Resources for Teaching Music Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The dreaded messages came to almost every educator:
Out of an abundance of caution relating to the prevention of spreading the coronavirus, beginning on _____, all after-school, extra-curricular, and outside group meetings and rehearsals are postponed until further notice.
* * *
Dear Students, Parents, and Staff:
All ______ school programs such as sports, band and jazz concert, spring musical, choir festival, dance and voice recitals, booster meetings and fund-raisers, and the music department adjudication trip, are cancelled.
* * *
The spring concert scheduled for March 28 at the Performance Hall will not take place. A decision about whether to cancel this performance or postpone it to another date will be made as the community health situation continues to evolve.
And then, the Governor closed the schools for two to eight weeks (or more?).
Thanks for your patience as we work through the events that have been occurring and planning for what lies ahead. We hope you and your family are staying well, and we know that many of you are looking forward to a Virtual Learning experience for your child.
We want to share some important information with all of you as we prepare this transition. While we do not know how long our buildings will be closed, we want to be prepared for ______ Virtual Learning for as long as it is necessary.
The immediate effect? Suddenly, our kids were sent home for an extra-early spring break, hopefully remembering to bring their instruments and music! Trying to “embrace” this world emergency (from a safe distance, of course), no one had a “crystal ball” to predict or even imagine the far-reaching effects, many of which we are still awaiting answers!
- When will we be able to go back to school?
- How can we collaborate, grow, and share our music learning, personal progress, repertoire and skills learned over the past year?
- What will happen to everything all of us were forced to leave unscheduled, unfinished, or “in production?”
- Will commencement be cancelled, too?
- Worst yet, will our seniors fail to graduate, receive their diplomas, and start college on time next fall?
Every music teacher I know cried out, “How can I reach-out to my students to help them find alternative avenues to making music? The challenge is now thrust upon us to find ways to inspire our students to continue building on their “musical momentum” in daily practice, as well as stimulate other sources of artistic enrichment and the self-motivation to create new music goals.
My first act as a community youth director was to “fire up” my orchestra’s website and Facebook page. We regularly send out Fox’s Firesides of articles on practice tips, music problem-solving techniques, goal-setting, keeping a journal, developing teamwork, learning to conduct, acquiring college references, showing concert etiquette, etc. and other notices to the members and parents using a free-version of Mailchimp.
In addition, we launched something called SHJO.clips, low-tech but hopefully effective in “exciting” future music enrichment and exploration: online music games, worksheets, sample recordings and videos, practice excerpts, music theory exercises, sight-reading and ear training assignments, and much more… a treasure chest of FUN things-to-do or c.l.i.p.s. to do ON THEIR OWN: Create, Listen, Inspire, Practice, Share.
Archives of both Fox’s Firesides and SHJO.clips are available by clicking the menu at the top or visiting http://www.shjo.org/ (look under “resources”).
Are we permitted access to our students and classes online during the official closures? Does your school use Canvas or other virtual educational environments to hold digital classes, post learning activities, make assignments, provide feedback, and/or assess your students’ achievement? (Are you even allowed to do so? I cannot answer this essential question because I do not know school law and I retired from the public schools in 2013.)
Are you one of the “lucky ones” who had previously set-up either the Smartmusic or MusicFirst online platforms (and the students know how to use the it) and can continue encouraging your band instrumentalists, string players, or vocalists to sight-read, practice, explore new literature, perform, record, and assess themselves?
Do you and your students need cheering up with a “pep-talk” by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, the famous “music educator’s guru,” guest speaker and expert motivator often presented as the kick-off keynote session at music conferences. “Dr. Tim” challenges us all to focus on what’s important and how we can put our time to good use:
“Life is about 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”
The pessimist sees the challenge in every opportunity, but the optimist sees the opportunity in every challenge.”
Set aside 17 minutes to recharge with this video. Then, share it with your students!
I am proud to admit that, in a single act, our profession has so far risen to the occasion. In an effort to help our “stranded” programs and motivate music educators and their students, so many tech experts jumped into the fray to post their recommendations and resources. At the end of this blog-post is a (very long) list of links from them, at least active as of today, for distance learning strategies and virtual music education.
We have taken the time to compile many of these suggestions and warehouse them on the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State Council for Teacher Training, Recruitment, and Retention website here. Look under the heading “Virtual Music Learning – Engaging Students During the Break.” This is the impetus for this article. The samples provided below (probably only the “tip of the iceberg” and already out-of-date) are by no means all-comprising and fully comprehensive. With every minute of the day dragging on during this crisis and we are still “shut in” our homes away from our music students, new solutions are being posted to Facebook groups like Music Educators Creating Online Learning.
