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Technology in the Music Classroom

Instructor: Sharon Linde
When you think of something artistic like music, you may assume it has no use for technology. But this isn't the case - using technology in the music classroom has many advantages. Let's learn about some ways technology can enhance music education.

Technology and Music?

When I took a basic music class years ago, technology was just on the horizon and of little use to our harmonica skills. Since then, the advances made in technology have been rapid, and their applications to the music classroom haven't been underutilized. Although you may not think music education and technology would mix, the two actually work well together in many ways. From basic elementary classes to advanced orchestra, music teachers understand the advantages of using music in the classroom. How does that work? Glad you asked.

Why Use Technology in Music Classrooms?

Any teacher will tell you how technology saves the most important resource - time! Technological advances have allowed all teachers to plan lessons, grade student work and communicate faster and easier. Besides being a time saver, however, technology offers music teachers a few more bells and whistles:

  • Even artistic students are tech savvy. Using technology in music class amps up the fun and motivates children to learn.
  • Advances in digital technology enhance student's ability to create and analyze music. This means students in music classrooms who use technology can look at it as another instrument.
  • Using technology in music classrooms allows teachers to differentiate, or make learning meaningful to all students. Technology allows students to work at their own pace.

Now that we know what music technology is and why it's smart to use it, let's take a closer look at ways teachers use technology in music classrooms. Ms. Melody, a seasoned music teacher, invites us into her room to see how she's using technology.

Ways to Use Technology in Music Classrooms

Internet

Using the Internet as a resource has become standard for most teachers, and Ms. Melody is no exception. She supports her teaching by using the internet for a variety of reasons; including researching music, watching and listening to others play music or playing games related to music.

Technology in Ms. Melody's room is interwoven; using one piece often relies on another. Let's see how.

Interactive Whiteboards

An interactive whiteboard (IWB) is a technological tool used to share information on a large screen. The interactive screen is mounted to a wall or stand, and it uses a projector that is hooked up to a computer to project information from the computer directly to the board. Ms. Melody can use the IWB to share information from the Internet, but also to give information in documents or graphics. The IWB comes with a set of pens and an eraser to use much like a non-digital whiteboard. She has her students take notes she's prepared or come to the board to demonstrate understanding. She also plays music, videos and other media.

An interactive whiteboard can be used to teach music concepts
iwb

MIDI Files

MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. In lay terms, this piece of technology is used in music classrooms to interact or communicate with other electronics, such as instruments, computers or recording devices. Ms. Melody uses MIDI files for students to sing or play along with, listen to or move to. She plays MIDI files directly by using the Internet, or sometimes downloads or purchases them. One even came with a textbook series. Her students listen with speakers or individual headphones.

MIDI music files can play sheet music for students
midi

Multimedia

Multimedia in the Ms. Melody's room is a broad term used to refer to several different forms of technology. Let's break it down a bit.

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