Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

The Educational Uses of YouTube

Magazine article The Canadian Music Educator

The Educational Uses of YouTube

Article excerpt

YouTube is an Internet-based video sharing service. Established in 2005, this website provides a free and intuitive way for users to upload and share video content.

The amount of video content contained on YouTube is difficult to conceptualize. According to YouTube's own statistics, there are more videos uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than all the programming created by the three major US TV networks in 60 years. "Hundreds of millions of users from around the world are uploading hundreds of thousands of videos daily-over 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute" (, 2010). While a great deal of this content has little educational value some users are sharing content that offer great learning opportunities. There are numerous ways to take advantage of these opportunities. I will highlight some of the techniques I employ with my students and provide some guidance on how you can get started with YouTube in your music room.

On a Saturday morning recently my 9-year old daughter came to me with some pink yarn and a couple of knitting needles. "Dad, can you show me how to knit?" she asked. "Sure I can." I had no idea how to knit, but I knew exactly how to find out. We opened the laptop on the kitchen counter and did a quick search in YouTube for "How to knit." 15 minutes later she was three rows into a new pink scarf. You can learn just about anything on YouTube.

A keen searcher can find high quality educational videos on virtually any topic. This allows me to use YouTube everyday in my music room. Whether it is video to help explore a core curriculum outcome or supplementary material for enrichment, the availability of high quality content is slowly changing the way many of us approach learning. "I'll look that up on YouTube later," is a comment often heard from my students as we touch on a musical topic in class. Students know that they have an intuitive resource for their self-directed learning.

While YouTube's vast body of content is impressive, not all topics are covered adequately - new videos need to be created and shared. I regularly create content to share on YouTube. Whether it is instructions for class projects, daily podcasts, tutorials on specific topics, or holiday greetings, I use YouTube whenever I can. I also supplement my usual instructional methods with YouTube content to accommodate the needs of diverse learning styles.

YouTube's most important task has been to create a straightforward way for novice users to share their own videos. The first step in sharing videos on YouTube is to create a free user account. This can be done by going to and clicking 'Create Account.' Follow the simple instructions and you will be registered in minutes. On the top of every YouTube page there is the 'Upload' link. …

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