My best piece of advice for performing, is that the first time you play a piece in front of people, it shouldn’t matter.
The first time you perform a song in its entirety that you’ve been learning shouldn’t be for a high stakes performance such as for an exam or competition. That is too much pressure. The first time you play in your live electronic duo shouldn’t be to a packed room of 150 people who have all paid $20. Playing to 20 people who you know and will smile encouragingly when you blast them with a slightly too loud hi-hat is a better idea. The packed room can wait.
The actual setup
I had a Piano exam around the age of 11 that was going to be on a Grand Piano. Up until that stage I had only ever played on upright pianos, and my wise piano teacher knew that the position of where the music sits on a Grand piano is higher. This could have caused extra stress and nerves for the real exam. A few weeks before the exam, I spent a few hours playing on the actual Grand Piano I was going to be examined on and was able to adjust to the much higher music location. When I arrived for the real exam, it was one variation I didn’t need to worry about. I passed the exam.
Now this is looking at the context of a performance where it is relatively straightforward, where it is just a Piano player checking........
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Photo credit of a page from Austin Kleon's book 'Steal Like an Artist' @austinkleon
Whilst most teachers have been enjoying a well-earned break in December and January, I’ve been busy working on the first three papers of a Masters in Education in E-Learning which I am undertaking this year. I've had to Be Boring as Austin Kleon states in his book in order to get things done.
In this blog post I’ll talk about three topics that I’ve been thinking about as the sun was shining.
1. I learnt more in the first 4 weeks of my study than I have in my 12 years of teaching. Really? Well, amongst the jazz band practices, classroom teaching and report writing I’ve never had the time to sit back and think about what is actually the point of assessment? What are the implications of continuing to assess Music in a paper-based exam, when many students learn via a device? I have to teach students the skill of using manuscript paper (staves on a page), with a pencil, for the sole purpose of completing the Level 1, 2 or 3 exams. The alignment of how a subject, or NCEA standard is taught and learned influences how it should be assessed, as misalignment of assessment and teaching can compromise the meaning of assessment results (Griffin, McGaw, & Esther, 2012). Are our current external exams a valid reflection of the skills and abilities of our students?
2. For a recent assignment, I reviewed five studies of the effect of flipped learning. Each study had one ‘control’ class, and one ‘flipped’ class. The results were surprising as an overall analysis seemed to indicate that the quality, facilitation and the success of the ‘flip’ was strongly influenced by the underlying teaching pedagogy of the teacher. Just flipping a class doesn’t cognate improved student achievement. However, the introduction of flipped learning to a teacher, encouraged them to reflect and develop a stronger teaching pedagogy.
3. Finally, in looking at effective formative feedback, I came across an interesting study. In Israel, groups of 11-year-old students were given feedback in three different ways during various stages of their studies. The first group were only given written comments, the second group only grades, and the third group both grades and written comments. The study found that the grades improved the most for the comments only group, and interestingly both of the other groups showed the same relatively low results. Meaning that combining grades with a comment removes the advantage normally present by only giving a comment. This is only one study, but it raises some points to ponder.
Whilst I’m still shy of my first 100 days, and quite short of the 280 days till I finish, I’m confident that I’m going to have a great time diving into study and encourage any of you, to seek opportunities to study further. Be it one paper at a time like the majority of my fellow students, or apply for grants like mine, from the PPTA.
Over the last month I've been reflecting on the dichotomy that exists in my weekly musical endeavors between old and new Music Technology.
I use a range of DAW (Digital Audio Workstations such as Cubase, Studio One or Pro Tools) integrated with Software instruments such as Native Instruments' Komplete Ultimate 10. Added to this, for the last year I've been using a Maschine 2 which is the hardware connection to the software - like an old school Akai MPC 2000 Sampler. The photos show my various weekly setups, from Digital Mixing desks such as the Allen and Heath QU24, through to the epic combination of two Macbook Pros, one Maschine Studio, one Maschine 2, keyboard controllers and a solid Yamaha O2R.
On the other hand, I DJ....Vinyl. Not just the occasional record to supplement a Serato DJ Setup, but my whole set. At times I've played for 4 hours, all Vinyl. I use a pair of Technics 1200s Turntables and a Vestax mixer through a P.A suitable to tame all the rumble, hum and hiss. This means a totally different plan of attack to ensure I have enough tunes that are suitable for a gig. The photos attached are for a 1hr set that turned into nearly 2 hours. Thanks to my prior planning of 2 crates of great tunes, including a few 7" singles, I had enough to keep the party going.
I use the latest and the oldest Music Technology every week and love it!
#Musiced #StudioOnePro #CubasePro9 #Nativeinstruments #Maschine #EdTechNZ #Vestax #Whatsontheturntablenow #Technics1200 #ProTools
A short slide show on the background and process to changing my department's entire notation software overnight, with a great uptake. The majority of this presentation involved hands-on demonstrations of the Laptop and iPad-based version of Notion 5. I have since upgraded to Notion 6.
#Musiced #EdTech #EdchatNZ #Musiceducation #Notion5 #Notion6 #PresonusEd
This post began as a presentation in Brisbane about 10 ways that I save time, stress and improve student outcomes. The majority of theme use ICT in an integrated way.
#Musiced #EdTech #EdchatNZ #Musiceducation
What is your reason for using a new ICT tool in education? How do you effectively integrate it? What about digital exams?
This presentation was part of a national MENZA training day in Auckland. Using SAMR, TPAK and Bloom to be ready for Digital Examinations. These slides outline effective ICT integration as a teaching and learning pedagogy. The last few slides are examples of the SAMR ladder exercise completed as part of the workshop.
#Musiced #EdTech #EdchatNZ #SAMR #TPAK #Bloomstaxonomy #Musiceducation
Musicnet Facilitator of NZ - Secondary Music Teacher - ICT - Tech Coach - Presenter - HOD Performing Arts - MENZA Board Member