Click here if you would like a printable PDF file of this revision of resources.
Take the time to research what might work for you. At the very least, pass on the music games and puzzles offered at sites like Music Tech Teacher or Cornerstone Confessions. Venture into learning new apps like Zoom.com for webinar/meeting management.
Music does make a difference in all of our lives… and we need to keep our musicians and singers “at it” even during this catastrophe!
Best wishes to you and yours. Stay safe and healthy! Thank you for your dedication and contributions to music education!
(Editor’s Note: We have continued adding many more updates to the list below at the website of the PMEA Council for Teacher Training, Recruitment, and Retention accessible from this link.)
Sources of Online Music Media and Instruction
- Virtual Learning Resources – Ideas from NAfME Members for Music Educators https://nafme.org/my-classroom/virtual-learning-resources-for-music-educators/
- “App”lying Music Skills: Rethinking Technology for Assessment and Creativity – and other previously recorded PMEA webinars https://www.pmea.net/webinars/
- Elisa Janson Jones https://www.elisajanson.com/ and https://www.musicedmentor.com/blog
- Facebook Group – Music Educators Creating Online Learning https://www.facebook.com/groups/242289003466971/
- Blogs by Michelle Rose https://themusicalrose.com/category/technology/
- BANDing Together Webinar by Lesley Moffet https://zoom.us/webinar/register/rec/WN_yirPclmUR2yRGjExSyzvpA?meetingId=5MdYHaDK9T5IerP8xUGCB5EEF7z-T6a81HRIrPBbyRsyZjuCTJasj4GPTx1THcgQ&playId=7MJ8dO38_T83HYaT5ASDUfd9W9S8fPms0XBI8_RezUe1AiMCNgf3M-dBZuPuembrWvU6uKsFdMAM_C5Z&action=play
- G Suite Music Theory Curriculum by Nicole Laborte https://nicolelaborte.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/g-suite-music-theory-curriculum/?fbclid=IwAR2lCakxjLAQOCrY7zOzeVSrOnQxuWY1rqxoFuMedi-346Rf6hyvP3D0C44
- Online Tools for Teaching Music (Google Doc – sharing) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vrwLVQGDFuhK7RyMyz5m5FuG6NvaHfOW9DcrT0AK9-k/edit?fbclid=IwAR1fIIfxb7bhe7XoKp3Ckt-WEqb94TvIQbT-c3Lcuvh03z6Br7v0uM9cujs#heading=h.3xzpu7fohtt2
- Educational Technology and Mobile Learning https://www.educatorstechnology.com/2018/03/10-good-educational-websites-for-music.html
- Great Apps, Games, and Websites for Music Ed https://www.commonsense.org/education/top-picks/great-apps-games-and-websites-for-music-education
- MusiView’s 15 Best Music Education Websites https://musiview.com/15-best-website-music-education/
- EMEA Music Websites for Students http://www.emeamusic.org/music-education-websites.html
- MTNA Websites for Kids https://www.mtna.org/MTNA/Learn/Parent_and_Student_Resources/Websites_for_Kids.aspx
- How to Engage Students Utilizing Music Education Tools & Technology https://musiceducation.arts.ufl.edu/resources/how-to-engage-students-through-music-education/
- Google Tools & Activities for Music Education by Eric Curtis https://www.techlearning.com/news/google-tools-and-activities-for-music-education
- Christopher Bill Guide to Remote Music Education https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SoERjaLMA1Tro1FTf5i8iLckaL03bL8Xuugr7el77Iw/mobilebasic
- Music Tech Teacher by Karen Garrett http://www.musictechteacher.com/music_quizzes/music_quizzes.htm
- Teaching Online Lesson Basics 101 by Susanna Sonnenberg https://paulkfoxusc.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/teaching-online-lesson-basics-101.pdf
- During Coronavirus, a Teacher Describes the Scramble to Go Digital by Carly Berwick https://www.edutopia.org/article/during-coronavirus-teacher-describes-scramble-go-digital and other Edutopia.com posts at https://www.edutopia.org/
- Resources for Teaching Online Due to School Closures by Kathleen Morris https://www.theedublogger.com/teaching-online-school-closures/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=10_tips_for_parents_teaching_young_children_at_home&utm_term=2020-03-17
- AEP Partner Resources for Serving the Arts Education Field in the Time of COVID-19 https://www.aep-arts.org/covid-19-resources/
- Noteflight Distance Learning Resources by John Mlynczak https://notes.noteflight.com/distance-learning-support/
