Wednesday, February 13, 2013
One of my greatest struggles as an elementary orchestra teacher is having students read notes fluently. Music is like all other languages in that the more practice you have, the better you get. Unfortunately, in today's age of increased academic demand, surge of sports and extracurricular activities, and technology students often don't practice their instrument as much as they really do need. No matter how creative I make my instruction or fun, catchy sayings to remember notes, nothing beats an old fashion flashcard.
Flashcard Machine is an online website that allows students or teachers to create flashcards. At its simplest, this site allows a teacher to create digital flashcards and post them for a class to visit and use. If a student creates a login their teacher can track how often and how long they study them. A more in depth use allows teachers to add pictures or sound to the cards that otherwise might be challenging or not even possible (for art and music classes). This is not a groundbreaking, revolutionary Web 2.0 tool, but for me as a music teacher it allows me to create flashcards more easily. In the past I created flashcards by printing out, cutting, and pasting music notes on the flashcards. At times students would create them and have them be incorrect because parents would help out and they, as well as the students, don't know how to read music. By creating them online, I can ensure that they are correct.
An added feature is that there are apps for smart phones and tablets. This ease of access is one more way students can fit in a few minutes of practicing on the go.