Technology in the Music Classroom


Lecture: Performing



Performing music is the second standard.  It's how all of you ended up in this course!  You love to perform!




Select:  Select varied musical works to present based on interest, knowledge, technical skill, and context.

Analyze:  Analyze the structure and context of varied musical works and their implications for performance.

Interpret:  Develop personal interpretations that consider creators' intent.

Rehearse, Evaluate and Refine:  Evaluate and refine personal and ensemble performances, individually or in collaboration with others.

Present:  Perform expressively, with appropriate interpretation and technical accuracy, and in a manner appropriate to the audience and context.


Objective:  Music literacy/reading music

Technology:  Note reading (,


  1. Learn how to read music



    Note:  Programs listed in parentheses are only examples.  Use your browser to search by name for more information on these programs.  You may want to add them to your links.  Find other programs by searching for "alternatives to *fill in name of similar program*"  There are also hundreds of mobile apps.  Search by the name of the activity (note reading, tuning, metronome, record, etc.).


    Do not limit yourself to these very common examples!

  2. Practice ear training skills

Objective:  Skill-building

Technology:  Practice software (Smart Music, The Amazing SlowDowner [free; and can also change pitch for vocalists], adds on personal devices)


  1. Get instant feedback and document progress

  2. Personalize practice

  3. Provide accompaniments for solos or hearing other vocal or instrumental parts for context

  4. Record activity and immediately watch or listen to discuss improvement (Audacity, personal apps)

  5. Use apps for tuning, metronome



Let's not forget providing performing opportunities.  An extension of your ensemble, classroom, or studio can inspire and challenge your students. 

You may be familiar with Eric Whitacre's virtual choir, coordinating singers to perform together as a mass choir (





Speaking of YouTube, any student with access to a SmartPhone can be a star! 


No need to find links for your students - they can show you multiple examples of student performances that will amaze you.


Here's an example: 

OK, that's extreme, but inspiring, right??



There are so many ways to improve performance that also include Creating

Students can use GarageBand, Band in a Box, or simply apps on their phones to create accompaniments and practice tracks. 

Students love sharing what they do, so the challenge to put a performance on YouTube motivates practice which improves performance!




Many students have access to Smart Phones that can themselves become musical instruments.  Apps that turn the phones into keyboards or electronic instruments can be "played." 

Try the theramin! (fun to play and aids in ear training!)

Jimmy Fallon and Billy Joel using iPad loop app to perform

Using iPhones and iPads as instruments



Prior to performances, students need to build skills.  This involves




the P word

















Of course practice can happen in the classroom or in preparation for the classroom.

I use the term classroom to include the studio and ensemble rehearsal halls.





Technology tools can not only make practice more efficient, but more fun




Performance can also be improved by MODELING



No, not that kind.

When you hear an expert performing a piece, the expert is "modeling" how it should be done.  The student can imitate that example (to the best of their ability)



I call it Monkey Hear, Monkey Do



Disclaimer:  I mean no offense to the monkeys (although technically, this is a picture of an ape . . .)


Teacher modeling for student imitation is a tool as old as music itself, but using technology can help if you are not an expert in ALL things musical!


Students now have access to the best performances in the world, both past and present!









The scenario at the beginning of Chapter 4 (the part in italics) is a great example of how technology can play an important part in an ensemble setting.


Did you count how many technology tools were used in a single day??

How many do you use in a single day?


But remember, the big question is, which technology tools will help my students become better musicians?



Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson