Teaching and Using Recording Technology in the Music Classroom

A recording microphone

I was sorting through my old Google Drive documents the other day and realized that over the years I had done a lot of writing related to the topic of teaching with and using recording devices in the music classroom.  Some of these articles were published here on MusicEdMagic but many more of them were originally written for the tech column in NAfME's Teaching Music magazine.  Until recently, due to copyright agreements, I had been unable to publish them on MusicEdMagic.  Now however, thanks to a very helpful and gracious agreement with NAfME I am now able to republish some of these articles in their original unedited form.  Over the next few weeks I will repost a few of these articles that directly relate to topics such as selecting recording devices, using them to increase student achievement, setting up classroom recording studios, and teaching basic recording skills to your students.  

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New Documentary On Inner City Music Ed Needs Your Help

Movie Clapboard

There are many great, inspirational music advocacy videos out there. Why we should have music in the schools, why all kids should have access to music education, etc. A new documentary film, currently slated to hit the festival circuit in 2014 titled Some Kind of Spark is one that didn't set out to be an advocacy video but does so anyway. The documentary follows the young musical lives of seven inner city kids from New York that are just beginning their musical journey by being accepted to the Julliard School's Music Advancement Program. From what I have seen the video looks like it will be very inspirational and a great way to advocate for the necessity of music education programs.

Read more: New Documentary On Inner City Music Ed Needs Your Help

Techno Bling On The Marching Drum Corps Scene

Drumline Video Capture

Kudos to my wife for finding this video, apparently passed on to her by another music teacher friend, who found it from another friend, etc. etc.  In any case the video is quite impressive.  At first I was like, oh, thanks honey, an indoor marching band video (like I haven't seen a lot of those in my time..) plus the hats and knee length pants made me think it was just an old drum corps video from ten or fifteen years ago.  Then I actually watched it and about halfway through it hooked me.  Nothing like a little LED sound activated bling on Pearl marching snares to make me take a second look.  

In case you are wondering it is a Scottish drum corps called Top Secret.


Easy and Free Clarinet Sheet Music

Free Clarinet Sheet Music List

If you are looking for some easy to play, beginner level free clarinet sheet music the list below might have just what you need.  All of the over 80 free sheet music files on MusicEdMagic are written in keys that are easy for almost any B-flat soprano or bass clarinetist to play as long as they have had at least a few months of dedicated instruction on the instrument.  The clarinet sheet music found on MusicEdMagic is listed in several categories from Christmas and sacred, to folk music, patriotic music charts, and more.  Use the listing below to find what you need and if something is missing be sure to send us a message and we may be able to arrange it for use in the future.  In some cases the clarinet versions of these pieces may also be appropriate for instruments such as the piano.  Please feel free to look around and decide for yourself.  Thank you!

Please also be aware that you can play these pieces as a unison duet or trio if you have the appropriate part for another instrument.  For example, a clarinet, flute, and saxophone player can all play this song together in unison if each musician has a copy of the appropriate part.

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Weezic Augmented Sheet Music App Review

Sax player

SmartMusic has yet another competitor in the intelligent assessment space with the introduction of the Weezic Augmented Sheet Music app for iPad. The app listens to you as you play and marks the notes correct or incorrect, all while keeping a running total of your score at the bottom of the page. It's a free app, but this very early release has a very limited number of songs available, and not all the instruments in a traditional wind ensemble (the poor trombones never get any love). Is Weezic worth the bits it takes to download? Read on to find out.

Read more: Weezic Augmented Sheet Music App Review

Music Advocacy- First Tell No Lies

Music education programs across the country are coming under fire during tough economic times.  In every corner of every state booster organizations and music education advocates are tuning up to try to save their local band, choir, orchestra, and general music programs.  In order to provide a powerful, positive defence of why music should be in the schools we have to have powerful, valid arguments for why it is important.  The problem is that some of the commonly held assumptions about music education are no longer valid.

When going before a school board and pleading a case for your local music program you have to have solid, verifiable facts, preferably with numbers showing your data is relevant the local issue.  This article focuses on one of the more popular myths and assumptions about music education that may actually weaken an argument rather than strengthen it.

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Free and Low Cost Streaming Audio Services

CD Roms

The cost of buying music either for personal or professional classroom use can really add up over time.  Spending ninety-nine cents here and fourteen dollars there can force us to budget money away from other, more substantial classroom purchases.  There is good news though, because we now live in a world where you may never need to spend another dime buying physical or digital music.  The growing prominence of streaming audio services that are popping up all over the web means that you may never again need to purchase or burn a CD.  Want to save more money to put back into your music education budget?  Read on to find out how.



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Noteflight For iPad Makes Its World Premiere

Today Noteflight released to the public their new updated version of their popular online music notation program.  The big news?  Those on tablets such as the iPad can finally use Noteflight and all of its capabilities without resorting to end-around methods like using special browser apps.  So after all of the hype about Noteflight 3.0 on the iPad was it worth the wait?  

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ThinkMusic iPad Music Notation App Is A Game Changer

Music ScoreA few weeks ago a mysterious YouTube video surfaced showing a rather interesting iPad music notation app.  The thing that made it so intriguing was the ways the video showed people entering music into the app.  It showed instant transcription of hand drawn notes to rendered musical notation.  It also showed real time MIDI transcription using an external MIDI keyboard.  There was quite a buzz surrounding it but not many details.  Read on to watch the video and to find out about this incredible development in iPad based music notation and how it could one day be in your hands.

Read more: ThinkMusic iPad Music Notation App Is A Game Changer

Rhythm Lab For iPad Review

RhythmLab Info ScreenA few weeks ago I did a review of a rhythm training app for iPad called MyRhythm.  It was a decent drill and practice app that only had a few shortcomings, most notable the absence of real music notation.  Now enter a newly released app by a different developer named Rhythm Lab that fixes the notation issue and provides a much more music education oriented experience.  If you want a nice app based way to help drill your students on basic and advanced rhythms take a closer look and read on.

Read more: Rhythm Lab For iPad Review

Release Date Given For Noteflight on the iPad

NoteflightEverywhere300Noteflight for the iPad is finally here!  Almost...  The anxiously awaited release of Noteflight for iPad, Android, and other mobile devices is scheduled for January 24th.  The Noteflight team has been steadily working on converting their online music notation program into HTML5 format so that it can be used on pretty much any device that can connect to the Internet and display web pages.  Want to know more about the upcoming release?  Read on to find out!

Read more: Release Date Given For Noteflight on the iPad

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