Tag Archives: education

This Summer’s Links

So here’s some cool stuff I’ve been finding online this summer:

“The Choir” is a new TV series premiering July 7 on BBC America. It’s about choirmaster Gareth Malone going into schools & communities in England that have never had a choral tradition, & starting up a choir from ground zero. Kind of like “Glee”, only real. Looks awesome & inspiring, I hope you have BBC America on your cable/satellite, I don’t, so I’m gonna have to find some other way of getting to watch it. Previews here: http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/401/the-choir-videos.jsp

This is SoundBeam Vers. 5, & I don’t know how I missed learning about this amazing device. It’s basically the Therimin, updated for the 21st Century w/ a full range of musical sounds, & you have to see it to believe it:

The implications for use w/ Spec Ed, dancers, & little kids who love to wiggle is just unbelievable. One thing I like about it is that it’s not beat-dependent – it’s like GarageBand in the sense that it enables¬† music-making – improvisation & composition – for people who don’t have lots of skill (or any!) on an instrument, but unlike looping software, everything doesn’t have to have a steady beat, there’s way more possibilities for phrasing, rubato, musiciality.

Too bad it’s $4,000. But – you know, it looks to me like it should qualify as a Spec Ed purchase under the Fed Govt’s educational stimulus plan…

But then………..there’s this – for only $129:

Video promo from Korg on how it works:

There’s a Pro version, but it’s $399, what the heck, I’d say this little number would do the job for a lot less. Still not as cool as the SoundBeam, though.

Well, this post sort of turned into a product review, hmmm, wonder how that happened… that’s enough for now.


Being the Trials & Travails of an Elementary Music Teacher Trying to Use Technology

Well, I have no idea if anyone’ll read this, but here goes – welcome to my blog. I’m an elementary music teacher who has been trying (w/ varying degrees of success) to use technology w/ my students for the last several years. I’m starting this blog because – well, I want to connect w/ other teachers trying to do the same things I am; to be honest, I’m doing a little self-promotion w/ this; & prob. most importantly, I need a place to rant/vent/complain, because, as some (most? all?) of you that have tried to use technology w/ your teaching know, uh, things don’t always go as planned….and, sometimes (often?), other people in your school don’t understand/care about what you’re trying to do. And then, there’s the various technology technicians, network nerds, etc. that have no training/experience as educators, but who seem to be the “gatekeepers” when it comes to teachers having the ability to use technology in meaningful ways.¬† So, here goes. (Update: my wife just reminded me that I should try to remain positive, so allright, I’ll TRY)

It’s summer, but I’ll be back at school in a week & 1/2 – my district has so-called year-round schooling, so I’m most of the way thru my summer break. Here’s how I’ve spent my summer:

  • sleeping
  • trying to re-do as many of my Smart Board lessons as I can, to remove copyrighted material & replace it w/ “legal” stuff
  • took a short class on RTI (Response To Intervention)
  • looking online for cool stuff for this coming school year

I’m gonna post again later tonite w/ some stuff I’ve found this summer, right now it’s dinner time.