We are who we think

We do what we do for the knowledge we hold,
We say what we think to the futures in front of us yet to be told.
We deal with the problems at hand because that is our unsung duty,
And we never forget to stop and marvel at creative beauty.
Our tasks might be simple and clean or grand and complex,
but how we persevere will calm strained necks.
We stand at the doorway or in the front of the room,
To continue our stories to partial gloom.
We create, we nurture, we coach, we strive,
To teach our students with our own little jive.

There’s no I in team : you can’t do this job alone

Community, Team, PLC, posse, super hero squadron what ever you call it they are your immediate support system when teaching, the people around you that you turn to when you need help. We as music teachers cannot do this alone even if we stand by ourselves as music teachers there are so many teachers in our building who can help with other things, whether it’s help with our shows, our management, or just a friendly chat our school community is there for that. We cannot be hermits hiding in our room waiting for the next class to show up. After a while it gets tiring, almost a way of burning ourselves out without even thinking about it. New and experienced teachers are guilty of this, new teachers can be shy or were told in there college programs not to get involved. I remember before I graduated college that I was told to never eat in the teachers room because it would get me in trouble..but it’s one of the ways I’ve found that gets me involved in the school community. Teachers find me more when I’m sitting in the teachers room having lunch rather than trekking all the way down to my little corner of the world. Experienced teachers get into a routine and if they do not start out involved with the school it’s hard to break the hermit lifestyle.
Here’s some ways you could find yourself involved and creating your place on a team or in a community: get on a committee, take an extra duty once in a while, eat lunch in the teachers room, go to an after school event that’s not yours, integrate other’s curriculum into your own, put on a grade level show, make friends and chat online, even if you just WALK DOWN THE HALL a couple times a day your presence is known and there’s a 99% chance you could exchange more than a few hellos and smiles to your colleagues.
Be friendly, be willing to help and be willing to listen. You’ll be a prominent member of your community in no time surrounded by your team mates. Remember, teaching is a team sport and there is no I in team.

Really? I can do that?

Unrestricted creativity, can we really give that to our students anymore? They are so structured and told how to do everything step by step these days that when they are given just a little room to breath they do not know what to do with themselves. Working in an elementary school as a teacher who is supposed to teach using creativity I see this everyday. I ask students to imagine a picture in their heads or think of a rhythm, they cant do it! I get blank faces waiting for me to tell them exactly what they need to do..is it me? Am I restricting them so much in their creative freedom that I’m creating a generation of musical robots? Please oh no, the robots are really going to take over the world!
I do a project at the beginning of each year right before quarter grades close where students get into groups, write their own rhythms, then pick their own instrumentation and practice then perform for the class. I say to them “write me a rhythm” and half of them ask me “What should I write?” After much direction on what a rhythm is and how to write it I get the same response “ssooo, what should I write?”. Really? I have to walk you through it holding your hand? Some I know it is because they are afraid to get it wrong even though there is no right or wrong but some..some just don’t even know how to think of it, how to even start picking a note or rest to start with.
The same story can be found in a band or choir, we start them off by drilling notes, drilling scales..telling them how a song should sound like but when is that time we need to let them foster their creativity? Let them discover what it is all about on their own developing their own thought process.
We as teachers are required to provide a classroom where structure rules in order to create a calm and successful atmosphere. How do we create structure with still allowing room for students to think outside of the box, be innovative, and not get nervous when the answer they provide is neither right nor wrong? Students should not be given a project where they are asked to create and look to the teacher for complete creative guidance through every single step, they need to hear what’s expected, told to go above and beyond and actually go above and beyond. We need to create students who are independent, confident thinkers not afraid to express their thoughts and ideas. Give them a jumping platform and let them float above it, that’s what we should be striving for. Our students won’t know what it’s like to think outside of the box if we don’t let them create and discover more, strive to be better no matter what.
So as you walk into your classroom think to yourselves, how can you give students tools to let them flourish? what has to happen in order for a student to become an independent thinker? how can we foster creativity without sacrificing the structure and order in our schools?

