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When I use Twitter I love it. (@kgard Follow me 🙂
Recently I asked for help on finding good beginning level music and a couple people came to my aid.

@musicwms Sent me some great concert program she had done with some great options and also this link  http://pdfbandmusic.com/ Check it out its got some great music on here and the song on the front page is FREE 🙂 Got to love that.

kylew pointed out a series called flex-band by Hal Leonard that is great for my small band that doesn’t always have the best instrumentation available.

Thanks for the great suggestions.

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Apple_iPad_keynote
Image by cattias.photos via Flickr

So what does the new ipad mean for music educators. Right now nothing. But the possibilities are pretty cool and it is fun to speculate about. I can see the day where every student is assigned an ipad like device, whether it is an “ipad” who knows but for the sake of argument well say it is. We could basically do away with text books and most of our paper products in general, including sheet music.

This could be good and bad I guess but since were just having fun lets stick to the good.

– Prices of music could come down cutting out material/delivery costs.

– You could have instant delivery of purchased music.

– Publishers could update their material wirelessly, preventing errors.

-You could have music attached to some sort of software that could play aurally the notes for students.

– Kids would have this resource with them at all time

– Could send sight-reading examples directly to each students ipad.

Music theory worksheets with instant feed back and tutorials.

These are just a few of the ideas I had right off. What benefit could you see?

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Cover of "My Fair Lady"
Cover of My Fair Lady

I think I must be crazy. I have decided to pull off a musical for all 3 of the choirs that I teach this year. We are doing “Pirates! The musical” in my Jr. High Choir, “S’cool” the musical in my HS Honor Choir and “My Fair Lady”  for my audition choir is the only full-blown production of the three.

The jury is still out on whether this is a good idea or not.  Early on I actually think I like it. If nothing else my frame of mind gets to stay along the same line of thinking for all three groups.

Also, since 2 of the musicals are basically one-act plays and very simple costumes and sets it is actually a lot of fun. The students all want to be in the big musical but this is not possible so this gives everyone a shot to be a part of a musical.

Wish me luck 🙂

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HELP! Band Directors I need your best Easy Jr. High/Advanced Elementary Band Piece.

It’s no secret that I am first a choir director by choice and a band teacher by necessity. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy band it’s just not my strong suit so I am coming to you for help. I have a band of 7th and 8th graders who have played for between 2 and 3 years.

They are definitely beginners but eager to learn and will work hard for me but here comes the hard part.

There are only 10 of them. I have 4 trumpets, 1 Sax, 2 Clarinets, 1 Flute and 2 Drummers.

Help I need good literature that will keep them learning and yet still feeling successful.

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Aviary Mina
Image by louisvolant via Flickr

If you love Garage Band but you work at a school where budget cuts are much more likely than buying your class a mac lab full of the latest greatest software.

Then Myna is for you and me both! 🙂

http://aviary.com/tools/myna

I have just started using it with my students this last week so I do not know all the ins and ours yet but so far I like it. It is a lot like Garageband on a Mac but not as advanced in many ways.  Though it does have a lot better choice of loops and is even linked with sound.com to get loops from. Or you can go to ccmixter.org and find loops that you can import in.

Right now with my class we are just learning how to work with and manipulate loops but soon we want to start learning to create our own content/loops.

We go to the school computer lab and access it there. And the kids that really take off with it are even accessing the same site and all their work from home. Got to love cloud computing. The one issue we ran into at first was not all the school computers had Flash 10 installed on them. So once that was taken care of we were off.

Oh and remind the students to bring headphones if your lab does not offer them, you do not want all those sounds going off at once.

Have fun and let me know how it goes for you.

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Composer Morten Lauridsen receiving the Nation...
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I love that I can hear the music of Morten Lauridsen and other great choral masters on Pandora Radio.

When I was in college my professor Dr. Glenn Bennett always told me that to really get how to direct a great choir you have to listen to great choirs.

The problem with this was CD‘s are not cheap and to tack that on top of college books it just didn’t happen as much as it should have. But now with Pandora Radio I can type in a composer or choir and listen to great choir music all day if I want.

Then I can even share what it is I am listening to, if it really strikes me, with others like this .

https://twitter.com/kgard/status/8328690517

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Jailbroken second generation Ipod Touch runnin...
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There is a cool new site http://isites.us where for only $25 you can take your feeds that you already have and convert that into a Iphone/Ipod/Android App

I am in the process of making an app for my Music Dept. now, it has been submited to itunes and when it is up I will let you know how it works and if students are responsive or not.

What do you think about an app for your schools music dept?

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