Group Lessons Goes Tech!

Back in 2011, I bought a projector. It was probably one of the best investments I made for my studio because I use it ALL the time in group lessons and camps. It has opened up a lot of possibilities of different activities I can do with my students. You can hook a projector up to your iPad or Tablet, laptop, computer… show a powerpoint, pdf, movie, website and more! (More on projectors later) Now if you have an Apple TV (which I do but it’s in a room I don’t always want my students to go to) a lot of these activities will work via an apple TV as well.

I thought I would highlight some of the “tech” music activities I have done over the years with my students during group lessons or camps.

I’ll start with the most recent…

KAHOOT!

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If you have not heard of Kahoot yet chances are many of your students will be familiar with it because Kahoot is a BIG hit in schools. It is very user friendly. It is the perfect format to quiz or assess your students with a trivia game. In addition you can choose to facilitate a discussion with just one question as well as do a survey. I usually just use the “quiz” feature. You can customize your own questions and answers or there are a tons of other Kahoot’s to choose from that others have shared. When choosing a Kahoot, I would recommend trying it first to make sure all the questions are relevant for your students.

I made a “inside look” video so you can see exactly how Kahoot works!

To create your own Kahoot or use a public Kahoot, you will go to GetKahoot.com. For students to log in and play a Kahoot they just go to Kahoot.it. It’s that easy! Oh and did I mention FREE?

INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARD

If you are familiar with interactive whiteboards you are probably asking yourself, “Jennifer, do you know how much those things are? They are NOT cheap!” And yes you would be right. But I have good news for you! If you aren’t a lucky teacher who works at a school that has access to an interactive whiteboard there is a much cheaper option. It’s called the “Now Board.” It works like an interactive whiteboard without the need of an actual interactive whiteboard. I just project my file on the wall and after calibrating the tool, students were able to interact!

Here is a video of my students using Mrs. Parker’s Interactive Cracked Egg Game with the Now Board.

MUSICAL ROUND ROBIN

With almost any app you can turn it into a musical round robin game simply by lining up the kids and taking turns to answer.

MUSICAL ROUND ROBIN RHYTHM BAND GAME

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How about a round robin rhythm band? I used the Rhythm Cat app to do just that. I put one student on the iPad to play the actual app, a couple students on drums, a student on the piano and a couple on boomwackers. Then we would rotate!

iBand

One of my favorite group/camp activities to do with students is creating an iBand.

HOT POTATO GAME

Within the Music Flash Class app, the Hot Potato game is a hit! You can do the same idea with other apps as well! My main rule for this type of game is that the device MUST stay on the floor.

 

GET PHYSICAL

A couple months ago I shared how Marie Lee with Musicality Schools hooked up her iPad to a large screen TV to play the Most Addicting Sheep Game. She had students take turns playing with it projected on the screen. She then shared that students would start randomly jumping or clapping the rhythm on their own. Marie said it was a great way for students to practice an even tempo. Here is the video of her students with the Most Addicting Sheep Game.

 

PROJECT

I use powerpoint’s, pdf’s, apps and the internet (YouTube, websites, etc.) all the time during group activities. It comes in handy to have a projector!

This is the Epson projector I have had since 2011. I have been very happy with it. If I was in the market for a new projector, I would highly consider this wireless projector from Epson.

Becki Laurent (author of “The Insider’s Guide to JoyTunes’ Piano Maestro“) swears by her projector. Her particular model has been discontinued but there is still 18 left here. If you don’t want to go with a discontinued model, I found some others by the same company  here and here. After researching different options, whatever you end up going with, make sure it’s one that you will be able to use for many years. Mine is now 5 years old and still going strong. I use mine several times a year.

 

One tip as far as projectors go is the more lumens the brighter it will be. For classrooms, conference rooms or rooms with windows, a projector with a minimum of 2500 lumens is best. For large auditoriums or lecture halls, you’ll need more lumens. I found this guide from Epson helpful.

This summer my students will be adding music to movies without sound as well as making our own short movies in the “Let’s Go to the Movies” summer camp (which includes a Kahoot!) so lots of fun tech activities are in our near future and you can bet I will be using my projector. Yay!

I hope these ideas will give you a great start for some fun ways you can use “tech” during group activities!

 

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