Search This Blog

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quick Practice Tip: Get a Really Smart Phone!

Last night I got a text message from my high school senior student asking me for some practice tips for the ricochet bowing. I searched my iPhone for the "Voice Memos" app, hit record, and made an audio recording of a ricochet bowing exercise for my student. I gave the recording a filename and then emailed it to my student. I sent a reply text to alert my student that the recording was on its way.

My students (and their technologically savvy parents) love this! Absolutely love this! My high school senior laughingly refers to it as "having a portable Paula." We have resorted to calling these little snippet recordings "Porta-Paula's." I thank Steve Jobs and Apple for my iPhone. I get a lot of use from it in my teaching arena.

For example, I frequently make short videos of practice exercises for my students and forward them via email to the students and their parent. I have one little boy whose mother does the home practicing but whose father is the person available to bring the boy to lessons. I frequently record practice tips, exercises, and instructions or make short practice videos, and then I email everything to mom. Since she is a Suzuki-trained music educator, I know that these little videos and voice recordings will be all that she needs to stay in touch with what her child and I are doing.

For other students, I make up short practice recordings of songs or areas of songs that we are working on. The students enjoy these recordings. I often use them during lessons as well.  The recordings allow me to have my hands free to work with the student to make adjustments where needed. Not only do the parents have a built-in practice routine that they can follow at home, it also gives me a practice assistant during lessons.

I use many apps on my iPhone for my teaching. I am curious what other apps teachers use in their teaching. This will be a future post for sure!

Happy practicing!