Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paperless Band?

I'm going to try to go "paperless" in band.  As of today I have twelve members of band and enough iPads to be 1-1.  So, students will not get a paper folder of band music, they will get a digital folder.

Here is my work flow as of now:

1. Scan paper copies.  Upload to dropbox folder.
2. Using forscore app put files on iPads.
3. Use forscore to create versions, annotate, etc...
4. Students can email .pdf copies to themselves.
5. Each student will be assigned an iPad for that class.

At least thats my plan.

Possible hang-ups:

1. Will students prefer paper?  Paper is a bit bigger.
2. Will this encourage practice?
3. How to deal with situations like travel.  Do we bring the ipads to festival, or convert back to paper?

I am not sure how we will do this in choir.  I have more students than iPads in that class.  I might ask for volunteers, or maybe go two kids to an iPad.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's on My iPad?

I recorded this using Display Recorder app.  A few audio blips.  Really just a test of the process.  Ask questions in comments.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A new year

Some summer thoughts:

1. I am going to try to give evernote a real try.  It is still semi-blocked in my district but I am going to make a real effort to set up folders and archive my notes in one place.
2. Thanks to Chris Russell I have been inspired to try to set up my music folders on the iPad.  The only class this is tough in is choir where I have to have 2 kids per iPad.  I will need a student to help organize and scan.
3. I have the fall semester to figure out how to teach Hip-Hop as it doesn't start until January.
4. We have new leadership in the district and school.  Big changes on the way.
5. If you were wondering, Shingles hurts.  A lot.

Friday, August 17, 2012


I have a pretty good idea how to evaluate a band program.  I have a pretty good idea how to evaluate a choir program:

  • Level of music being played and performance
  • Diversity of music
  • Composition, improvisation assessments, etc...
  • Anecdotal evidence (program switching directors, new curriculum, etc...)
However, I am pretty sure that many school communities evaluate simply by how many seats are filled.

As we add guitar and hip hop appreciation to our offerings how should we evaluate the program?  How can you tell if a non-traditional program is excellent, good, fair, or poor?

How do we escape the enrollment trap?

Friday, August 10, 2012


Here is my problem.  Its not really a problem (I can use pencil and paper) but I really want to solve this.

I have a class set of iPads.  In every class but choir students are 1-1.  However, the ipads are shared between classes.

I would like to:

1. Put music theory notebooks on the iPad.

2. Put audio recordings on the iPad and send to cloud.

3. Put my music library on iPad.  I'd like the music folder to be digital.


1. On forscore can a student log-in to their account?  That way annotations, music, etc...will be theirs.

2. Soundcloud works great, but has 120 minute limit.  What would be the best place to archive and aggregate and publish student recordings?  It must be simple for me and student to use.  I also would have to have easy log-out of apps since we are sharing.

3. What is the best way to take notes in music theory?  Staff paper is the issue.  They aren't typing, they are drawing.

Ideas needed.

Beck's new album

I have spent the morning trying to figure out Beck's new album.  Its not an "album" its a collection of songs published as sheet music.  Is it a book?  Will he perform these songs in concert?

Look for it to be published in December.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I am starting a Hip-Hop class in the Spring. This is basically set up to be a music appreciation class with some dance/art/literature thrown in.  If anyone has syllabus, assignments, ideas, etc...please send them on.  I really don't want to reinvent the wheel.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

140edu Reflection

I have returned from the 140edu conference in New York City.  This conference is led by Jeff Pulver who is generous to make it happen for $1.40 per educator.

Some reflections:
1. Everyone is on twitter.  This is becoming the default position.  There was little talk about facebook or google+.
2. It was really nice to meet f2f some of my internet colleagues including Dean Shareski, Steve Dembo, and Chris Lehmann.
3. There is a sense of moving from talk to action.  Stop talking about sites being blocked and do something about it.  We need to tell our stories better.
4.  It is really nice and powerful to be in the room with these people.
5. Everyone has an iPad or laptop open during the talks.
6. Paradigms in different schools are VERY different.  Some schools are very closed off, some are very open and innovative.
7.  I like the one room, ten minute per talk concept.

Some questions:
1. Teach for America (Im an alum) works hard to support moving alumni to be board members, legislators, administrators, etc... Does the edutwitter space have an effective/similar way to get people in positions of power?
2. Is twitter effective for this change?
3. How can we do this in our schools?

Bear with me, having trouble writing lately (stroke issues...).