Ever wonder why flute is still a woodwind after all these years of, you know, not being made out of wood? And have you ever thought about how Eurocentric and "White" the 4 instrument families are? I've always had an issue with the "Traditional Four," as I will call it. It just didn't feel right to me. For me, it was always something about piano being percussion and not strings, the avoidance of an electronic family, and the flute fiasco? Of course, they were primarily invented to describe the instrument families of the Western European orchestra, which is part of the issue. It is problematic, at best, to lump all instruments on the entire planet into the Traditional Four designed to describe the epitome of Western European Music.
Musicians across all genres of music have heard of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI). What is interesting, and rather mind-boggling (to be honest), is that music teachers (myself included) trained in university classical music programs either never heard of it or have heard of it but just don't really know what it does. Music educators graduating without modern musician skills and knowledge is an issue discussed in another blog post. Those who have had experience with making music electronically or have dabbled in a bit of recording would possess this knowledge, but mostly those training to be general music or secondary music specialists may not ever embrace this versatile computer protocol.
For my first book, I did a live book release in my home town. It was fun but my books are very 'nichy' and my true market for this book was only about 60 people in my home province as it was marketed to in-service music teachers. I thought, is there a way to release my book to the world and let everyone come without having to worry about being there? That way I can extend my reach to as many people within my market as possible. Then I did some research, and at the time it seemed like a few self-published authors were attempting to do a virtual book releases. I stumbled across this video, and it gave me the inspiration I needed:
This tech stuff can be intimidating, I know. I wrote an blog post earlier this month called "6 Ideas for Teaching Music Online," presenting you with some easy ways to engage with your learners in an online environment. This post will give you 5 more ways to engage with your learners to help you teach online. These software pieces don't necessarily give you real-time access to your kids but they do give you ideas for your kids to interact with music at home, asynchronously.
We are in unprecedented times. Schools are being asked to go online as soon as possible due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Music is inherently social so learning online is not necessarily something that is overly intuitive for music-making. Here are some amazing apps, websites, and softwares to get you and your learners creating and performing music online together using these social music making platforms.