What a start. Tutorial before the lecture. Fitting a 90 minute lecture into 60 minutes. A proxy server that blocked everything we tried to do online. How incredibly frustrating.
So I’m sorry about that. If I could do anything about these things, I would. I will, at least, pass a bit of feedback on to the powers-that-be. I felt the lecture was fun, anyway, once we’d got going, and while the tutorial was left rather insipid due to the above problems, hopefully you will have caught enough enthusiasm to get stuck into this whole online portfolio thing over the next few days.
I augmented the lecture that I gave this time last year a little bit. You will find plenty of information from the lecture notes for that lecture by clicking here, as well as some (hopefully) interesting pontification on how we can learn music today, background on where the vocal warm-ups came from, and so on.
Extra things from the lecture
After the warm-up games I inserted a short vocal piece I knocked-up last year to encourage students to improvise in Aeolean mode. Actually, if you sharpen the F it’s rather attractive in A Dorian, too. The process for teaching it was bottom part first (nice and easy), then the top part (which really is the middle part, sorry about that), then divide into two and perform those parts together. Then teach everyone the top part, divide in 3 parts, add middle then top parts. Layer in and out as you feel fit. Hey presto, 3 part singing. Finally, ask some to sing a drone, which then becomes a bed for solo improvs. You can easily transfer this to instruments, and because it’s aeolian A, it’s easy for kids who don’t know keyboard or have mallet percussion instruments to improv on too.
From this we followed a similar kind of pedagogical approach to learning 6834, from my Symphony for a Child. This is written up in my old lecture notes, as well as on my website, so you can download the score and other resources from there.
The idea in the tutorial was to use a GarageBand file of this piece to improvise our own solo over, which then extends the performance to improv in class and then the improv to composition (by way of recording and improving). We spent 15 mins doing this with the second tute, but obviously couldn’t do it meaningfully with the first.
In the lecture I also mentioned the Music Technology in Education Conference (#MTEC2011). Through a special arrangement with the university, you can be released on April 11th-13th (there will also be a little bit of set-up work on the 10th, too) to attend the conference as a gopher. Gophers will be attending sessions and will have the job of helping the presenter or other delegates if needs be, but can join in with the session if not and if space. Note you will need to bring your own pack lunch. There are incredible speakers and sessions as you can see on the website, and full registration is $700, so to attend in this capacity is a great opportunity for a limited number of you. As I write, there are 4 places left.
As mentioned, things didn’t go so well in the tutorial, because the university’s proxy server blocked us from joining Twitter and setting up a blog on WordPress (or elsewhere). The idea was to do these things hands-on to help the more technophobic of you. Therefore I am including the following tutorial videos to show you exactly what you need to do. Remember, you can use any blog, including the very popular tumblr or blogger, or any other website builder, such as Google Sites but I am using Wordpress so if you think you’ll need help, use that. Here’s how to set up a WordPress account:
And here’s the real me telling you how to write your first post:
I also asked you to set up a Twitter account. I know some of you morally object to this, and fair enough, but give it a go anonymously if you have to. And please PLEASE try using it as a research tool. You will be amazed how powerful it is. I don’t think I should need to put instructions for how to join Twitter up here. When you’ve finished, I asked you to write a first tweet, about anything you like, but make sure you put the #UWSMTeach hashtag in it (in any order).
I also suggest you do a Twitter search for #UWSMTeach to see what your peers have been saying, and also search for #musedchat which is the hashtag used my music educators worldwide. If you have a music education question, try asking it and adding that hashtag – you will be surprised how many responses you get and how quickly, probably.
Last but not least, I gave you some homework. So here’s your checklist:
- Join Twitter and write your first Tweet.
- Begin your web presence by creating a blog – WordPress if you’re not sure which one to choose.
- Watch Ken Robinson’s 2006 TED talk called Do Schools Kill Creativity.
- Write a blog on your thoughts about what Ken says in this video. What does it make you think about the importance of Music education? Are you passionate to advocate for your career?
- Last but not least, email me the address of your blog so I can add you to the community list.
Tired? Sorry about that. Excited? I hope so. Enjoy the Ken Robbo.