Saturday, February 6, 2016

How do computers fit in a music classroom?

So about a week ago I had a conversation with someone who had heard a complaint about how middle schoolers were spending time in music class on their computers rather than learning music.   So I decided to pay a visit to a couple classes and see what was happening - and I am so glad that I did.   The rumor was right - when I walked into Christina Kelsh's 7th grade class nearly every child was on their chromebook and of all things most were deeply engaged in watching youtube.   Here's a couple pictures of what I found:

As I told you - nearly everyone was online, but you might be surprised to learn how it links in with the fact that they are all learning to play the Ukelele.   There are youtube channels that specifically teach them the fingering for chords and their task is to learn to play a basic song.  Then they will use their chromebook to record their playing and some will even go on to perform this week for some of our Kindergartners in a sing-a-long.  Here are three interviews with some of students talking a bit more about what they are learning.
Please click here if you can't see Ukelele Video 1

Click here if you can't see Ukelele video 2

Click here if you can't see Ukelele video 3

It was amazing to look around the room and see everyone working independently with the support of youtube - so that Christina could focus on working with those that got stuck or confused.   Here are a few more pics:

Then I walked down the hallway into Diana Burritt's classroom and found a mix of students working with traditional instruments but also some technology as well - here are a few pictures from that class.

I was really intrigued by the young man creating what looked to be a pretty complex composition so I asked him to share a bit about what he was doing - here is an interview with him.

Click if you can't see Music composition interview

That was pretty amazing eh - quite the budding young composer!   All told - it was so exciting to see that computers are being used in some incredible ways to support music learning - that is our goal to have technology allow us to expand the learning opportunities for all of our students.   Hope you enjoyed seeing that principle in action.    Allan

This note from Christina Kelsh added 2/8
Thanks for highlighting work in the music room!  If people are interested in seeing other examples of technology supporting musical learning and literacy, they can visit my blog to hear examples of student compositions from the first trimester. 

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