Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Music - Sounds like Progress: Resources

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Music - Sounds like Progress: Resources

Article excerpt

The benefits of online materials are worth trumpeting.

It was not so long ago that I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and my palms and brow begin to sweat as I struggled to bring a video player to heel. Behind me was a class of rowdy Year 11s, who will only wait about 30 seconds for any show to start.

The video player has now been replaced with a computer, an interactive whiteboard and a variety of techno bits and bobs. And as music teachers, the need for the virtual dimension to be part of our teaching has never been more pressing.

On the front line is the amazing array of video clips that bring music alive. Rusty on raga? Jaded about jazz? Video sources such as YouTube, Channel 4 Clipbank or listening guides from the Philharmonia Orchestra can provide a quick virtual trip around the world, and all before the bell rings. Howard Goodall has been teaching virtually in my classroom for years. He has an incredible ability to explain music clearly, providing engaging musical examples and packing it all into a coherent programme.

And this is just the beginning. Powerful software programs such as Sibelius enable pupils to explore notation, while Logic and Traktor Scratch open up the respective worlds of recording, sequencing and DJ'ing. SmartMusic is a versatile practice tool to develop pupils' performance skills, while Band-in-a-Box places a huge range of styles, parts and instruments at your fingertips - perfect for the lone ranger music teacher who has only a piano for pedagogical company. …

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