Monday, September 19, 2011

Staff Wars Version 2.2

Oh.My.Goodness. This is so cool. I just downloaded Staff Wars Version 2.2 and it is unbelievable! You have to play the correct note on your instrument in order to get the point. It listens to you! It's like the super simplified version of Smart Music. I can't wait to use this with my 4th and 5ths on recorder. I definitely still like Version 1.2, but the newest version adds a whole new dimension. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Staff Wars

My students really enjoy a free drill and practice game for note names called Staff Wars. I divide the class into teams and we play the game using the SMARTboard. It could also be used in a computer lab situation and since it's free, parents could download it at home for their children. You do need to create an account to be able to download the games though. There are other free games on the site, but I have not had time to explore them.

Update: I am using version 1.2 of Staff Wars with my students. I see there is now a newer version as well. I am not familiar with the new version, but hope to check it out soon and give you a report.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

5 Little Monkeys

I use the 5 Little Monkeys finger play as an activity to reinforce pulse and high and low voices (as do many music teachers). If you also like to incorporate literature into your classroom, you might like to know that the storybook app for 5 Little Monkeys is on sale in the iTunes app store for 99 cents through tomorrow.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Here We Go! The start of the school year and WBT

Whew! We're done with the first week of school. Are you all as tired as I am? Those first week weeks with Kindergartners just about does me in. It was a good week though. I'm excited about this year.

We got information about PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) last week. For the first quarter, the whole staff will be studying topics in reading. While I know how important reading is, it does not help me improve myself in the teaching of music. I started thinking that I would rather start learning about a topic that has recently been widely discussed on the Music K-8 Listserv: Whole Brain Teaching. I know nothing about it, but quite a few music teachers on The List are using it and have good things to say about it. I emailed my principal and asked if the phy ed teacher, the art teacher, and I could create our own PLC to explore WBT (whole brain teaching). She said yes! Woo hoo! I am very excited about this.

I have had no time to really pursue this (we haven't started PLCs yet), but I've gathered just a tiny bit of information on The List. I promptly went to the Whole Brain Teaching website and registered. There are several ebooks available for download there. There are also a lot of You Tube videos on the topic.

I'll post more about this when I've had a chance to learn more and try some of it in my classroom.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Flashnote Derby iPad App

I learned about this app from the Technology in Music Education blog (great blog, by the way). You can read Mr. Russell's summation of the app on his blog here. The app is Flashnote Derby which is a drill and practice app for note names. It costs 99 cents. There are several of these kinds of apps out there, but this one sets itself apart in a couple of different ways.

1. The app allows you to pick which notes you want to drill. You can pick treble clef, bass clef, both or you can even more specific and just drill line notes or space notes.
2. After the game is complete, you have the option to go back and review the notes you missed.

I'll be using this app as soon as school starts next week.