As we all know, the internet is an amazing resource, although you sometimes need a keen eye to distinguish the quality sites from the hype and fluff.
I saw one music site with amazing free services but the site was peppered with advertisements, and downloading its free software then required other special software. There’s that uncomfortable feeling of installing someone’s free software–you wonder who’s trying to put what on your computer. Then there’s that other uncomfortable suspicion, that “free” services loaded with ads are likely to cost more ads and even spam emails.
One site had some intriguing music teaching games but it soon became clear these were hooks for joining the site, which primarily offered web advertising for private teaching. Since private teaching is generally a local activity, and the web is international, it seems odd to pay top dollar for web advertising that’s intended for a local market. Of course, it makes sense to be able to put up local flyers or weblinks which connect to a studio website, but then Music Teacher’s Helper provides that, plus all the services we use in working with our students.
In any case, after sifting some of the sites, I thought I’d highlight the following sites that are of special interest to music teachers–
The Music Matters blog at http://musicmattersblog.com has lots of interesting posts in a variety of categories including teaching tips, games, and the like. One post reviews a number of online resources at http://musicmattersblog.com/category/on-line-resources/
The British “Teaching Ideas” site at http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/music/contents.htm is very friendly, with contributions by music teachers round the world, including music games to try in teaching groups, creative ideas for working with rhythms, music reading, introducing instruments, and resources for teachers.
A lively music teachers’ chatboard can be found at http://teachers.net/mentors/music/ –mostly populated by school music teachers, who seem earnest and respectful in sharing their concerns, complaints and suggestions. Recent comments from teachers have included ideas on dealing with problem kids and problem principals, review of an audio system for a classroom, handling holidays for kids with different backgrounds, thoughts about melody and teaching intonation, and requests such as one by a Cypriot looking for tips on which online music courses are worth while.
You can find the archive of articles written since 2001 in the American Music Teacher magazine at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2493 .
The New York Philharmonic has a fun kids’ site at http://www.nyphilkids.org full of creative ways to introduce instruments and meet musicians.
Then there are the odd useful sites here and there that you run across by following links via links via other links. For example, somehow I came upon a neat little site about violinmaking and how violins work, presented by a violinmaker in Iceland: http://www.centrum.is/hansi/
If you have favorite sites that help you in teaching music, let us all know by clicking “Add Comment”. By the way, feel free to add comments to any article in this blog dating back to October–don’t worry about it being too old. We get word of your comment when it comes in, and I’m happy to highlight any new additions.