Music Teacher Toolkit

OV4C hosted a zoom meeting designed to unite music teachers who are searching for sustainable music teaching tools in virtual learning environments. 

Music Teacher Toolkit

Presented by Richard Clarke


 

The current global pandemic’s effect on formal education has given us a great opportunity: students can take a deep dive into a specific subject in a way that is not normally possible.

 

This isn’t easy for us, the teachers, but the students will adapt to the new learning environment by taking control of their own learning.  We won’t make the progress we normally would in rehearsals, but your students could finish this semester understanding music much more!

 

Through live video meetings, teacher modeling and peer learning, students can learn these things: 

  • Collaboration (through file sharing and communicating with each other);

  • Technical skills (on an instrument or technology);

  • Musicianship (by helping each other);

  • Culture (by building something together);

  • Awareness (by listening to each other and taking an interest).

 

The teacher’s role is now, more than ever, as a facilitator of collaboration and technical skills learning, also as a developer of musicianship, culture and awareness.  In other words, teachers: get out of the way, provide a model, facilitate peer learning and support the learning environment!


 

File Sharing

  • You should share documents and sound files with your students regularly, then your students need to share documents and sound files with each other.

 

Modeling videos

  • You should prepare short video demonstrations of particular technical skills.  They don’t have to be Hollywood quality, even Hollywood isn’t doing that currently!  Use Apple Quicktime to make screen recordings and iMovie to edit your phone/camera movies; it’s fun!!

 

Communication

  • Outside of your Zoom call or jam session, students should Zoom/jam/talk/email/text with other students in their breakout groups.

 

Sound settings

  • Make sure that your students’ sound input and output levels are high enough and balanced.  If they are technical, they can check audio settings to improve their output.

 

Audio hardware

  • Most students will be relying on their computer’s built-in sound devices.  However, some students might have sound devices for gaming. A simple audio interface is a great investment for you, as is enabling ethernet internet connections, to reduce latency and lag in connections.

 

Technology Recommendations


 

Zoom

  • Zoom is the best way to meet  students, share demonstrations, share files and organize your class.

 

JamKazam

  • JamKazam is the best application for real time jamming I have found.  However, the best quality is achieved by using an audio interface and ethernet cable connection, rather than the onboard mic/speakers and WiFi.  https://www.jamkazam.com/client#/home

 

Sibelius First

 

Ableton Live 


 

Your students should go for the above software first over alternative options.  Don’t pay for online services, the above apps are better! Your students will find the best alternative apps and online services, you don’t need to help them choose!


 

Alternative applications

 

Alternative online services

Resources Used in this Workshop

 

 

  • Piano/bass/metronome guide track for Church music team.  Each person is going to add their own part to this guide track and then send back their raw audio to me. 

Workshop Outline

 

Demonstration

 

Once voice for change homepage/session details/rules of engagement


 

One Voice 4 Change Introduction (Felicity)


 

Richard introduction


 

Starter question (discuss in Chat)

 

“Why are we moving our classes online?”



 

Opening comments (Richard)

 

Why are we moving our classes online?  

 

  • The school/district has told us to.

  • I need to get paid.

  • What’s the musical reason?


 

The current global pandemic’s effect on formal education has given us a great opportunity: students can take a deep dive into a specific subject in a way that is not normally possible.


 

This isn’t easy for us, the teachers, but the students will adapt to the new learning environment by taking control of their own learning.  We won’t make the progress we normally would in rehearsals, but your students could finish this semester understanding music much more!


 

Through live Zoom meetings, teacher modeling and peer learning, students can learn these things: 

  1. Collaboration (through file sharing and communicating with each other);

  2. Technical skills (on an instrument or technology);

  3. Musicianship (by helping each other);

  4. Culture (by building something together);

  5. Awareness (by listening to each other and taking an interest).


 

Private teachers: you could connect your individual students by meeting them in groups to give them the same experience, as well as continuing private one-to-one lessons!


 

The teacher’s role is now, more than ever, a facilitator of collaboration and technical skills learning, also a developer of musicianship, culture and awareness.  In other words, teachers: provide a model, facilitate peer learning, support the learning environment and get out of the way!


 

Five principles for successful online teaching


 

Good sound settings (breakout rooms PBL)

 

  • Make sure that your students’ sound input and output levels are high enough and balanced with each other.  They could check their own audio settings to improve their input/output.

 

(examples) 

 

  • Go to your breakout rooms and help each other balance your audio input and output.  

  • Find your “Audio MIDI setup” (Mac) or audio device settings.

  • Don’t forget to try sharing screens and sound and check the Zoom Audio Device level (it will be on max).


 

Good quality audio hardware (Richard)

 

  • Most students will be relying on their computer’s built-in sound devices.  However, some students might have sound devices for gaming. A simple audio interface is a great investment for you, as is enabling ethernet internet connections, to reduce latency and lag in connections.

 

(examples)

 

 

 


 

Students communicate (breakout rooms roleplay)

 

  • Outside of your Zoom call or jam session, students can Zoom/jam/talk/email/text with other students in their breakout groups.

 

(examples)

 

  • Once you’re in your breakout room, students will prepare a demonstration about how to sing or play a major scale.

  • This is obviously too easy for us, but focus on how you explain the theory and technique to each other and try to all agree on what you would present.

   

  • One group can share an example of how you did!



 

Students and teachers share files (Richard)

 

  • You can share documents and sound files with your students regularly, then your students need to share documents and sound files with each other.

 

(examples)

 

  • This Meditation Mandala music is a track I made with Ableton, based on last week’s music example. Students could add their own parts to this!

 

  • This Piano/bass/metronome guide track is something I made for my Church music team.  Each person is going to add their own part to this guide track and then send back their raw audio to me. 

 

 

  • I’ll now show you how I will combine all the raw audio tracks using Ableton.




 

Teachers model (Richard)

 

  • You could prepare short video demonstrations of particular technical skills.  They don’t have to be Hollywood quality, even Hollywood isn’t doing that currently!  Use Apple Quicktime to make screen recordings and iMovie to edit your phone/camera movies; it’s fun!!

 

(examples)

 

 


 


Forum

 

Possible topics for group discussion, please add your thoughts about:

 

  • Making clear the “rules of engagement” to your students;

 

  • Managing expectations of participants, inviting them to speak or chat and not be intimidated;

 

  • Audio latency or internet “lag” when jamming with each other;

 

  • Private teachers connecting a group of their individual students;

 

  • Concerns for school classroom teachers in particular.

Future Workshop Topics

  • Teaching Collaboration

  • Ableton Templates

  • Montuno

  • Key of A

  • Key of D

  • Key of G

  • Key of C

  • Sibelius Basics

  • Song Writing

  • Synchronous Solutions for Virtual Jamming

  • What can you do with just white notes?

The Basics

 

  • Scales

  • Chord Changes

  • Rhythm

  • Relaxation

  • Read Music

  • Listening

  • Structure (form)

  • Purpose of Music

  • Collaboration with Great Musicians and Artists in Multiple Disciplines

  • Understand the Necessity of Above Items  

  • Evaluate the Artistic Relevance of Music Using Above and How it Determines Art

 

  1. Rhythm (beat, meter, etc.)

  2. Dynamics (forte, piano, crescendo, etc.)

  3. Melody (pitch, theme, etc.)

  4. Harmony (chords, progression, etc.)

  5. Tone Color (range, register, etc.)

  6. Texture (monophonic, homophonic, polyphonic)

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