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The evolution of technology has brought upon us an illusion that it has no bounds.The possibilities seem endless and our lives as musicians change with each new breakthrough, and it’s no different for the future of education.

Today, machine learning is starting to become that new breakthrough not just in music in general but in music education as well.

Machine learning is a process in which a computer learns over time and manages to create, modify and understand music composition.

This allows for quite a few applications in the area of music education as a way to enrich the traditional methods and teach in new creative ways.

2020

Last year was a big step towards discovering the potential of all these new tools and technologies that can be used for music education in the future.

More than just being a substitute for a normal class, this last year was about exploring new options and different ways to approach music education.

This brought many teachers closer to the idea of experimenting with apps, social networks, A.I. and even VR (Virtual Reality).

The Nature Of Music

Music is a very open ended discipline that involves a lot of influences and different contexts of learning. Which is why it would be a good idea to make the most out of the tools that we have in order to prepare students for the things that they will actually be more exposed to which is of course, outside the classroom and without a pen and paper.

Music Sharing and Social Network

The idea is to keep your students engaged in music and what better way to encourage music composition than using platforms such as SoundCloud, YouTube and even Google Classroom.

Sharing music with both classmates and teachers can be a great way to improve their skills as musicians while also making a bond with those that share the same interests.

A.I. and VR

While these are less explored areas in music education, there are some ways these tools can be used properly, and being on the lookout for any more breakthroughs is an important part of keeping the learning experience fresh and exciting.

DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation)

While we know these tools have been around for quite some time, music schools and teachers haven’t made the most of them.

In today’s world, music production is a big part of music in general, this means that performing is not everything.

All that comes after the actual playing is a whole world on its own that deserves attention not only because it matters to the music industry but because it can help your students learn more about how music works.

The Future of Music Teaching Tools

Future

According to William Bauer, UF online Master of Music in Music Education Program Director:

“Making technology available to teachers and students, and helping them understand its functionality, is necessary, but not sufficient. Technology is merely a tool, and a tool is not useful if one does not comprehend the various ways it can be employed to achieve a given outcome in a specific context. If music educators are to effectively integrate technology into teaching, learning and assessment, more is required than an understanding of specific technological tools. As a result, when exploring the use of technology with students, it’s critical that music teachers account for the curricular objectives being targeted, the benefits and limitations of the technology under consideration, the teaching and learning strategies to be used, and the context of a specific music class and school”.

Paul Shimmons

In an interview with StageRight Paul Shimmons shared some interesting experience on the use of technology as a music educator.

When grading students, Paul likes to use Seesaw or Class Dojo because they allow for multimedia presentation such as videos or recordings so that he can easily see and hear performances and refer to them for later reference. It’s also beneficial for students and parents because they can hear it, unlink with a traditional gradebook which can only show a simple number grade. It gives him the ability to share the progress of the student with parents so that they can be connected to the work their child is doing in the classroom every week.

By using this technology, students will also have a digital portfolio that they can refer to so they can see just how much they’ve improved and provide the positive feedback to encourage further development. This is tangible evidence that they’re learning.

The future of music education is as uncertain as the next technological breakthroughs, however as teachers, you need to be prepared by adapting to the most recent tools at your disposal., Iit can be surprising how much good it’ll do once you get to use them properly.

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When you choose to become a teacher, one of the most important responsibilities is to have a good relationship with your students.

There are many reasons as to why this is a priority but the most important is that if you don’t get along with your students, your lessons won’t get through to them, even if they are well thought out and planned.

Of course there are many teachers out there that keep things very strict and are considered good teachers but it’s also not as simple as being friendly or not.

Having a good relationship with your students is about getting to know them and be friendly without crossing any lines, you have to remember you are a teacher not a friend.

To make things a bit clearer, these are a few tips you can keep in mind that will help you build a good relationship with your students.

And of course, try to remember their names!

Know What Your Students Like

The first impression of a young student is that the teacher doesn’t have the same interests at all, whether it is in music, movies, TV shows or clothes.

One of the best ways to get someone’s attention is a pleasant surprise, and you will, without a doubt surprise them if you show interest in what they like or maybe mention something that they weren’t expecting like talking about a videogame soundtrack or something out of the ordinary in terms of traditional music education.

Of course, connecting through music would be the best scenario in this regard, as it not only helps you make that connection but it also gives you inspiration to develop your class.

Be Ready to Learn From Your Students

Yes, you may be the teacher and it is your job to teach them music but, a teacher that is willing to learn from their students is even better.

Students are always being pushed to think and work around things, so sometimes they come up with amazing ideas or music that cannot be overlooked.

Some teachers dismiss many ideas from their students because they “clearly know less than the teacher” but this is far from the truth.

Having this approach in mind will also make you be more excited with each lesson, with the hopes you might learn something too, and that excitement will be displayed when you teach.

