Want to Inspire Your Music Students in the Classroom? Introduce Them to Interactive Learning


Interactive Listening Maps linked from iPad to Projector/screen for fully engages class with “Olympic Fanfare” by John Williams.


From Bebop to Beethoven, technology can bring music to life in the classroom. Mollie Gregory Tower, Kay Greenhaw, and Debbie Tannert, will demonstrate just how in a session, “Using Interactive Learning to Link Tech-Savvy Students to the Three B’s- Bach, Beethoven and Brahms.” They will present at NAfME’s 2014 National In-Service Conference at the Gaylord Opryland, October 26-29, in Nashville, Tennessee.


Tower, a lecturer at Texas State University in San Marcos, advocates for quality music education programs for all students. A member of the National Association for Music Education, she says innovative materials and stimulating ideas can reach students from K–12, as well as college students and teachers. How can teachers use the Nashville Conference session back in the classroom? She explains:


“New materials and equipment are constantly being released. From iPads and touch screen computers to interactive white boards, and innovative educational software, the possibilities to include a variety of teaching tools to engage your students are constantly evolving.


“Students are often more motivated to learn when technology is used in their classes. Many educators and researchers believe that integrating technology in the classroom has benefits for both teachers and students. Using technology enhances many different aspects of student learning (Bissell, 1998; Burns, 2006; Felstein, 1988; November, 2010; Project Tomorrow, 2009).


“Come prepared to play along on our iPads! Proven and practical teaching tips using new technology-rich curriculum materials.


“Participants will learn how to teach musical concepts such as melodic direction, rhythm, and form through active listening to rich, varied repertoire. Musical works by celebrated composers like Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Bernstein, Orff, Copland, Kodaly, Ellington, have the power to inspire children.


“When interactive materials, incorporating innovative technology advances are used, the classics come alive for students who need 21st Century skills. Teachers will be introduced to animated video maps that focus eyes and ears on musical elements; interactive listening maps that allow students to repeat/ compare/ contrast musical sections, and new Smart Board and iPad Materials that will engage your tech-savvy students in games and other challenging learning activities.


“Learn how Common Core and National Music Standards are easily met through hands-on interactive learning. Participants will have the opportunity to use iPads as their students might use them,” Tower says.


To see Tower, Greenhaw, and Tannert demonstrate the use of technology in the classroom, register for the National Music Education In-Service Conference, early bird rates end August 31.



 A student uses interactive features of Mighty Music Classical Music Favorites software to work with Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t got that Swing.”




Using the Treble Chase Maze program, students listen to excerpts of musical selections they have studied and identify the name of the composition.


Singer-pianist Ben Folds will give the conference keynote. He is best known as the leader of the Ben Folds Five trio, and as a judge on NBC’s a cappella television show The Sing-Off.

The Conference will feature more than 100 professional development sessions: Band, Collegiate, Composition, General Interest, General Music, Guitar, In-Ovations, Jazz, Music Program Leaders, and Orchestra, and there will be special professional development sessions for NAfME Collegiate members as well.



Roz Fehr, NAfME Communications Content Developer, August 12, 2014. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)


Photos Courtesy of Mollie Tower