Category Archives: opinions

A full week…

What a long week!  This has been such an exciting week.  Four of my students were able to participate in all-county chorus, my second graders gave a performance, and I was observed by my mentor.

During all-county chorus it was so nice to talk to others who are like me!  Being at a school where, like most specialist, I am the only one who teaches what I teach, it is sometimes difficult to get the help you need.  Yes, the people at my school are great and will listen and let me bounce ideas off of them, but if you want to know something about orff or making the choir better they aren’t the people to ask.  This is partly why I start this blog, to give other music teachers a chance to make connections and talk about “music” things

I learned that there is a whole lot about singing I do not know! So in order to fix this problem I am going to do peer observations to learn more. I should start them in a few weeks. I will let you know how it goes.  I believe this is the best way to learn, so if there is something you need help with, go watch a peer do it! and share the results.

My second grade students did such a wonderful job performing.  They were very confident during the practice and projecting, then they got on the stage for the performance and I think they got a bit scared. I could still hear them, but their little faces looked very nervous.  Lucky for them they get another chance next Friday.  Now, that they have experienced what it is like on stage in front of an audience, I know they will be fine next Friday 😀

Observations, I don’t have much to say about this one.  It went well, but I don’t know my mentor enough to know what her thoughts will be on it.  I have my post observation conference next week, so I guess I will know then.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Technology and Low Income Learners

I received the Teaching Music magazine in the mail today and sat down to flip through it and found an interesting article about technology. After reading the article,”Making the Tech Connection”, I sat and thought about lower income students and how much technology benefits them.  Okay, some of you are wondering where I am going with this. Keep reading.

The common assumption is that students are crawling in technology, they have iPods, computers, game systems, cell phones, etc… but, do they?  In many schools with students from lower income households,  technology could be intimidating and therefore cause education to be  intimidating.  Now, you are thinking that all students need to learn technology and therefore we should teach it if they don’t have the means to learn it at home.  Of course we should! except when? between math, reading, writing, science, social studies, MUSIC…the list goes on and on!

We assume students come to us knowing the basics of technology, but in fact many of them do not.  Of course, teacher led technology is fine, but asking some students to click a mouse to start a timer(see below), type a word, or scroll down a page could be a stressful event. They have had very little experience with a computer, much less a laptop and are just hoping not to be made fun of by the rest of the class if they mess up.  Of course, to us this sounds very elementary.

Another instance of “wasted” technology.  We have school web pages that host our personal classroom webpage that should be an excellent learning tool, but because many of our students do not have internet access it goes unused and ignored.  I should be able to use it to communicate and give students extra activities to do at home, but many students are unable to access, navigate, or work a computer.

I worry that some teachers think it is so important to have technology that they forget what they started off to teach. For music education, music is still the “it” that we should be teaching.  I feel like we should be aware of how much technology our students have been introduced to, before using the “cool” new computer program we have found.  Before making the plunge into technology, I feel we should ask ourselves if it will be more intimidating or more helpful to our students.