Day 3, the day everyone disappeared and my tweet highlights #timejen12

Last Day of #timejen12 and I have to say its been amazing, inspirational, and motivating, thank you to everyone I’ve met this week who have made this time so memorable. As I leave tomorrow I’ll be anxious to carry on this motivation and can’t wait to connect with you all again! Since I’ve been tweeting so much I decided a list of memorable (some retweets from other but mostly mine) tweets from my start to end at #timejen12 would be fitting as a last post, bye everybody!

Being an airport bum this morning

Quick breakfast in hotel then off on my trek to the Galt House for #timejen12 I’ll be the confused looking one wandering around with a map

Snuck into @jimfrankel ‘s preso fun to hear him present!

If you are not a member of the @soundtree institute you should be #timejen12.

Questions to ask when getting permission for license, Master Vs Composition?, what for?, where to get license? #timejen12

http://t.co/HVMq94Ah great company to help get licensing and erapurses about licensing

Public domain songs qualify anything before the date 1/1/1922

Let’s talk about love: a journey to the end of taste by Carl Wilson book. recommendation #timejen12

We need to sell to the people who want water, where there is interest there is value #timejen12

Do we really need to tell Ss what a piece of tech does or just make sure they can use it properly? #timejen12

Best way my Ss learn how to use tech? Not by me, but their friend sitting next to them #timejen12

Oh cool the 3 fonts in Finale 2012 change how the score looks #timejen12

Pretty shiny new TI:ME website http://t.co/K4ltMvii , check out its awesomeness #timejen12

#timejen12 benefits of new website: your own login, social network, FaceTime profile, free subscriptions to Mix, Keyboard, and EM.

Check out Fred Bogert’s Site at http://t.co/aveUaQ8G #timejen12

“Technology is the motivation in the music we make” #timejen12

“The strongest dynamic in auditory experience is silence” #timejen12

@Zweibz7 presenting in Coe! Come join! #timejen12

@Zweibz7 Plugging #musedchat at his #timejen12 session. Music educators 1 hour interaction on Twitter. Monday nights at 8 pm EST. Join us!

Everyone should extend the discussion on google + continue the convo all week long #timejen12

New Blog: Inspiration and motivation through connection Day 1 at #timejen12 http://t.co/r2sKgomj

Barb telling us a story “Congressman” Dammers #timejen12

http://t.co/XWcluhEu #timejen12

http://t.co/Nm0IeVNB Karen Garrett’s website with elementary material..Go Mighty Music Man! #timejen12

http://t.co/zYv8OmiE – free tech for all #timejen12

Barb talking about the MPLN!! Yeah Barb! #timejen12

“if there was a music teachers utility belt an audio recorder would be on it” #timejen12

The Skoog, squishy block with buttons that plugs into computer. Adaptive tech at its squishy finest #timejen12

“every teacher or musician should put their music available for download” #timejen12

Session materials available at http://t.co/sLFo6RjR #timejen12

In the year 2020 between 67-69% of Digital natives will still be social networking #timejen12

“Facebook is like a wiki” #timejen12

“students are already there, why aren’t you there with them?” #timejen12

http://t.co/dRtoFCoH #timejen12

#timejen12 nothing is perfect. We are not perfect. Ken Scott referring to mixing music. We are going for the end result not the indiv thing

“iPad meant for one person as a creative device” #timejen12

iPads tend to have limited storage #timejen12

Bretford IPad Cart – holds 30 iPads, charges and syncs at the same time #timejen12

Again handouts for @MusicEdTech ‘s press are available at http://t.co/kOJCKUUF #timejen12

APS music master Pro by @pisanojm being highlighted now. “written by a music teacher for music teachers” #timejen12

Let’s do our #timejen12 Tweetup tonight at 9pm after the @techmusiced reception. Meet at registration tables!

