Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Recorder Play-Along Video Tutorial

This year, I started creating recorder play-along videos so my students could practice more efficiently at home. They have also been great for centers when I am assessing. Students who need some extra practice time or review can use these videos to practice before coming to me to play for their string test.
 In each video, I sing the lyrics, sing the letters while fingering, and then actually play the recorder.
Here is one example video.   You can view all these videos here on my classroom webpage.

With most of us forced to teach remotely due to spread of COVID-19, I thought it would a great time to share these videos, as well as a tutorial, in case you would like to use them or create your own.

Recorder Play-Along Video Tutorial

For this tutorial, I use Powerpoint on a Windows laptop and an iPhone/iPad with iMovie. 
You can use a macbook or Droid Phone, but the steps may need to be modified slightly.

Part 1: Create Your Backgrounds

1) Use Powerpoint to create a solid black background. 
2) Use the Snipping Tool to get screenshots of your music and fingering chart. 
3) Save a black space on the side for the video to be inserted later. 
4) Save the Powerpoint as jpg so each slide is an individual image. 
5) Save those images in Google Drive so they can be opened on an Apple Device phone or ipad and save them to the camera roll.

View this video for a more detailed tutorial.

Part 2: Creating Your Movie

1) Record your video (I use my iPhone). 
2) Resize the video to have a square frame. Do this by clicking edit, crop, then the square frame.
3) Open Google Drive to retrieve your backgrounds and save them to your camera roll. Select the file, then select the 3 dots, click "Send a copy", and click "Save image". It should now be on your camera roll.
4) Open iMovie and insert your background. 
5) Disable Ken Burns Effect on the image.
6) Reposition the background using pinch, zoom, or one finger move.
7) Click the plus sign in the upper right corner, click on your video, click the 3 dots, and select "Picture In Picture"
8) Click your video in the bottom window to select it. Then click in the top box to reposition your video. You may also pinch to zoom if needed.
9) Click your video in the bottom window and unmute the audio.
10) Click your background image in the bottom window and stretch your image to play the entire length of your video.
11) Save video to camera roll and share your video on your desired platform (Youtube, email, webpage, Facebook, etc.)

View this video for a more detailed tutorial.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Nontraditional Music Instruction: Environmental Percussion

My district is starting Nontraditional Instruction starting Monday due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Teachers will be asked to report to school everyday, but students will remain home. I will be sharing any materials I create for assignments for free and will be available to answer any questions you also have.

Here is the basics of how this process will work. We surveyed families to find out who has internet access and devices at home. Families without internet or devices will be given paper assignments. Those papers will be shuttled by bus drivers, who will also be delivering breakfasts and lunches to families who qualified for free and reduced lunch. Teachers will report to work as usual. We will be working on new assignments and making daily contact with families offering assistance and checking in to see what work has been completed. Special area teachers will not have to contact every family. We will be assisting homeroom teachers that have the most students.

My special area team has agreed that each day, all grade levels will be given an assignment in only one special. It will be easier for families with multiple children of varying ages to work together on the same type of assignment.

Here is a sample of the first assignment I am sending home. I am sharing this via Google and it will force you to make a copy. You will be free to edit without to suit your needs without changing the original. I will share more assignments and information as this rolls out and we are learning more about this process.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Mallet Wrapping Update

Four years ago, I searched YouTube for tutorials on mallet wrapping. Here is my first post on that journey.

Below is a picture of  mallets that I rewrapped four years, They are starting to fray. 

I also have several pairs that were still factory-wrapped that are in rough shape.

I spent the weekend rewrapping over 17 pairs of mallets and I have made a tutorial video for you. I hope you will be brave and attempt to save some of your old tattered mallets. If you have any questions after watching the video, I'd be glad to answer them.  Happy wrapping!

Orff Visual Update

My second year teaching, I created an Orff visual aid with removable Velcro bars. More details about that instrument can be found on this post.

After 14 years of teaching, the foam board is severely worn. The F was ripped and replaced by folded paper and a paperclip. Many of the labels have multiple layers of scotch tape holding them on.  I decided it was time for an upgrade.

If I was going to create a new Orff visual, I wanted it to last until my retirement. So, I decided to make it out of wood. I had some scraps of utility plywood from an art project. I measured and cut my pieces, sanded the edges, and painted with acrylic craft paint.

I have a friend with a Cricut which could custom cut vinyl for the letters. I created white letters for the bars and black letters for underneath the bars. I bought new velcro dots and then sprayed the bars and base with a Mod Podge clear coat.

Here is a picture with the extra sharps and flats.

The students were so excited to see the new "fake instrument". It is functional and aesthetically pleasing. I'm certain this will last for many years to come. I may even get to pass it along to a new teacher when it is finally time for me to retire.