- Modern Band Play-Along Videos, Chord Charts, Diagrams, and How-To Videos from the team at Little Kids Rock https://www.littlekidsrock.org/jamzone/
- Nontraditional Music Instruction: Environmental Percussion by Mrs. Dennis https://musicwithmrsdennis.blogspot.com/2020/03/nontraditional-music-instruction.html
- WARRENMUSIC Tutorials on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/warrenmusic
- Band Scoring Sheets and Exercises by Matthew Provino (under “Band Cave”) https://svms-hlpusd-ca.schoolloop.com/band
- The United States Army Field Band Instructional Video Series https://www.armyfieldband.com/education/instructional-video-series
- Society for Music Theory Teaching Resources and Videos https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Oi0jxL1Eo7anc523qcyaHA5NIeV_YKipiInbqHY3I1M/edit#gid=417689111
- Letter from a Fellow Remote Teacher by Anthony Granata https://www.smartmusic.com/blog/letter-from-a-fellow-remote-teacher/ and other SmartMusic blogs https://www.smartmusic.com/blog/
- Resources for Choral Professionals During the Pandemic https://acda.org/ACDA/Resources_for_Choral_Professionals_During_a_Pandemic.aspx
- ASTA Teaching Resources/Update: COVID-19 https://www.astastrings.org/Web/Resources/Update__COVID-19.aspx
- Teaching Music Online with Zoom by Simon Powis https://theonlinemusicteacher.com/teaching-music-online-with-zoom/
- Music Service Learning by Marci Major (West Chester University/F-Flat Books) – General Information: https://fflat-books.com/musicservicelearning/?fbclid=IwAR09-qeJS9AhPU4xvpv0vz_al9tlNNPOzPgAZ9kwyqAxhTOZRnzPwCql3Cc
- Music Service Learning by Marci Major (West Chester University/F-Flat Books) – Volunteer Here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd5LY-1J8RsmxxrVL5KEluCeRxMA-fZpKtNSBiy8xA1odTpEQ/viewform
- Music Service Learning by Marci Major (West Chester University/F-Flat Books) – Request Project Help Here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd5LY-1J8RsmxxrVL5KEluCeRxMA-fZpKtNSBiy8xA1odTpEQ/viewform
- Teaching Music Online: Strategies and Resources by Sarah Gulish (F-Flat Books) https://fflat-books.com/teaching-music-online-strategies-and-resources/
- Webinar for Online Learning by NAfME and NAMM https://youtu.be/CSUaMeIyCVc
- Comparing & Contrasting FREE Platforms & Procedures for Online Music Instruction by Bradley Mariska, Scott Agster, Erin Holmes, and Heidi Stodola https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yQkpa7yVXRVXNNtchiS7_unIXgv5crvGiLMYlF7yYXA/preview?fbclid=IwAR0hQ53O3gsGFK6dVF_SHT_eM8hVDNR wH8TPEgC2t-LLx-XMqow0yNdfEoI
- Compilation of Online Teaching Resources for Music Educators by Keith Hodgson https://www.dropbox.com/s/nb68bplz46fmvw0/ONLINE TEACHING RESOURCES.PDF?dl=0&fbclid=IwAR1siEGvS6DPQKyA630TIfk4mTAr9pymqhSzMG-iWtSKqO93gmU9He0ax_Y
- Ultimate List of Online Music Games by Kathy Gossen https://cornerstoneconfessions.com/2012/08/the-ultimate-list-of-online-music.html?fbclid=IwAR06uxDzntYEs9l89Wwx14VuRSJcbYE7prIBzR6i26jvSUbE0s_MAwbg8-Q
- What to Do When You Practice by Scott Sheehan https://drive.google.com/open?id=13Ltjf3_sqgHi-bSCPU28EfsDCtE7EFrk
- NAfME Music Educators Journal Articles Applicable to Online Music Learning https://nafme.org/community/elearning/free-nafme-academy-webinars/
- NAfME Music in a Minuet (new article) “Music Teaching Resources for School Closings” by Elizabeth Caldwell https://nafme.org/music-teacher-resources-school-closures/
- SmartMusic Offer of FREE Subscriptions (until June 30) https://www.smartmusic.com/
- Music Prodigies on YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/psprodigies
- Ideas to Deal with Coronavirus and Distance Learning for Ensembles (and Conducting Class) by the College Band Directors National Association https://www.cbdna.org/ideas-to-deal-with-coronavirus-and-distance-learning-for-ensembles-and-conducting-class
- Virtual Learning: Taking Your Choir Rehearsals Online by Tori Cook https://blog.chorusconnection.com/virtual-learning-taking-your-choir-rehearsals-online
- VAPA Distance Learning and Online Resources from the California Arts Council https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/117RcF-eZuV4Vdt_yWUyn8UVrsddrrOBV
