This generation of educators is facing two situations that will determine the course of education, and history; the pandemic along with an increase in the use of technology for all social activities, including education.
Technology during the lockdown was a fundamental tool. And it is here to stay. It has become an essential part of the modern classroom. No matter how you teach — online, blended, or in-person. After all, our students are digital natives! They've grown up with technology and it's woven into their lives.
Since education is all about the students, as educators we must find the best way to deliver knowledge, engaging them in learning. With this in mind, and knowing that last year was not easy, we created this guide to support you in your invaluable work.
To keep the momentum going, the daily challenge
Capturing students' attention is indeed an art, but keeping their attention throughout a whole class is the real challenge. The key is engagement.
For this, we need to create more engaging environments, have different methodologies at hand, build a proactive relationship with our students, and create culture.
Creating engaging learning environments
🗓️ Plan, observe, adapt
We think teachers must become specialists in observation, paying conscious attention to what is happening in the class.
Let your students teach you how they learn best, so you can adapt and strengthen your pedagogy.
This exercise will make you discover different things every day, avoiding falling into a boring routine for both you and your students.
Don't try to adapt your students to your methods. Adapt your methods to them.
🧑🤝🧑 Community and sense of belonging
What determines our behavior is our emotions. Bearing this in mind, we must ask ourselves what makes our students interested and engaged in learning. One of the most powerful driving forces we human beings have is the sense of belonging and community. That applies to education too.
So, our lessons must be a space where our students feel important and part of a community, which is fruitful in terms of engagement.
Some ways you can do this are:
- Foster collaboration during live or remote classes
Let students learn from one another by allowing them to work collaboratively.
- Each student is unique and special, make them feel that they are
Personalize your courses with different exercise types, depending on the needs of your students. You can create subgroups and assign unique exercises to each subgroup incorporating the variety of activities available in Flat for Education: rhythm exercises, music symbol recognition, melodic dictations (and much more!). You might want to mix groupmates now and then to enable bonds among all the students.
💡 In our platform, you can assign exercises to individual students or groups with this time-saving feature.
🎨 Methodology blend
There are many methodologies and educational trends. We have a lot to learn from all of them. The best thing to do is to take what works for you and your students from those methods. Adapt to your students' diverse learning styles by incorporating different methodologies.
Complementary to an accurate methodology, or methodology blend, it is vital to have tools that enhance your ability to transfer your knowledge to your students. These features will make your teaching even more fun and dynamic, facilitating enhanced learning for your students:
Additional resource: If you are not familiar with the Kodály method, here is a dedicated article.
🧑🏫 Building a proactive relationship with your students
We all had a teacher who marked us, who made us dream big and enjoy learning. Don't you want to be that teacher for your students?
Being there for your students is fundamental to build a proactive relationship. And, what better way to do it than providing constant feedback on their achievements to keep them motivated?
Use Flat for Education to build that relationship:
💡 Follow your students work in real-time
You can write contextualized feedback on their scores that they can see instantly.
💥 Create culture
Music education is much more than teaching music. The role of music education in society is undeniable. Through music, the students learn a beautiful art form, but, more importantly, they learn about discipline, communication, empathy, teamwork, problem-solving, creative thinking, logic, etc.
One way to nurture the engagement of our students is by creating culture during our lessons. Don't be afraid to be daring and go one step further.
Here is a short video by Geoff Gould, an educator and user of Flat for Education, who talks about how to create a culture in our classroom:
Two ideas for the classroom
Here are two ideas for class, in which you can build culture while teaching music. We hope these ideas will spark your imagination and help you create more fun activities.
Note: these ideas are from our interview with Geoff Gould.
1.Celebrating a musician or composer life
Let's take Ella Fitzgerald.
💡 Ask your students to watch the video of Ella Fitzgerald singing One note samba.
💡 Make quick biography research on her and prepare some talking points to discuss with the class.
💡 Attached on the Flat's stream class is a backing track of Jazz on D for the students to scat along with it.
💡Invite the kids to post a video of them scatting on the Flat's stream class.
2."Finding new and enriching places"
💡 Ask your students to find important places for music history on Google Maps.
Examples: The Carnegie Hall or Beethoven's childhood home in Barn, Germany.
💡 You can ask your students to draw a picture and upload it to your Flat's stream class.
That is a great way to introduce to your student music history or other music topics.
How can I use Flat for Education during face-to-face classes?
Flat for Education is an indispensable tool for any classroom format, whether face-to-face, remote, or blend.
🚀 The limit is your imagination, but these are some of the uses you can give to our platform:
- Project your screen on the whiteboard
You can use the interface to conduct your classes. You will be able to access all your scores and activities immediately, whenever you need them.
You can create collaborative composition activities, and everyone will see on the board what is going on.
- Explore more instruments
The truth is that we often do not have all the instruments we would like in our classroom. "Flat" is a great solution. The platform has more than 150 instruments. Therefore, you can create seamless activities on ranges, instrumentation, timbre, etc.
- Have your activities ready
We have to optimize every minute with the students. So, when planning and creating activities in Flat for Education, during your class, the students only need to log in to their accounts and get started!
- No more, "I left it at home"
Let's be honest; forgetting our homework at home can happen to anyone. But with Flat for Education, you or your students won't forget anything at home because you can access your material from any device, even your cell phone.
- Shuffle for Worksheet Exercises
With this feature you can, all the students will get the exercises in a different order while working in the classroom.
✅ Introduce variety in the type of exercises
✅ Make looking for the answer on the neighbor's screen harder
⏱️ Save time and focus on teaching
On many occasions we waste valuable time on things that are not indispensable. Flat for Education allows you to concentrate on the essential: teaching music.
Here are some tips and tricks to save time with Flat for Education:
💯 Auto-graded worksheets
Save hours of grading by using our auto-graded assignments.
Even if you’re using auto-graded assessments, you can still manually comment on your students’ work and value their work. This way, you can keep the human warmth, so important in education.
✔️ Pre-schedule assignments
We do not always have the same amount of time to plan our classes. This feature allows you to schedule assignments and better organize/optimize the time you have available for this task.
♺ Re-use assignments
In a few clicks, you can reuse an assignment you have already created.
Great, isn't it?
✨ Instant feedback & In-app notification
You don't have to check whether or not your students have turned in their homework. The platform will let you know when someone has returned their assignment.
In addition, instant feedback saves your student from having to wait for an answer to continue working on a project or assignment.
🌻 Assigning assignments to a particular group
You can assign activities to a group or an individual student in your class. Besides saving time, this feature enables personalized education.
💻 LMS synchronization
✅ Your classes
✅ Your class rosters
✅ Your assignments
✅ Your grades
At Flat for Education, our mission is to empower music educators to engage students and unleash their potential. With the right tools and support system, students and teachers can succeed and grow. We hope this guide gives you all you need to take your classes to the next level and be the teacher your students deserve.
To finish, we would like to leave you with this motivational quote:
"All music teachers everywhere: keep thinking big, and keep being the most flexible group of educators that you can possibly be"
See you next time,