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Monday, November 9, 2015

More Than Just a Pretty Voice

Today, technology is advancing into every nook and cranny of our daily life.  The same can be said of our schools.  The use of technology in most classrooms is evident, even in the most surprising places, such as the Wilson Middle School Choir classroom. Choir teachers Mrs. Wilemon and Mr. Quinene were asked, “Has your instruction been dramatically different in a classroom where the students all have devices versus in a classroom where they didn’t?”
Mr. Q states, “It is great that kids can have their recordings to practice with them at all times. They can practice in the car, at home, or at school.  We can update them with reminders and news almost instantly.  We also can record assessments and submit them so we lose as little class time as possible.” 

Mrs. Wilemon replied, “I’ve only ever taught in this district where students all have devices so my instruction has not changed, but it is definitely different than when I was growing up in choir. The technology helps me assess in class much easier and it gives the students a greater opportunity to accurately practice at home with practice tracks. When students go home and practice their parts – it makes for a much more successful joint rehearsal."

Students use a variety of tools to enhance their learning in this music class.  Teachers allow the students to choose their voice recorder that they find the most beneficial and easy to use.  Some of the tools that students use are: Windows Sound Recorder, Voice Recorder, Audacity, and Windows Movie Maker.

“Technology is very important in choir for we use it to record and listen to ourselves so we can work on improvements.” states Halen. “This saves the students and teacher time so they do not have to listen to us one at a time in their office.”     

Emmarie likes that her teachers use technology and apps like Remind and Moodle to help her stay organized.  “Middle school students are busy so the text messages are great reminders to turn in assignments when they are due. I also like our it when our teacher creates an assignment dropbox in Moodle for us to turn in work - even from home. The teacher can grade and give us direct feedback in Moodle." 

Below is a screenshot straight from her Moodle page.  Notice the number of students using this feature. .”


Choir, Voice Recording, Audacity, Microsoft Movie Maker, Collaboration, Moodle, Middle School, Wilson Middle School, Feedback, Music, Electives

Student Olivia says, “ By using the recording apps of our individual voices the teacher can give us feedback to work on things. Many choir students use the application called Audacity to create a parody to a song; while another project that we are assigned is a lip sync video which was a very fun project where we used our video camera and Windows Movie Maker.”

Using technology in the choir classroom has so many benefits for students and teachers. Click below to here a sample of their work.  



choir 1.JPGThe average person might think that technology in a choir room is surprising -  after all, what other tools would be required for music education besides a piano and some voices? However, by using technology resources available to them, these students have made their classroom come alive both at school and at home, making it easy to see that music and technology can work together in perfect harmony.

This blog post was written in collaboration with Wilson Middle School students Halen, Olivia, and Emmarie using Google Docs.  




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