Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm Yours

Today I went to UConn to present to music education students about the iPad in music class.  It was a fun time.  As often happens, students stayed longer than the class period and started using the iPads as an instrument.  Trying to figure out the song "I'm Yours"

So tomorrow I think I will write a lesson for choir and band where they perform and sing this song on the iPad ukelele using the Six Strings app.  We might use garageband.  I hope to post video.

Theory class will work on Dean's guitar lessons.  Why do we do things like this?  As Dean says: it is "assessment FOR learning".  The assessment is where they learn.  Connected learning is can be fun, messy, exciting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dean's Guitar Lessons

Tomorrow we hope to start on Dean's Guitar Lessons.  Dean is a well known educator who is teaching a class where you need to demonstrate learning a new skill.  Dean choose guitar and reached out for some help.

So tomorrow our students will view Dean's videos and begin to formulate a response.  We will post their ideas here on a google site.

I'm pretty excited for this opportunity for global connections.


I just had my goal meeting with my administrator.  We spent a lot of time hashing out a goal.  We didn't get there.

He asked what issues I saw.  I replied "there is no expectation of excellence".  Now, there is an "expectation of good", but I know what excellence looks like.  We aren't there yet.

Now, we have come so very, very far in the two years I have been here.  We have more students, equipment, funds, energy, etc... I have great kids and they are doing good.  But they know they aren't pushing themselves.

So we are not expected to be excellent yet.  When you walk into many music rooms across this state (Pomperaug, Farmington, Bridgeport Central, etc...) there is that expectation.

I want the school community to expect that excellence.

How do you create that?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Chris Russell: Practical Technology for Music Education

I got another request today to write an article.  I haven't written too much lately and need to do this article to stay disciplined.  I need to keep up with Chris Russell.

Twitter has changed the nature of "colleague".  One of the colleagues I work most closely with is Chris Russell and he has written a great new eBook. You can download it here.

Now, I have never met Chris, nor talked on the phone with him.  Yet I find he is one of my go-to guys when I have a question.  One thing he has done is solved many problems with technology and then written about it.  Most importantly he has published.  There are so many experts in this world, but rarely do they take the time to publish and share.

For this we are all grateful to Chris.  Keep it coming!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Are you an expert?

Inside joke.

My podcast is on iTunes.  If I get subscribers it will encourage me to post regularly.

Friday, September 9, 2011

iPad Listening Activity

We have moved to a 90 minute block schedule this year which is a big adjustment.  We see the kids for an honest rehearsal, but every other day.  We will have to reinforce "perfect practice" at home so we can continue to move forward.

Choir is up to 38!  That is a big group to manage and will take a lot of my time.

One adjustment with the block is substitute plans need to be much more involved.  A 90 minute block is hard to fill when you have to write everything down.  Doing busy work is tough because that is a lot of class time you won't get back.

I wrote up this iPad listening activity for the music theory students to use on Monday when I am out.  I tried to get an activity that gets them:

  • Listening to different music.
  • Researching some concepts using the internet.
  • Thinking, evaluating, analyzing.
Hopefully it works!  I don't see them again until Wednesday of next week.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mozart Twitter Profile

I created a twitter profile for Mozart .  I hope to have students assume Mozart's identity and tweet each day (or more).  Perhaps we can add a few other notables.  Suggestions?

 Wolfgang Mozart 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Teacher Software: PlanBook

This is not a full review but I have found a lesson plan app called Planbook.  It has a desktop component, a public web component, and an iPad app.  I spent $30 for the desktop and $10 for the app.

The interface takes a little time to figure out but it runs smoothly after that.  The app syncs to the iPad by saving the file in Dropbox.  I am not sure how this will work in real time but it moved pretty quickly once I got it set up.  You can attach standards, attachments, and customize various boxes.  You can also drag and drop one lesson to the next.

I am getting this program to help me stay organized.  My stroke really hurts my planning and having a list in front of me should help.  Also we are going to 90 minute periods and I really need to divide the class into sections.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


School Beginning by Brandt Schneider I'm trying to practice podcast and I'm trying tos et up a channel. I think I am going to use Soundcloud, but their podcast feeds are in beta. Much to learn!