Make Technology Instrumental, Part 2

Here are more ways to integrate technology in your music classroom courtesy of NAfME member Fred Kersten:

6. Consider developing a MIDI band or laptop orchestra to capture student interest and assistance. Keyboards and other equipment can be used cooperatively.

7. Set up procedures so students can access practice files and record performances at home and submit them electronically for evaluation.

8. Develop singing background MIDI and MP3 files for general music classes. Self-conscious students can benefit from practicing their singing at home via the Internet.

While the district should fully fund the music program, sometimes you may need to supplement budgeted expenditures:

9. Advise parents what kinds of equipment you need, and ask for suggestions on getting support from the local community. One firm that replaced its computer system donated the old one to the local school for a music lab, along with money for several software lab packs.

10. Find outside sources to finance some of your technology needs.

Kersten’s Suggested Resources

General Technology Integration

  • James Frankel, a music educator and managing director of MENC corporate member SoundTree, has articles on software and techniques for including new technologies in the classroom, podcasts, lesson plans, and Powerpoint presentations at Music Technology Services for Education. Learn more about other NAfME corporate members.
  • Keith Mason, coordinator of music technology at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, has information on software, current directions in music education, and unlimited blogs and resources for music teachers at Music Tech for Me, Music Technology for Music Education by Music Educators.
  • Joseph Pisano, assistant chairman of music and fine arts at Grove City College, Pennsylvania, lists “Must Have Downloadable Freebies For The New School Year,” that provides links to free music software for a variety of music education purposes at

Developing Accompaniment Backgrounds

  • Kersten’s Web article “Utilizing MIDI Accompaniments in Music Classes and Continued Home Study” has ideas for creating files and using them for accompaniment on

Practice, Record, and Share Compositions


  • Find a free online notation program that allows students and teachers to create and share their compositions at Noteflight. However, the “Teach Music” section is by paid subscription only.
  • Students can enter chords, create backgrounds, and record and upload their work for dissemination and evaluation using free JamRecorder software at Basic mode is free; the more advanced mode costs a monthly fee.

Financial Resources

Fred Kersten is a veteran public school and college music teacher who has taught music in the New York public schools, at the Crane School of Music, and online for Boston University. He holds five degrees in music and music education and is a professional recorder player; his book Teaching Recorder in the Music Classroom has been published by MENC. He provides more resources at

 –Linda C. Brown, September 23, 2009, © National Association for Music Education (