- “App”lying Music Skills: Rethinking Technology for Assessment and Creativity in the Classroom” PMEA WEBINAR on March 24, 2020 by Kristy Piper https://www.pmea.net/webinars/
- Distance Learning Resources for Music Educators from Teaching with Orff https://teachingwithorff.com/distance-learning-resources-for-music-educators/
- Teaching Elementary Music Online/Distance Learning/COVID-19 (Frau Musik) https://fraumusik.com/2020/03/13/teaching-elementary-music-online-covid19-distance-learning/
- MusicFirst COVID-19 Special Training Blogs/Videos https://www.musicfirst.com/about-us/blog/training-webinars-march-2020/
- Technology Lesson Plans, Presentations, and Books by Dr. James Frankel http://www.jamesfrankel.com/
- MusicFirst Podcast: Profiles in Teaching with Technology by Marjorie LoPresti https://soundcloud.com/musicfirstpodcast/musicfirst-profiles-in-teaching-with-technology-s2-e14-marjorie-lopresti
- The Cloud: Empowering Developing Sight Singers from Choral Director https://www.choraldirectormag.com/articles/performance/the-cloud-empowering-developing-sight-singers/
- Surfing Web-Based Music Software from Choral Director https://www.choraldirectormag.com/articles/technology/surfing-web-based-music-software-2/
- The 6 Best Places to Learn Music Online by Jamie Ehrenfeld https://bandzoogle.com/blog/the-6-best-places-to-learn-music-online
- Get Started Making Music https://learningmusic.ableton.com/
- Classics for Kids from Cincinnati Public Radio https://www.classicsforkids.com/teachers.html
- Teaching Music Remotely by Jennifer Bailey https://singtokids.com/teaching-music-remotely
- MusicEd Blogs https://musicedblogs.com/
- Making Your Own Music with Noteflight (example) YouTube by Melody Quesada https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6gOh6-XqKE&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2A9GX8I6O4j8tPO8cqHbuWYInxZqrNzL4CY0sVrxahZctA_5d1XdfpRk4
- House Concerts – A Legacy of Music in Our Home https://concertsinyourhome.org/
- The Definitive Guide to Throwing a DIY House Show by Evan Zwisler https://flypaper.soundfly.com/hustle/the-definitive-guide-to-throwing-a-diy-house-show/
- How to Host an Online Concert by Anna Ditommaso (AudioTheme) https://audiotheme.com/blog/host-online-concert/
- Connect with Fans Around the World (Vimeo) https://livestream.com/solutions/music
- How to Put on a House Concert and Host Them Successfully by Liam Duncan https://www.musicindustryhowto.com/how-to-put-on-a-house-concert-and-host-them-successfully-a-guide-for-musicians/
- Zoom in “Music Mode” by Jim Daus Hjernøe https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=50NoWIiYECA&feature=youtu.be
- How to Use “Breakout Rooms” in Zoom meetings by Jim Daus Hjernøe https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TKOUl_6WVJE
- Using Zoom for Music Lessons by Andrew Williams https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HXdif33umD0
- Mock Virtual Band Rehearsal by Michelle Rose https://www.facebook.com/ michellew92/videos/ 10162988784645244/
- Mock Virtual Choir Rehearsal by Michelle Rose https://www.facebook.com/ michellew92/videos/ 10162982619670244/
- Play Along with Brian Balmages (Smartmusic) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10222360663628172&set=a.1279662994404&type=3&theater&ifg=1
- Google Forms for Playing Test Submissions by Sarah Moulder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjny8KZI0xA&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3V2Kl58RAImtG9HPkUzrplTFTWmq7DoObG24sNLYeAoj7bTMTVGFx8j20
- Technology in Music Education (TI:ME) Lesson Plans https://www.ti-me.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=25&Itemid=1625
- Teaching Music Online by Aaron Booz https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kYc_mfh0s2fzibfjPAi0ZQ38Pc1ftqrsf-fUc0bVpyE
- Teaching Arts Online https://www.pmea.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Teaching-Arts-Online.pdf
- Teaching Online Lesson Basics 101 by Susanna Sonnenberg https://www.pmea.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Teaching-Online-Lesson-Basics-101.pdf
Photo credit from Pixabay.com: “child-play-game-technology-3264751” by ExplorerBob
© 2020 Paul K. Fox