A Sense of Humor

A teacher with a sense of humor makes everything a more pleasant experience, which is a very important thing in order to make students really appreciate your lessons.

No matter what is being taught, it’s easy for a class to get heavy and hard to process, however, these moments of humor to loosen things up a bit helps keeping things fresh.

Students

Story Time

One of the best way to connect with your students is sharing things about you, maybe an annecdote from another group of students or just a funny story related to the class.

This makes the whole experience a bit more human, which is necessary.

Students, especially younger ones, can see a teacher as this big authority that is very far from their world that it’s almost impossible to empathize.

These “storytelling” times can help you avoid this and maybe spark a few laughs or inspiration.

MTH Features

As a part of the MTH team, we recommend that you make the most out of the features we offer in order to help build your relationship with your students.

Remember to use birthday reminders, as your students will appreciate that you are aware of those important celebration dates.

From automatic lesson notes, to easy scheduling, Music Teacher’s Helper will assist with your needs as a music teacher giving you the space and time you need to build a good relationship with your students, based on trust, respect and a genuine love for music anywhere in the world.

 

 

 

 

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It’s true that the internet has been around for quite some time now and we are quite used to video conferencing as a means to communicate with friends and family.

It’s also true that when it comes to other things such as teaching, video calls were not a first choice even more so with music lessons.

However we have been forced to embrace video calls and other tools in order to keep teaching, and we’ve learned that it is actually a great alternative even if we think of a world 100% free of Covid 19.

It’s been almost a year since we adapted to this way of teaching, but that is a relatively short amount of time.

That is why it may be a good idea to stop for a moment and review the tools available in order to make the most out of video conferencing.

Video Conferencing as a Music Teacher

This is not a tool but,it is a reminder that you must find the tools that suit your job.

There is a focus on sound quality and a good connection when it comes to online music lessons.

Video conferencing can be messy at first but there are some things that have to meet a certain standard if you are going to teach music.

Under this idea, let’s review a few tools.

Zoom

It’s no secret that Zoom was the most used video conferencing platform in 2020. It’s very stable, it offers great video and audio quality, it lets you record calls and it’s very easy to use.

One of the pros of this platform is that it has the highest capacity of people in one call without any issues. Of course the limit is 500, and you’re probably not going to be giving a lesson to that many students at the same time but, it does show how stable the platform is.

There is however, a free version and a paid version. While the free version covers most of the features you’ll need as a music teacher, there are some things such as scheduling and a cloud recording storage that are only available if you get the pro version at $14.99 a month or the enterprise version which gives you access to an unlimited storage for $19.99 a month.

In general Zoom is a very good choice and it will work just fine for your music lessons.

Rock Out Loud

Video Conferencing

There are many reasons why Rock Out Loud could be the best choice for you, but the main reason is that it is a platform with a focus on music.

This is important because not only does it offer a higher quality audio codec but it also offers features that enhance the learning experience such as on screen chords and on screen music sheets.

This is one of the features that set it apart from other video conferencing tools as it allows you to see your students, and teach with the instrument in hand without having to switch to a presentation mode to screen share or get the camera close to a book.

It’s very useful, but if you want to screen share, you also have that option.

When it comes to all the other important aspects of a video conferencing platform, it’s very good, offering a great quality audio, video and a stable connection.

However it doesn’t get close to the amount of people Zoom can hold in a call, with a limit of 35 people, although most teachers probably have less than that in one online lesson.

It’s also very easy to use for both teachers and students.

It also offers a free version, a paid version with lesson rooms for $9.95, and the most expensive version at 13.99 for multi lesson rooms and the ability to assign sheet music to each room.

for more information check out the Rock Out Loud Live website.

Skype

Skype has been around for a while and most people are familiar with it which can be one of its strengths.

It’s free and offers all the basic things you need for a video call but it is one of the most limited and it does have some issues with performance and there are some problems sometimes when adding contacts.

They’ve recently added the Meet Now product, which enables hosts and participants to create and join a video call without making an account or downloading the app.

Skype has been around for quite some time so it’s safe, easy to use and it offers a seamless user experience, but if you want to think outside the box when thinking of your music lessons, it may be best to think about other options.

Google Hangouts

After all we’ve mentioned before, what could Google Hangouts offer that the other platforms don’t? one of the good things is that, like Zoom, you don’t need to have an account, you just need the link to go to the call which can be useful sometimes.

The big thing about Google Hangouts is its connection to all other google platforms such as gmail and google calendar, which helps with accessibility.

Other than that is good, it’s free but nothing particularly amazing.

Others

There are other options that can be of use but not as the main platform, such as Whatsapp, Facebook messenger, and many others.

These shouldn’t be your main platform mainly because it doesn’t offer the level of quality that other platforms have, due to the fact that social media isn’t specialized in video conferencing, but still, it can work as support tools.

As always if you got the video call covered but you still need to manage your own studio and music lessons, Music Teacher’s Helper can be a great tool to support you as a teacher.

 

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