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Technology-Related Sessions at the 2011 Wisconsin State Music Conference David Johnson, WMEA State Chair, Technology

If you came to the 2011 conference seeking ways to in- tegrate technology into your curricu- lum, there was cer- tainly no shortage of valuable informa- tion. The Technol- ogy Center at the

conference had a much less hands-on approach than in year’s past in favor of more emphasis on lectures and demon- strations.

M.I.E. – 21 Years Old but STILL at the Head of the Class!

Presented by Katherine Punwar, Monona

Things got started early Thursday morn- ing with an excellent demonstration of Yamaha’s Music in Education (M.I.E.) technology-based music course. Kather- ine Punwar stated in her presentation, “to the casual observer, M.I.E. looks like a keyboard lab, but it is much deeper than that.” And indeed it is! The keyboards serve as the primary interface for stu- dents to interact within the class and the software and hardware allow the teacher to keep track of and immediately assess each student’s progress. Teachers can also discretely monitor each student’s every keystroke. Concepts such as singing, playing, orchestration, keyboarding skills, note reading, rhythm training, arranging, improvisation and more are addressed in depth throughout the many hundreds of lessons and units already programmed into M.I.E. Punwar emphasized the very low learning curve to use this technology and she praised Yamaha’s 24/7 technical support, which is free for the entire life of the program. Yamaha also backs the quality of its hardware and software with a five-year warranty.


Contact WSMA to enroll in a Yamaha M.I.E. workshop.

Bring a World of Resources to Your Large Performance Classroom

Presented by DeWayne Roberson and Reid LaDew, Watertown

“If you’re still drawing a piano keyboard on your whiteboard, it’s time to step forward!”

~ DeWayne Roberson

Like a couple of tag-team wrestlers this dynamic duo kept pelting us over and over again with useful information, cre- ative ideas and an abundance of Internet resources that can be used in any large ensemble setting. Roberson and LaDew have enjoyed using their Smart Board in daily rehearsals already for a few years. Pre-class announcements and prompts are displayed on screen as students enter the room. Fun sites such as www.ThisDayIn- are used to entertain students with interesting music facts while they get themselves situated for rehearsal. For warm-ups, we were directed to www. and www.BandTek. com to find free warm-up chorales on- line. There are several activities for ad- dressing balance and blend concepts on and vocal warm-up exercises can be found aplenty on Finally, a useful free downloadable Windows only application for intonation and tuning is AP Tuner 3. For a handy instrument transposition chart, www.musicbasic. com/trantunforwi.html is a great resource. This handy chart can be printed and kept in each band student’s folder. Great sites for exploring music history, literature and repertoire are,,,, www.HalLeonard.

Go to the online version of WSM for easy links and bonus content to this article, including recaps of Finale and Smart Music sessions.

com, and of course,

For student composition projects, Mus- eScore is free music notation software that offers a cost-effective solution to Finale and Sibelius. For more info, go to For music theory, is the free online application of choice.

Need digital flashcards? A place to create, customize and use them with your students is Get useful tools, which are perfect to use with interactive whiteboards such as Drawn To Keys and Mr. Metronome at www.TheMusicInter- Another excellent resource which contains useful information on multiple styles of music, has an interac- tive vocabulary, puzzles and online tests is

Students also can have a wealth of tools for at-home practice and pedagogy at Percussionists can ex- plore free online lessons at www.vicfirth. com and keep a record of their practice habits at www.OnlinePracticeRecord. com.

Roberson and LaDew also shared some technology-based project ideas including web quests which are extended research projects aimed at opening the door to creative research, engaging students in cooperative and interdisciplinary learning, ultimately resulting in a deeper connection to the music they are performing.

January 2012

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