Leonardo’s Da Vinci’s Viola Organista

21 11 2013

What a cool instrument.  The viola organista.  Leonardo Da Vinci had many talents and was given a large dose of creativity.  One of his inventions was just created for the first time.  A new instrument called a “viola organista” that is a cross between a piano, a violin, and listen for yourself.  Interesting article  from “the Age Entertainment” Nov. 18, 2013  Read more.

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Learning How to Play Guitar by Playing a Game

22 03 2013

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String Wars is a game that can be played using a real guitar

“The most enjoyable and effective way to learn guitar!”

So many of us are gamers and love music as well.  Stringwars is a great way to do both at the same time.  I can see it being a tremendous boost for getting students to practice.  When we are having fun learning it doesn’t seem like practice.  I unfortunately do not play guitar myself but I am going to get my students to try it out and see what they think.  You can even record your performance for assessment.  Great fun!  Learn to play guitar and enjoy music.  Try out String Wars





Why All Leaders Should Take Conducting Lessons

22 11 2011

I came across this interesting list while learning more about conducting on the site developed by Michael Hyatt on leadership skills.  Give it a read. It made my heart sing!  🙂  The original article is found here. Give it a good read and see if you agree.

8 Things Leaders Can Learn from Symphony Conductors

Saturday night, Gail and I went to the Nashville Symphony with our daughter, Mary, and her husband, Chris. Mary had bought tickets for Gail’s birthday. It was a magnificent evening.

The orchestra was conducted by the renowned Hugh Wolff. He and the orchestra performed Beethovan’s Concerto No. 4 in G major for Piano and Orchestra. Horacio Guitiérrez played the piano. After the intermission, the orchestra performed Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, Op. 45.

We are privileged to have seats on the second row. I was less than 20 feet from Hugh Wolff. I was fascinated just watching him lead the orchestra. Toward the end of the evening, it occurred to me that conducting and leading have a lot in common:

  1. The conductor starts with a great score. Conductors have a plan. They start with a musical score and a clear idea of how it should sound. Only then do they attempt to recreate in real time their musical “vision.”
  2. The conductor recruits the very best players. Great conductors attract great players. Mediocre conductors attract mediocre players. The very best players want to work for the very best conductors. Like attracts like.
Question: How do these items relate to leadership? What else can we learn from conductors?




Teaching Rock Songs can get Students Rockin!

21 09 2011

I read an interesting article about a “new” idea on how teaching rock to young people is a wonderful way for them to get interested in learning music. I am not sure how “new” this idea is but it does make sense. I started using Rock Band software on a PlayStation with my grade 6 students a few years ago and it got them all playing their favorite songs on drums, guitar, keyboard, and singing as well.

We use to teach common folk songs to get kids interested. Why don’t we update the situation to include current material rather than the same songs as when our parents were kids. Makes sense that their would be more interest if the songs were more current.

You can read the article called “Rock is not the Enemy” and make your own call, Rock Is Not the Enemy By DAVID BORNSTEIN





Hip Hop in the Classroom – This weeks News

16 09 2011

Flocabulary is a fun and well organized site that offers the news in RAP and much more. Lesson plans and More at Flocabulary





Huge Collection of Educational Games and Game Creation Apps

14 09 2011



This month one of my favorite and most useful sites Free Technology for Teachers has posted a huge collection of useful Educational Games and Game Creation applications.

There is a wealth of great links here, everything from interactive spin and spell games to the apps that were used to create them. Great resource.





PurposeGames – Game creation software, let the students create their own review game.

9 12 2010


PurposeGames.com is host to educational quiz and trivia games created by its members. In just a few minutes, you can create your very own game to share with your friends!
Play games and tournaments to compete against your friends, co-workers, and classmates! Become the reigning champion of your community!
The easiest way to learn something is to have fun while doing it! Geography, Science, and Languages, any subject is easier and more fun to learn by playing a quiz game! PurposeGames





What2Learn Educational Games for Practically Everything

28 11 2010

The What2Learn site has so many games for students on so many topics it is quite a treasure. And if you can’t find what you want you can create your own game. Lots of game formats to chose from. Or better yet let the students create the game based on the lesson material. Fun stuff at What2Learn





Teach Yourself – Home Study- Music Lesson Application

7 10 2010

Practice, practice, practice. It takes a long time to become a musician people want to listen to. But what if you are willing to practice but have questions and no teacher? Discover, Learn and Play has a really slick online application that is set up just for individual home practice. The interface is wonderful and the knowledge base seems quite good as well. A little expensive, $9.95 per month for at home individual study, or educators can get a special price of $12 per student annually. Discover, Learn and Play and their Music K ed.com site also cover all of the usual theory lessons. Many of which can be found for free online but this is a very well put together and very well thought out site. Lessons on all of the usual instruments. The things I like the most about this site is the interface and layout. I haven’t paid for a membership but it looks like the content should be good as well looking at their titles. It would be nice to have a one month free trial to check out the lesson plans and content. Worth a look see none the less, especially for home schooled music students.





New Visual Dictionary – Wordia

14 09 2010

Wordia is a new visual video aid for young readers. When a word is looked up in the Wordia dictionary you get a professionally prepared video with a host explaining the meaning of the word. Wordia is quite a bit of fun and really a new experience for young readers.

Here is one of their videos for the word “nuckle”