Woodglen Elementary School music teacher Samantha Priore proudly exclaims, “I love using technology in my music education classes-Grades K-5!” Her enthusiasm and passion are obvious to the students she serves, and they benefit greatly from her purposeful infusion of technology into the music education curriculum.
SMART Board activities, interactive games and classroom management programs are used everyday in her music classes. “This year I created a way to have my students transition into activities and be helpers in my music class,” Priore said. “I created a SMART Board activity called Class DJ. Each week I choose a student to be a class DJ, and the job consists on reminding the class to be respectful and switch instruments,” she explained. Priore commented that the students react well to the music and it has become a very important transitional program in her classroom. “Students are excited to come in and be the class helper and DJ,” she said.
Ms. Priore’s second grade students will create a visual music sound story. “I like to use the www.littlebirdtales.com website,” she said. The students choose a song and draw pictures describing the lyrics and phrases. They then learn the song and record audio. “We can post on this website and we create our very own sound story,” Priore said, adding, ” the students enjoy this program and watching the movie.” Last year’s second graders created and learned the song ” My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music.
Fourth grade students use www.noteflight.com, a composing website. These students complete a unit on music theory and the elements of composing, and then go to the computer lab and compose on this free, fun program. “Not only are students able to work at school, but they can log on at home and also share projects with each other. Students can listen to their work immediately after composing,” Priore said.
As she plans her lessons, Priore incorporates iPads in three different categories: presentation, creativity, and performance. “The iPad can project on the Smart Board to teach musical concepts, show videos, share power points and play music from any area in the classroom,” Priore comments. As a creativity tool, students use applications to help support learning, compose music, document practice and assessment. Useful applications used in class include GarageBand for recording, Fingerings to support instrumental learning, and Sight Reader for assessment. The iPads are also useful as a performance device, and Priore commented, “I use applications such as the Musicnotes.com app to virtually store and edit sheet music that will help students prepare for their performances.”
“Technology is so important in my classroom,” said Priore. “I can’t even think about creating a lesson without it!”