” Pretty impressive!

Anyway, I’m putting this on my list of things to explore and figure out this summer. If any of you offer a computer lab or use Music Learning Community in your studio I’d love to know how it works for you and if you have any tips for someone just starting out.

Songs for Teaching

When I taught Character First! Education classes in some of our local elementary schools, there was a Kindergarten teacher who had moved her piano into her classroom. All throughout the day she would take a seat at the piano and play little songs to help reinforce various grammatical rules, spelling, math facts, etc. The students loved it and the songs were such an effective way to help them retain information like this. I got a copy of the book she compiled with her songs and look forward to using it someday when I have children of my own that I am teaching.

I was thrilled to discover that there is an entire website full of Songs for Teaching! There are songs for a whole variety of subjects and lots of songs within each subject. To be honest, I didn’t care for some of the music (a few of the ones I listened to were more like a rap song and didn’t have much of a melody), but I think it would be easy enough to sing the lyrics to a different tune. Plus, I’ve only scratched the surface of the hundreds of songs available! They even have some music-related ones that might come in handy.

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