Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week 5 in the Books

This week, the class turned focus to how students respond to music and how technology can aid student response.  Much of the focus turned toward playing recordings for our students, which is something that we music educators should be doing constantly.  One point that was made in our text was that too many teachers use formal listening exercises.  It is acceptable to do formal listening.  However, this practice is very teacher-centered and may only help us accomplish a fraction of what we are trying to do.  We should make it a goal to get our students more involved in the listening process.  Listening maps and call charts (a text version of a listening map), are great ways for students to become involved in the listening process.  While it is important to speak about music in formal terms, it is just as important for students to use their imagination to create a picture of what the music means to them.

One of our major projects included using Zaption, which is a program that allows the user to upload a video and include captions, drawings, and images along with the video.  In addition, the teacher can include multiple choice questions, as well as open discussion based on prompting questions.  For my project, I used a marching band video from two weeks ago as my project and used the sidebars to ask questions to my students as well as point out certain aspects of the show that needs improvement.  This program is a great way for students to respond to music by listening, analyzing, and evaluating.  I am planning on using Zaption with my marching band from this point forward.

Our other project was to write a review of music software.  I chose Auralia, which is a music theory and ear training program.  I highly recommend this program, despite its cost ($99 for students, $149 for teachers).  I want to caution educators that the program may only be useful to more advanced students. I promise that it would be useful for the educator who would like to "brush up" on their theory and ear training skills.

I have added Diigo to my internet browser.  What is Diigo?  It is a social bookmarking website that allows the user keep track of useful websites.  While this would be useful for most people, it is especially useful for the person who aims to keep up to date on professional trends.  Diigo also brings the social aspect by allowing users to share information with other Diigo users.  Users can also follow other users as well as join groups with the intent of expanding their personal learning network.

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