Saturday, October 29, 2011

Free Music!!!

Yes you read it correctly...FREE MUSIC!  How do you get this?  From  This is a completely free web-based program that gives you free music.  It's very similar to Pandorda in that you create playlists.  However, unlike Pandora you do all the creating no the program.  You search for the artist or song that you want and Spotify creates a list.  You then select and drag the ones you want into a playlist of your choice.  Like iTunes you can have as many playlists as you want.  Spotify will also search through all the music on your computer to add to playlists as well.  You can even sync an iPod, iPad, iPhone or any other mp3 player that you want (however, it does erase the information already on your device -- you then need to re-sync all of the information onto your device). Here are the pro's and cons as I see it:
  • It's free.  There are 2 other pay by month options - $4.99 and $9.99.  The cheaper option allows you to do everything the free version allows and gets rid of advertisements and you get unlimited streaming.  The more expensive monthly option gives you everything from the other options plus putting Spotify on your mobile device (iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone) and also gives you an off-line mode to use with your playlists.
  • Lot's of classical pieces to use.
  • Quick to use.
  • Monthly fee to get all of the features.

I tried just the free version for a while and ended up getting the $9.99 version.  Mostly to get rid of the advertisements and be able to use it on my iPhone. The ads really become a BIG issue when using it in school (even though they are only 30 seconds long). OOO, I almost forgot that you do get biographies of the artists as well.  In fact, there is so much that Spotify does that this would be a very long entry.

Spotify also has it's own blog that you can check out.

Here's how you get it for free. You need to start an account and there are 2 ways to do it.  You can like it on "Facebook" and then an email will be sent to you with a link to create an account or you can go to Spotify,com directly (you will need an invite from an current Spotify user for this to work).  When you create your account you will receive 1 free invite to send to a friend.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Note Grid

    My colleague, Steve Owens, presented an Interactive Whiteboard session at the VMEA conference on October 10th.  "Note Grid" is a very cool was to add music literacy into your program. Click the links for the notes and Power Point from the session.   VMEA Notes   or  VMEA Note Prid Power Point

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Lesson Plans

    Planning lessons for our classroom can be a daunting task.  For the 15 years I've been teaching, I've been searching for a ways to make this easier, faster, and using the least amount of paper possible.  Like many teachers, I used to purchase lesson plan books or make my own.  This summer I discovered the answer to all of my This is a free website for educators, unless you'd like to pay $25 for the year to receive the premium service.  Here's what I know so far (some features are only available if you purchase the Premium version):
    • You get a 14 day trial period of the Premium edition.
    • It's completely customizable.  You can add up to 20 different subjects per day, change how you want the days of the week displayed, and too many other things to mention.
    • It can be linked with you schools website.
    • Your administrator can see your planbook -- no more printing and copying your weekly plans to admin(if you need to do that).  An email link can be sent and they can view you book at anytime.
    • You can print out in various formats and you can print one single day for sub plans.  I found the best format is to print the left side of the plan-book page and the right side of the plan-book page separately directly from the browser.  The height of each box is determined by the tallest character in the box and how much you've typed there so you may need to experiment a little with how much you write or even the set up of the book itself.  
    • You can add state and Common Core standards to your lesson plans.  Not all states are up yet but you can customize standards and add your own if needed.  (The National Standards for Music Education are on!!!)  More states are being added every day.
    • It can be viewed from any device that has an internet connection.  Yes, this includes your iPad, iPhone, or any other smartphone. Some devices will even allow you to edit entries without being at your computer.
    • It's really simple to use.  The help system is great and easy to work with.
    • They are always looking for suggestions of how to improve the sight.

    Overall, I've really enjoyed using  It's made my life simpler and planning a whole lot easier.  Here's the link to check it out for yourself!!!

    Why a blog for Music teachers and technology?

    Here in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont, we Music Educators don't get many chances to see each other and discuss what is happening in our classrooms or the new things we've discovered.  I started this blog so that I could share my knowledge of technology in the music classroom with all music educators.  I hope you enjoy!!!