Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Instrumental Teachers Workshop

with Michael Griffin and Debbie O’Shea
Topics include: The essential principles of learning music; new, exciting and relevant findings from the perspectives of neuro-science and psychology that inform more efficient practice methods; inspiring students to want to practice; creating your ‘Team’; and promoting your program...

Saturday July 14th - 10.30am – 2.30pm

Cost: $150.00 per workshop Crescendo Members $130
(Students $50) includes notes and lunch
Venue: Voices of Birralee New Premises - 57 Carwoola Street, Bardon 4065
 (Off Simpsons Rd. Drive to the very end of the road - you will end up in a large car park, the venue is in a brick building with green awnings over the windows, past the clubhouse and next to playing fields.)


Don't miss this exciting event. 
Complete registration form can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tips from the Tech Fairy - Can I fix that?

Tips from the Tech Fairy:

Can I Fix That?”
By Nathan Cahill - The Tech Fairy
If you don’t use Audacity to record your students performing in class, then take this Tech Tip: it will boost your class performance to ‘the next level’ by allowing the kids to hear and critique themselves.  Perhaps, though, you’ve tried recording only to find that the students just can’t keep in time – either with each other or with your tempo.  You can’t just stick a metronome on… that will come through in the recording… or will it?  This tip will even allow hearing-impaired students to feel involved in the music creation process. (Are the cogs turning yet??)
First, let’s set the tempo of the song to be eventually recorded… Do you have a student that you would love to just be still for one minute? Here’s how in 10 11 steps: (almost made it in 10…) 

1.       Open up Audacity and choose the “recording device” input from the Edit – Preferences
                             i.      This Tech Tip assumes the webcam mic as the most common ‘default’ input…
2.       Find the mic! (This may seem obvious, but it can be hidden well on some laptops!)
3.       Give the student a stopwatch
4.       Instruct the student that when recording begins, they are to tap close to the mic (quite hard…) every second for 1 minute (or choose a suitable timeframe…)
5.       Press the record button and get tapping OR pressing ‘R’ will begin and ‘SPACE’ will stop.
6.       The finished product should look like this: (It’s harder than it seems to begin – try it yourself!)

7.       Don’t worry – you can always undo or select dodgy regions to delete (I had to!)
8.       Press the Audio Track ‘Mute’ button  - the recording will turn grey, but… VoilĂ ! You have a (reasonably) accurate silent metronome! (You can even rename the track to “Tempo” by clicking on the triangle next to “Audio Track” to the left…)
9.       Just press Record again, and the new track will begin recording while the red scrolling marker keeps time visually with the Tempo track!
What’s that? You don’t want everything to be recorded at 60 beats per minute? Ah, Audacity has thought of that, too!
10.   Before recording the accompanying track, select all of the existing audio with Ctrl+A, then select Effects – Change Tempo – Beats per Minute (BPM) from… to…
11.   And voilĂ  again! You can now record your second track at whatever tempo you wish – just remember to ‘Mute’ the Tempo before going again…
Consider the handiness of this not only in classroom, but also in choir, a cappela, instrumental teaching etc contexts… All we have to do is think outside the box with what we have!

Happy Teaching!
See more tips from the Tech Fairy here

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Challenge to Read Book Week 2012

A song to celebrate the Book Week 2012 Theme “Champions Read”,
with resource kit to support classroom and school-wide activities!

The kit includes:
Music Teachers:

Original Song by Nathan Cahill written for bookweek!
mp3 file with vocal and instrumental backing tracks
Lead sheet for melody instruments
Chord Charts for guitar and ukulele
Boomwhacker arrangement
IWB-friendly lyric charts (PDF format)

Classroom Teachers:
Cloze Activity
Cross word
Word Search
Synonyms worksheets
Teaching ideas
A ‘Little Book’
And more...

ONLY $15

To order, please email We will send you an invoice and a link to download the whole kit!!!!

For a sample of the song – click here: video sample

Friday, June 8, 2012

Music Resource of the Month May/June

Guest Post from Bridget Anese ...
A Music Teacher and Tertiary Student’s Dream-
Music Education students- lend me your ears! The good people at Kodaly Downloads have made your study a little bit easier. Music teachers- this is a dream come true!, as the name suggests, is a database containing all things Kodaly! It contains songs, games, worksheets and...wait for it, tertiary students...STRATEGIES for teaching rhythm and pitch using the Kodaly method.
The website is quite simple to navigate through using the advanced search option. For example, if you are teaching ti-tika to students in level 3 of the QLD syllabus and you are looking for songs to make the rhythm conscious, you are able to choose ti-tika and ‘MC’ from the drop down menu and browse through available files.

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to see a drop down menu!
Kodaly Downloads is an electronic song file. For example, when you search Deedle Deedle Dumpling, you get a preview of the song, as well as the form, scale, rhythms, tone set, comfortable starting pitch, appropriate age level, etc. (See why this is a tertiary student’s dream?) You purchase credits to use on the website and there are a few options of how many to purchase. Each song is worth a certain amount of credits (usually around 2) and once you have purchased it, it stays permanently in your online song file.
You can access it anywhere you have internet! 
In the Strategies section at the moment they have a strategy for teaching ta, ti ti, including activities to prepare, make conscious and practice.
They have many more in the pipeline so watch the space!
This website is also great for leaving supervisions for supply teachers, or for supply teachers themselves to bring with them to schools. There are also a number of free resources, accessible from the front page of the website, so you can see what it’s all about!
If this article wasn’t enough to entice has offered crescendo members 20% off for the month of May and June! Just us the code "Crescendo".
Happy browsing!