Friday, December 21, 2007

Final Thoughts of the Semester

Well, my first semester in the PhD program has come and gone. It was a pretty tumultuous time. I learned a lot, did A LOT of work and had a great time. Tech trends in music ed was a great class. I am sure that the tools I learned will help me to meet the needs of my students more in regard to technology. And, I will be able to do some fun things, like make iMovies with photos from field trips and events, etc. or podcast recordings from concerts and even assignments. I just received good news that we are finally getting a computer lab for the theory program in my school and I am excited to see that come to fruition as well.

My final project was practical. Some students of mine play in a string quartet and they needed more music for an upcoming wedding, so I arranged "All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera for them. I look forward to giving them the arrangement in the next couple weeks. Maybe we'll record it and upload it on their website!

Anyway, I will be back with more tech musings next semester, I'm sure. I can't wait to learn how to use insert flash images on my website...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Time Flies This Time of Year!

Well, it is amazing how December always sneaks up on me. I think I'm ready for it, but classwork, papers and performances take over and then I wake up from the dream sometime in January!

So, back on track...the adventures in technology this semester have been terrific. I am excited about podcasting. Eric and I are working on some new recordings and I can't wait to get those up online. turns out to be a great resource for research studies - you can design a survey in detail, post it online, surveymonkey collects and sorts the data for you - wow! That has made my life easier this semester. And in music tech we are just learning how to make flash files. I am looking forward to designing a more elaborate website with these tools.

Final thoughts on technology for today - it is a love-hate relationship! Technology can be so useful, so streamlined and so creative, yet it can be time-consuming and frustrating when you are stuck troubleshooting, looking for 'a needle in a haystack'. I wouldn't trade it in, but sometimes it wears me out - like December!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

iMovie is a blast!

Our latest assignment for Tech Trends was to create a movie using still images found on the web, and to include an audio track. Enter iMovie - this program is terrific. It was so easy to use. I decided to have an autumn theme to my movie - being inspired by the chilly temperatures and leaves falling in my neck of the woods (LI). I found about 20 different beautiful pictures with a fall theme and saved them to my desktop, later transferring them to iPhoto. I selected a recording of a piece by a nordic composer Erna Tauro, entitled Autumn Song. I used wiretap to record it from the Naxos site and then I edited the length that I wanted through Audacity. I transferred it to iTunes and was ready to combine it with the images in iMovie. I enjoyed working with the images and I tried to use different timing for each clip, as well as different angles of zooming in. I really was able to work with the audio track to see where timing and images felt right. I loved this assignment.

I can see where this type of knowledge would come in handy with my job. With permission of my students' families, of course, I could take pictures or videotape a performance of the West Side Fiddlers or my chamber orchestra and then compile them into a movie. This could be used for admission to festivals, or simply as a memento of the year. I could also put together a movie of pictures from the year and then have my students compose their own audio track to go with the video. Really, there are many possibilities. I am looking forward to developing more ideas about this.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My First Post

So far I am loving the class Technological Trends in Music Education. I didn't really know what to expect when I signed up for the course. But, now I am learning how to build a website, how to use programs like photoshop and audacity, and soon we will be podcasting. All of it is really useful to me. Now I have a place for my students to go and listen to recordings we have made. Also, I can help them with editing and compiling their own recordings. I am excited to figure out more ways to use technology in the classroom. I have used blogging with my theory class, but maybe now I can expand that to the orchestra as well. We'll see... Right now I am just excited to learn more about technology!