Vermont Midi Project

8 04 2009

If you teach music and have use of a computer and an internet hookup, you should check out the Vermont Midi Project. It is a program I have been following for the last few years.

Here is a little blurb from their site.

1995-2009 Vermont MIDI Project marks 14 years of infusing music composition into the curriculum.

The purpose of the Vermont MIDI Project is to encourage and support students in composing and arranging music. A community of professional composers, teachers, pre-service educators, and students engage in mentoring and online discussion of student work.

Fortunately when I was recently in San Antonio presenting at the TI:ME conference, I met up with Patricia Riley, one of the Vermont Midi board members and assistant professor at U of Vermont. She was there presenting on a project they just finished with a school in Mexico. The students at Vermont U. taught a music lesson to an outback school in Mexico using online video. I was fascinated with the possibilities this style of teaching could bring to my classroom and agreed to work on a new project with Patricia and her students.

I currently teach music technology and IB Music at Yokohama International School in Yokohama, Japan and have just finished the first lesson with the Vermont U. students. The music students at UofV just taught a lesson on “melody writing” to my grade 7 music technology class. I must say I was surprised how easy it was to set up and produce and how well it worked as a teaching method. It was great to have new ideas and faces in the class room. My students were energized and wanting more.

The lesson went well and my class will be reconnecting with U of V for a followup assessment in a couple of weeks after we have some time to work on the lesson they introduced. We will email the student work to the teachers in Vermont beforehand so they can give their assessment. The lesson follow up assessment works because we used a new online notation software called “NoteFlight”. Check it out if you have never heard of it. My students love the intuitive interface and best of all, the software lets you share your work online. My students email the URL of their project to the teachers in Vermont and they can open it online and give assessment right on the manuscript. Brilliant! AND it’s FREE!

This worked so well I am already using Twitter to find more music teachers around the world to connect with and do a cultural music exchange. I would like to incorporate the Japanese music classes we have here at Yokohama International School. So if you like to try new things and are not afraid of using technology in the classroom please drop me a line. We are keen to learn about your world of music.

The classroom is changing quickly!
You gotta love it!

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