Ss do not like to go up to the board, go for the Apple TV, more mobile and cheeper. #timejen12

VGA adaptor/ HDMI connector / camera connection kit must haves #timejen12

Joe will have his materials at http://t.co/JPgU88up by Monday. #timejen12

Hmm @pisanojm just slapped a projector and got it to work again lol #timejen12 <—– @Zweibz7 replied to with "He's the Chuck Norris of Music Tech"

APS music master pro, I'm not a band director and it's still great #timejen12

*fan girl scream* RT @pisanojm: OMG only 10 feet away from @richardmccready,@MusicEdTech,@Zweibz7 ROCKSTARS of #music Ed tech! 🙂 #timejen12

Recorder Hero? Is it like Bagpipe Hero?..I like Bagpipe hero #timejen12

Masters of music tech and Jazz hanging out in the fish bar at the Galt *second fangirl scream of the day* #timejen12

"Adults are more popular on twitter because they know how to interact with eachother" #timejen12

YES!! RT @andrewritenour: This is what happens at #timejen12 tweet ups … @Zweibz7 @richardmccready http://t.co/4r4a2B6D

New blog about #timejen12 Day 2, LONG list of apps/ gear/ and websites for music Ed peeps! http://t.co/r2sKgomj. #musedchat

Assessment in music tech is based upon the parameters you put on the project, not the quality of the music. #timejen12

First session I will tweet is @pisanojm 's session on twitter in the Coe room, Come join me and my new Freddie the Frog lol #timejen12

QR codes are a way to quickly market information #timejen12

Got it , twitter egghead = bad #timejen12

"Facebook is more for personal use, Twitter used correctly can be an amazing stream of information" #timejen12

Top ten reasons for twitter- Connectiong with customers, Branding, Feedback, Marketing,Promotions, Viral Nation of Distribution, News, Increase Sales, Viewing Competition, Loyalty #timejen12

"Even on records the intensity breaths" #timejen12

All session materials for @jimfrankel 's sessions are located at http://t.co/u5Cc3pD2. #timejen12

Synchronous v. Asynchronous learning = Live class v. Whenever you have time #timejen12

Advantages to online learning – convenient, affordable, content is archived and available 24/7, synchronous and asynchronous #timejen12

@jimfrankel can take over my computer? Aaahhhhhhhhh!!! #timejen12

http://t.co/ihQaUfLG is iPad friendly!! #timejen12

Literally sprinting to the Galt

Richard showing us the project possibilities with garageband #timejen12

You want Ss to create and compose not just out that note there #timejen12

"I don't set specific parameters for a project because I know ill have some who go beyond" #timejen12

"professional development without follow up is malpractice" #timejen12

Day 2 at timejen, iPads and twitter yoho

Ah man, had a witty beginning to this post already written but I guess WordPress app didn’t like it so it magically disappeared. Day 2 at #timejen12 a great success. Of course I had stayed up late writing the post yesterday so I figured coffee would make the tired go away..coffee failed me BUT twittering like a hopped up pageant princess on pixie stix saved the day AND Let me share valued information on the sessions I attended follow me at @musiccargirl14 to get the links and quotes from the session I attended today, and as I explained tonight at the AMAZING tweet up, the car in musiccargirl14 actually has a purpose I do love cars!
Today was a day for collecting a HUGE list of recommended software/gear/apps that would be useful and have been proven successful in all settings of the music classes here we go:

Free Technology Websites for Music Educators-
musictechteacher.com – Elem content for class, games and assessments Freetechnologyforteachers.com
musicards.net – practice cards
Rode university- learn how to use microphone
Eamir.org -VJ Manzos website
Jing.com- screen casting tool
Soundation.com- for creation midi, audio, etc.
Petrucci Music Library
Gobbler.com- alternative to dropbox, specific to Mac audio programs

Audio recorders- Zoom H1/ Zoom H2N
Video recorders- Zoom Q3/ Q3 HD
Korg Microkey- midi keyboard 37 mini keys
Korg Nano 2 series- 2 octaves/ 16 pads/ faders/ etc.
Avid Mbox-audio interface
Apogee One- interfac
eJamhub- add rehearsal rooms by plugging them in
Korg SP 170-88 key natural weighted keyboard
Skoog- Squishy block which is adaptive technology for students with special needs
Apple TV- mirroring iPads for teaching
Good grips- can drop the IPad and still works
Bretford IPad carts and trays syncs either 80 or 10 iPads at same time

Software-Sibelius 7
Finale 2012
Breezin’ Thru Theory
Ableton Live Intro
Auralia 4 and Musition 4
O-Generator- has iPad apps
Secret Composer
HomeConcert Xtreme – Finale for Midi
Joytunes.com- Rockband for recorders!

