Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Podcasts Project

I have started a podcast project in my Computer Applications class.  You can find the podcasts here.

I assigned a few students a team but I asked all students to choose something that they are passionate about.  If you are passionate you can build an audience.

Our workflow is as follows:

  1. Write script and take notes in Evernote.
  2. Record using Garageband on the iPad.
  3. Post on Soundcloud.
  4. Reflect in Blogmeister.
The objectives are:
  1. Have students write, listen, evaluate.  What do I want to say?  
  2. Use the technology to broadcast, collect surveys, publicize.
  3. Collaborate with staff and peers for technical help and interviews.
  4. Use podcasts as a device to teach audience.
If you have a soundcloud account please leave a comment on the podcast!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


September 19 update:

Choir: I have 34 kids in class, 24 are new to the program.  They are singing well.  We have started using Smartmusic every day in class to work on our reading.  I have started all four Italian songs that are part of the CMEA auditions.  Italian songs are a big change for 9th graders who don't quite understand that we sing in foreign languages.

Band: I have 13 in class, 5 are beginners on their instrument.  We have started the F and Bb scales and have been improvising arrangements each day.  I tried to go paperless and have all the music on the iPads, but I cant get through our school filter.  Working on it.

Theory: We finished the Chapter 1 of AP Book.  Students have been doing real well as they learn new vocabulary.  Some of the students have to do some heavy lifting to learn bass and treble notes and some other basics.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Band Improvisation Lesson

I try to get right to three things:

1. Chords, scales, theory.
2. Improvisations.
3. Arranging on the fly.

So I taught students three riffs based on blues scale.  We also practiced the major scale do-sol-do.  I asked them to decide what riff they would play and when they would switch.

There are 13 musicians in the room.  Some are 2nd-3rd year players, 5 of the 13 are on their 3rd lesson on their instrument.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I got selected to present "Creative Uses of the iPad in the Music Class" at the NAfME Eastern Division Conference.  Conference is next April.  I think this is my second time presenting, but I'm not sure.  You would think I wold keep better track of these things.

I did not get accepted for JEN conference which I was really hoping for.  I have presented at IAJE (I remember that) and would love to return.  Heavy sigh.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Beginning of the Year

Some notes:

1. Band has 12 members (one is in schedule limbo).  Nine of these are new to hs band, and four are new to BAND.  We will be doing jazz tunes for the first few months.  I hope to have everyone doing basic improv, head charts, etc... by winter concert.

2. Choir has 36 members, 10 returners, which is a new record.  First rehearsal went well.  I went through all my warm-ups and did simple reading tests.  Freshman are 2/3 of the group.  I only have 3 boys and that will be a challenge with repertoire.  I think this group will take a big step forward this year.  Two years ago we had 12 kids in choir.

3. I tried to get digital folders out on the iPad using forscore.  Didn't work.  Dropbox wouldn't get through the filter.  It did before when I tested it....

Friday, September 7, 2012


I've been really trying to use Evernote this year.  The photo feature blows my mind a bit:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Things I'm Hopeful For

1. I have 24 freshman joining choir.  I hope they can sing in tune, sightread, and act.  If not, I hope they smile a lot and have fun.
2. I have 10 new band members.  I hope they can play and are willing to work.
3. I hope my music theory class can create new adventures.  Will it be the AP test?
4. I hope we continue to grow.  Are we ready to take a trip?
5. I hope students continue to help.  The program can only grow with their support.
6. Is this the year I go paperless?
7. I hope evernote makes my life simpler.
8. I want to learn how to play the bass this year and really start practicing my trombone again.
9. I have yet to choose any repertoire for choir.  I refuse to do so until I hear them.  I'm hopeful this is an easy process and I pick the right tunes.