teacher

Teaching music composition may seem like an easy task: you show your students the tools, you teach them how to use them and that’s it.

However, the most difficult thing is to teach them how to be creative and translate unmeasurable things such as feelings into music.

Teaching students to use composing skills  is not an easy subject, but to make things a bit more organized let’s go through the steps to guide a young music student through their composition journey.

A Passion for Music

Composition

Now, the first thing that should be clear from the start is that there is a passion for music.

There are many cases in which a young student can become a great performer but there is no passion for music, and it is very hard to  change that.

It might be a bit controversial since it involves parents who wish the best for their children by helping them learn music but when it comes to art, the act of creation can’t be taught, it’s an impulse and sort of a second nature.

That doesn’t mean that some young students can’t find a passion for music after learning a few key things and discovering a whole new world.

But it is important for the teacher to identify these things in order to strengthen their students’ weaknesses.

Rhythm Composition

Rhythm is the backbone of every music composition, there is no music without rhythm but there can be music with just a rhythm in the form of percussion.

This is also some of the easiest ways to make your students feel like they are making some form of music and feel the happiness of success.

It is definitely the best way to approach music composition at first, as it’s quite easy to make it fun and involve several students in exercises.

Encourage Improvisation and No Restraints Approach

This may be easier for musicians that focus on genres of music such as rock, punk, blues or electronic music due to the nature of those types of music.

But when it comes to including improvisation in the formation of music students, it’s a bit more difficult.

After helping your students build a strong musical foundation with music reading and writing, you also have to teach them to let go of all of that and just play.

This not only encourages new and interesting combinations of music due to the lack of restraints, but it also makes the experience fun because of the excitement of not knowing what will come out of a playing session.

Think about it as fishing, it’s all about being relaxed, patient and not knowing what you are going to get, and when you realize you have something, it’s time to reel in and not let the fish escape.

The waiting part is just playing and improvising, the fish is that surprise chord, and reeling in it’s about finally writing and recording that big idea.

To encourage this “fishing” idea in music makes being a musician very exciting.

Feedback

In order to help your students improve their skills as composers, you need to provide good feedback so that they can feel that sense of progress and learn from their mistakes.

But how do you provide good feedback as a teacher? Well there are a few things to consider when giving feedback to students on their compositions.

First of all, focus on the good things, a sense of accomplishment is very important in order to keep them motivated.

Then as a teacher, you need to show them where they could improve.

And lastly, you need to let them know that there is always room for improvement while also giving them some pointers in order to help them focus on their weak spots.

Remember to use Music Teacher’s Helper to allow you to have a lot more time on your hands to plan your composition lessons instead of using that precious time for tedious but necessary tasks.

 

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Technology has been able to offer teachers tools and apps that make their work a lot easier or even explore new ways to teach.

Some of these tools come in the form of mobile apps, which offer a wide range of possibilities depending on what you are looking for.

There is an app for almost every problem so there are thousands of apps out there.he difficult part is to find which ones are really worth it.

First of all, note that there are great apps for music learning but the focus here is to see which ones could assist music teachers.

On that note, let’s have a look at the best 5 apps for music teachers that are available right now.

apps

Symphony Pro

This one is all about digital sheet music and it allows you to compose with up to 48 instruments.

It offers lead sheets, chords, charts, guitar tabs and so much more such as being able to make annotations and edit notes and bar properties.

forScore

forScore is a bit similar to Symphony Pro in the sense that it allows you to manage your sheet music but it focuses more on managing rather than composing.

You can drag and drop multiple files into the forScore library from Safari or the photos app. You can also import a PDF version of your score via iTunes, email, Google Drive, AirDrop, Dropbox or Bluetooth.

Piano Maestro

If you are looking to make your piano lessons a bit more fun and interactive for your younger students, Piano Maestro is one of the best options out there to do so.

If you are familiar with rhythm games and guitar hero then this will seem quite similar to that, however, its interface and overall presentation is all about bright colors and a clear focus towards learning how to actually play piano.

The way the app works is that it shows you the sheet music so that you play it, but in a way that it also feels like a game, encouraging students to beat high scores and get better at it.

It is definitely a very useful tool to get the hang of reading sheet music while playing piano.

It also features “Home Assignments” which you can use to assign specific songs to your students and make your lessons a lot more fun. 

The Metronome by Soundbrenner

Every music teacher needs to remind their students about keeping an organized mind when it comes to music, and what does that? Well, staying on tempo.

The way to practice this is of course is using a metronome.

You could buy a metronome but there is no doubt that the magic word here is convenience.

The fact that you can just download a metronome app and use it right there is very useful for every musician and it makes it all easier for teachers to show their students that it is indeed an easy tool to have.

However, which metronome is a good option to have?

The Metronome by Soundbrenner is a great choice. First of all, it’s available on android and iOS, secondly it’s free and every music student needs a metronome to learn music properly.

With this app you can go from simple 4/4 to more complex time signatures so your students can practice staying in tempo.

It also allows you to personalize your click sounds and save custom rhythms so you have no trouble finding them quickly.

Music Teacher’s Helper

Every music teacher needs some assistance on schedules, tasks, students and every little thing that comes with the job of education.

With Music Teacher’s Helper you can update student information, plan your schedule, prepare upcoming lessons and keep up to date with billing and invoices.

It’s also very easy to access your account from any of your devices so there won’t be any problems with accessibility.

This will allow you to have a lot more time on your hands to plan your lessons instead of using that precious time for tedious but necessary tasks.

If you want to try it out, you can start your free trial today!

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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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