Internet MIDI and Teaching Piano On The Internet

I just finished a Skype chat with George Litterst, the founder of a company called TimeWarp Technologies.  George is a pianist and music educator that I have used as a source for other articles I have written on the topic of teaching music over the Internet.  He is going to be Skyping in to speak with the audience of a session I will be giving in a couple of weeks at the Iowa Bandmaster's Conference, and he wanted to give me a tour of his Internet MIDI product.  I went into the call expecting to just see little more than a glorified on screen MIDI keyboard, but came out realizing that he has really got some potential there that could become a serious technological tool for the music education classroom.

An Ohio Serenade- Video Story from New York Times

Schools all over the country are struggling with money issues, some are cutting music programs to the detriment of their most needy students.  In a video news story from the New York Times a student from a school in Newark, Ohio shows just how important music programs can be.  If we cut back on music programs what will be left for students like this one?  Take a look, and pass this one on.

The Ultimate Band Director's Gig Bag?

I have been on a quest for the past several years.  The quest has been to find something that would make my life as a travelling band director easier and more efficient.  Carrying three arm loads full of instruments, music, and supplies between three different buildings each week is a hassle, and I have been on the lookout for something that would help me simplify things a bit. Ordinary gig bags are good, but I am looking for something exceptional.  I may have found it...

$10K Prize Given For Futuristic Musical Instruments

While acoustic instruments are in no danger of falling into the scrap heap of history, there can be no doubt that music of the future will look (and sound) quite different than the music of today.  As analog gives way to digital so to does acoustic give way to electronic.  A perfect example of this evolution happened in March at a competition designed to feature newly invented musical instruments, and provide a cash prize to the winner.  While not as grand or awe inspiring as Burt Rutan's Space Ship One flying into space with no NASA logo needed, taking a look at these new instruments can be very enlightening and send the mind wondering exactly how and what we will be teaching our kids to play in another ten or twenty years.

 

Need a Good Laugh? Funny Things Said In Music Class!

altI was recently trolling through the MENC forums and stumbled across a very long thread titled "Really Funny Things We Have Said In Class." If you need a good laugh then you have to take a closer look. We've all done these kind of things before, but it is always nice to know that we are not alone.

The Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra: A musical sensation from Venezuela

For those of you not familiar with TED, it is a wonderful resource site filled with incredible videos and speeches on a wide variety of educational topics.  Each year the TED Prize is presented to several innovative thinkers who are given $100,000 and one Wish To Change The World.  The video pasted below is a high definition video clip of a youth orchestra from Carracas, the conductor of which is a student of Jose Abreu, creator of El Systema, a national music education program in Venezuela that has garnered incredible reviews.

Instrument Repair and Maintenance Video Collection

ClarinetI have just added a large collection of musical instrument repair and maintenance videos to our video collections here at MusicEdMagic.  These videos come from respected instrument suppliers and information services such as the Woodwind and Brasswind, Expert Village, and others.  Visit the Music Ed Videos section on the site to see the complete category listings.  Many of these videos are excellent supplimental materials to give to beginning students or students that are switching from instrument to instrument.

Note:  For users that are behind a firewall that blocks YouTube content, consider using a service such as YouConvertIt to download YouTube videos directly or to have them sent to you via email.

Music Matters Grant Program- Deadline Feb 4th

I found some grant information with a close approaching deadline (Feb 4, 2009).  Grants are available for music programs from $1,000 to $12,000.  Read on to find out the details.

Use of Wii Music In Classrooms Appears To Be Growing

Wii Music being used in a classroomA few months ago I wrote a few articles (including one that ran in MENC Teaching Music Magazine) about the topic of using technology and software to teach educational concepts in music class. In particular I mentioned a little game called Wii Music that I have been personally fascinated by in how easily it seems to grab the attention of students of all elementary school ages. While it is not a purely educational game it is still very useful in music class. I and many others around the world have tried using it in some form or another with our young students and I have to say in most cases it has been a very good experience.

Off-Topic- NASA's New Rover to Roll In Obama's Inaugural Parade

Lunar RoverThis is WAY off topic but it's also very cool so I am going to post it anyway.  Take a look below (or Read More...) to see an embedded video of NASA's new lunar rover that will be serving as the finale of Obama's inaugural parade next Tuesday. 

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