Getting Students Excited About Playing Music – How?

Breaktrhough LargeFirst and foremost is the need for students to have access to professional musicians that are amazing teachers that are excited about passing down their musical skills to others.

Second – One of the critical parts of our students getting better is the obvious fact that they need to PLAY and NOT just during class time. If they are going to be convinced play then they probably will want to play music that they like! My daughter is a prime example of this…. she looks up music on the internet all the time and then loads up a YouTube karaoke track to play along with it. Now, let’s be straight here…. the “music” she usually finds is just a bunch of A, B, C,’s where someone has written down the note names and threw them up on a website. WHO CARES!? She’s practicing her flute and making a ton of progress in the meantime!

Third – Another critical part of convincing kids to play their instruments outside of class should be obvious…. Its way more fun to play music with others. Or at least with this rocking karaoke track or to create a backing track yourself and then play along with that.

I found a trombonist tonight that is using technology to his advantage, now granted he has had a TON of instruction from some amazing professionals. Christopher Bill has taken pop tunes, learned them – the melody and accompaniment, then arranged them into ensembles and lastly recorded himself performing these songs. Of course technology plays a huge part in this process. Tech to record himself, then tech to promote those recordings. Now he has 39,436 followers on his YouTube channel and his version of Happy by Pharrell Williams has over 1 million views!

For instance – take a look at this YouTube video of Happy

What if we could get tech into our students hands that would allow them to create loops like this? Would it make for a more engaged student? Loopy HDLoopyHD ($3.99) is an amazingly simple to use iPad app that also works for iPodTouch and iPhone.

What if our students started writing out transcriptions of songs they knew using apps like NotateMe Icon SmallNotateMe ($34). This way they would actually be writing music out by drawing the musical symbols themselves. Using an app like SymphonyProV3SymphonyPro ($9.99) or Notion Small IconNotion ($14.99) would be an awesome way to get their ideas into a nicely formatted and printed pieces of sheet music too. Then they could come back to school and pass the parts out to their friends, in the correct key for their instrument, and perform with a group of live musicians. Hmmmmm…… These are apps costing a fraction of what music professionals have been paying for Finale and Sibelius for years – those apps cost $250-$500 for a normal computer! How much more “in reach” does an app have to get to grab a kids attention and get them started being creative!

Breakthrough Small IconHere is a link to the Breakthrough album by Christopher Bill on iTunes.

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