Digital Hybrid Lab Week #12 Blog

For my PLN project, another music teacher that I found online talking about using technology in the classroom is Amy M Burns. As an elementary music educator, author, clinician, and musician, Burns currently works at Far Hills Country Day School. She has been recognized and has received several awards for her role and work in helping integrate technology into the classrooms. I came across a blog post that she recently posted called “Using Technology to Assist With Assessment in the Elementary General Music Classroom,” that draws on ideas put out by the most recent issue of NAfME’s “Teaching Music.” This read was very insightful, as it brought to my attention the benefits of incorporating technological tools into the classroom. While she goes into detail about these programs, such as Socrative and SMART technologies, she drive her point back in at the end while discussing the positives of specifically using technology in music classrooms. She states how technology can “be a great assessment tool to enhance vocal assessments, concert evaluations,” “assist students in finding fingering charts for instruments,” and ultimately is a great way to “assist with assessing numerous students.” In the direction today’s society is headed, we need to utilize the technology we have to our greatest capabilities, in all settings! A music classroom is not exempt from this need, as the possibilities of learning can are are being expanded through the use of technology in the classroom.


Digital Hybrid Lab Week #11 Blog

The invisible line between tradition and innovative practices is quickly being erased and merged, as technology is becoming a critical aspect in today’s educational settings. Music education is not exempt from this fact, but rather is experiencing confusion regarding the level of balance that should be maintained with with traditional teaching and incorporating technology. I came across the article put out by The National Association for Music Education, that stated several interesting statistics about how technology is being used in the classroom. A couple of these statements that intrigued me most were that “74% of teachers feel that technology supports and expands curriculum,” “48% of teachers make online lessons plans,” and “74% says technology motivates students to learn.”  It fascinates me to think about how much the world of music in an educational setting could shift with the integration of technology. I question if its for the better, or if its better to stick to the traditional ways of teaching, but am excited as a future educator to see what ways I can make music with students! This generation is equipped with some incredible programs and devices, and therefore instead of fighting this technology movement, I think its wise for music educators to use it to our benefit!


Digital Hybrid Lab Week #10 Blog


This past week, my Digital Hybrid Lab class finished up our second rounds of the Build Your Chops Project. I was apart of the Audio Interface group, which focused on tasks such as using audio interface with several DAW stations, learning the proper use of microphones and xlr chords, and recording and processing sounds. In my personal opinion, I found this project very rewarding; the information and skills that I learned were things I have been exposed to over the years, but now I have them in my own belt of tools as a future teacher. With the direction that our society is headed, being technologically savage is very useful. In a music classroom setting, this doesn’t just mean knowing how to use a computer, but all the unique devices and programs such as DAWs that can be used to make music. One of the biggest take aways that I had from this project was the proper technique with handling microphones and xlr chords. As a hopeful future choral teacher, I would ideally love to have jazz groups that use these things. Therefore, having a background knowledge of how to use them efficiently is key!


Digital Hybrid Lab Week #9 Blog

After completing the collaborative project with Roger’s junior high kids, I was very intrigued by what Roger had to say, and his reasoning for many things. Going into this project, high hopes and achievable objectives were set, but sadly the project was not executed by all students in a way that would’ve been hoped for. Our conversation with Roger was very enlightening, regarding the issues that took place with many of his students, and how he was handling them. At the end of the day, I know for my group, according to Roger’s rubric, all the requirements were not “completed;” with that said, this was a valuable project for me because I learned so much about a digital platform that I was not acquainted with. Personally, my end goal was not completion, but more progress. I had a desire and interest to learn everything I could about Ableton, knowing I wouldn’t be a master at it, but would have exposure to the program. I tie this back in to what Roger was saying, because a core issue that he observed and we discussed was the lack of drive students had to tackle a fun collaborative project. Schooling and education in general is a place where kids should be able to creatively explore and express themselves. In other words, their is a desire to increase their knowledge because curiosity stems at the base of their roots. This is something that can be hard to try and implement into someone’s mentally, especially if that drive is not instilled in someone from the onset. Nevertheless, I think how Roger approached the situation was something similar that I would do, in which I would shove learning down anyones throat. I believe education is a privilege that many people, including myself have taken for granted. Therefore, my own personal philosophy on the matter is we can provide students with all the tools and knowledge to thrive and learn, but it is truly up to with that they will do with it.


Digital Hybrid Lab Week #8 Blog

After completely the DAW project, my group has switched over to the Audio Interface Project in the Build Your Chops station. I am very excited for this rotation, because I feel like this project is especially applicable to my future as a music educator. One of the things that we are required to learn and master is wrapping xlr cords correctly. I can remember back in high school with my a cappella group, we would use handheld microphones, all with long cords attached. Every day after rehearsal it was an absolute tedious process to wrap the long cords, use the twisty ties to secure them, and disassemble everything else. We were told that we needed to take cautious care of the expensive equipment, but never was informed on how to properly wrap the cords, place them properly together, etc. I found this article posted in a blog by “The Black and Blue,” who broke down not only how to properly take care of equipment, but WHY. The three main reasons that they touched and elaborated on were safety, speed, and storage; the safety of coiling vs not coiling, the pros of wrapping them securely and properly, and the ease that it will be to store the cords back to together after using them. This article, along with the project, are tools so beneficial for me and my future classroom, because of how frequently I will could be using this type of equipment. Unlike my high school experience with cords and microphones, I want to be able to demonstrate and teach my students how to properly take care of our equipment, so it’ll last for a long time, and we can overall appreciate the music we get to make with them!