APS music master pro
Singing Fingers
Notation – notation
Symphony Pro- notation
For Score – reader and annotated
Ihearit- for transcriptions
Wavepad-simple sound editor
Air scratch -DJ turntable
Overdub- multi track recorder
Chordica- create chords and harmony
Simon the Cat
Note Squish
Piy 4 HD

Here is MY list of recommended apps that I use:
Iamguitar – Full Guitar
Iamdrums – Full drumset
Groovebox- Use tokens to mix loops
World United – Like Groovebox but with world music
MScribble- create songs with a swish of a finger
Bebot- He’s my buddy I touch the lines around him and he sings
Kalimba Free
Virtuoso -Piano
Tonepad and Beatwave – Slide a finger and highlight dots to create different tones as they are looped over and over.
Uflute Miami- Native American flute you play by blowing into the mic
Sound drop- Fun game, create and move lines around creating tones
Music Drawing Lite and Maestro- other notation apps for younger Ss good for quick things.
all of the apps in my list are good PreK – 5 the Tactile instruments are amazing for Pre K – 3 but can work with 4 and 5 just fine

One more day ahead! I’ve met so many amazing people during the past few days my head is spinning! I’m loving this conference and wish I could do this every week!
Follow @musiccargirl14 tomorrow for my last day of #timejen12 tweets!

Inspiration and Creativity through connecting, Day 1 at Timejen12

After a long day on Wednesday getting here I was excited to finally start sessions at Timejen12 today. As a little overview of my day, getting there I made it through the morning by myself tweeting like a storm then right before our Keynote speaker I finally started meeting up with #musedchat members ( who I consider celebrities in the music tech and Ed field, I was giddy meeting most of them today!) who joined in on our huge twitter stream while Fred Bogart enticed us with his thoughts of using technology not for technology but as a teaching tool of personal reflection. After that I stayed for a #musedchat member’s fantastic presentation on social networking and connected up with a friend from twitter which ended up in fantastic dinner and inspiring conversation.
With all this today it got me thinking, where would we be as educators without all this conversation and collaboration? Music educators for the most part stand alone in our school communities, the only one in a sea of grade level teachers talking about math and science while we yearn to talk about the world of music. That’s why conferences like Timejen12 are so important, we walk in with high hopes of meeting up with people like us and having those coveted conversations about the state of music and learning about new ways to bring creation and creativity into our secluded classrooms. It inspires and motivates to do what we do and become all that we can be because we have others to help us get to the point where we are truly do.
What if we need a quick dose of inspiration or motivation though? What if TimeJen is months away but we have an idea we need to share now? Social networking. Thats right, I just put a period there for dramatic effect. There are so many sites and apps out there dedicated to connecting us into a giant web. I guess when they say when united, we are stronger it’s correct. I spent most of today sharing the ideas I picked up through the power of Twitter. Instantly connected to hundreds if not thousands of educators waiting for inspiring ideas from the conference some watching from the next room and some watching from home unable to attend.
We get inspired through connection, we get motivated through conversation. We become the educator we want to be with the help of others around us who have been through the same. Here’s to day 1, on to day 2 go #timejen12

Follow the action through the twitter hashtag: #timejen12
Follow the inspiring ideas I pick up from my twitter: @musiccargirl14

Happy New Year blessing

May fortune and adventure seek you down this open road you’ve fed. May your motivation stay strong as you march ahead. May laughter and joy tuck around you, As the sun will always rise to your good luck. May you cherish those close and count your blessings in this New Year, and keep the good memories as you head to bed very near.

Have a safe, joyful, fun, and exciting New Year.