Digital Hybrid Lab Week #7 Blog: PROJECT

It has been a really interesting learning experience working on the cover project with the junior high kids, as it has really flourished new thoughts and skills that I need to consider while preparing to be a future educator. One of the biggest setbacks that I can state on my group’s behalf is level at which each group member is starting at, troubles with prior knowledge regarding music theory and technology (Ableton), etc. I know in our DHL class many have shared these same concerns, and this project has taken longer than expected to get the ball rolling. Roger posed this question – “If you would do this in your future classroom, how would you do it? How would you allow for variety of interests in skill levels while keeping it manageable?” I’ve thought about this a lot recently, especially in many of my other classes that I am enrolled in this semester in regards to the classroom setting; as future music educators, each student is not going to be a cookie cutter musician that are all at the same level of skill, performance, and technique. With that said, ultimately I think it is our job to guide these students into educational experiences that will unlock the doors, of creativity, vulnerability, and a setting where they can flourish from their initial starting point. In response to his question, I think I would keep a flexible mindset with my students, but would realistically push my students towards a unified goal that they could all achieve. I think over anything, instilling the overarching objective that the point is not to check the assignment off the list, but be able to add to the list the skill sets and experiences that the student has learned and gained from the assignment is key. Ultimately, the perfect classroom scenario will always change, and will be a continual work in progress to strive towards, but I hope to give my students the opportunity to stretch themselves as a musician and human in my own classroom one day.


Digital Hybrid Lab Week #6 Blog

It has been a very interesting experience working on the DAW project, but from where I started to now finishing the project, I have learned so much! This project focused intently on PRN, or Piano Roll Notation. Using a DAW platform, such as Garage Band, Soundtrap, or Ableton, PRN is a great tool to graphically display MIDI note data. Especially with the three DAW’s listed above, there are several creative and unique features that can be utilized along with PRN. Going into this project, I was extremely overwhelmed with the formats of the DAW’s, but soon came to learn how easy and fun PRN can be! I created a cover of “I’m Yours” by Jason Meraz through GarageBand. This was done through recording a couple vocal and piano tracks, then putting them all together! Knowing the direction that our society is heading with technology, I can only see the benefits of incorporating tools like PRN into a classroom. PRN not only tests one’s musical abilities, but their use of compilation and use of technology. A teacher could utilize a DAW and PRN to help teach students musical skills, and allow their musical creativity to take off in new ways. I hope when I have a future classroom, that I will be able to provide this same opportunity for my students, where they can experience music making through a newer foundation. I would not want to take away from the core fundamentals already implemented in the classroom, but this technology that is sitting in our laps is the new frontier of where our society is headed, and so why not dive into music any way that we can!


Digital Hybrid Lab Week #5 Blog

The last three weeks I have been working on the DAWs section of the Build my Chops project. Before enrolling in this class, I would say the level of knowledge or experience that I had with technology, especially these workstations was little to nothing. With that said, it has been a little bit frustrating trying to dive into these programs, because it has taken more time to become acquainted and comfortable with that I am doing. Nevertheless, the internet has been my best resource, with videos, tutorials, and instructions on how to use DAWs such as Ableton, Garage Band, and Soundtrap. To this day I still do not fully understand how to use these to their max capacity, and know it’ll come with practice, but I have taken it upon myself to watch as many videos and tutorials as I need in order to work my way through them! These past couple of Fridays have been used to explore and absorb all the information that I could; moving forward, with this last Friday that I have, I plan to apply all that I have learned to start and finish my projects! I know my skills will not be perfected, but I am excited to expand my abilities and experience with technology and music.


Digital Hybrid Lab Week #4 Blog

These past two weeks I decided to research and play around with Soundtrap as one of my DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation). Although I was not too familiar with this DAW, and all the features it had to offer, I am intrigued with the creativity and access that can be explored through Soundtrap! The biggest thing that I’ve learned so far ties into an article or review I found by Small Edtech. They stated how Soundtrap “is minimalistic without being overbearing but screams easy to use.” I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little overwhelmed at first when exploring this workstation, and not knowing how to utilize all of its features correctly, but I have come to learn how simplistic and straightforward it is! I also found Soundtrap’s video tutorials useful when it comes to PRN. They walk a beginner like me step by step on how to use their features, and provide a lot of information on where to locate certain features, how to use them, etc. Ultimately, I am excited to learn more about this DAW, and become very familiar with it so I can one day incorporate it into my own classroom!

Digital Hybrid Lab Week #3 Blog

In today’s society, the human race is hustling to stay current with the uprise in technology. One of the latest uproars has been the creative outlets found with Ableton Live. This digital audio workstation, according to The Guardian, although not “immediately accepted” by schools yet, is a hardware that can teach “creativity without requiring the skills and years of piano lessons, and their making something cool.” This article that I came across strikes controversy right off the bat from its title: “Can Electronic Music Revolutionize School Music Lessons?” It discusses the slow switchover from traditional classic-based curriculum to technology such as the Ableton Push. I love when reading this article, that the author plays devil’s advocate, and discusses how there have been many concerns about “children already spending to much time in front of computer screens” and other forms of technology. In my opinion, I think that the core principles and teachings of music should not be thrown away; the art of music is compiled of many building blocks that lay a foundation for technique and musicality. With that said,  it is time to stop battling the advancements that our world is making, but using it for our beneficial use. Ableton is a prime example of how music can be brought into classrooms settings in new, creative and non-traditional ways. This generation is so accustomed to technology at their fingertips, that the possibilities are endless on what music can be made.