As a Music teacher, living in the 21st century where technology is the main part of student’s life, we should all have at least one programme which we are very familiar with such as Apple or Microsoft. But, you should be also aware what is out there in the world and how student’s accessibility is changing in the technological world.
Why is this so important? Recently, it is very common to see the BYOD rule at school.
Then what is BYOD? is everyone else familiar with this term?
BYOD – Bring Your Own Device, which means that student brings their own devices from their home, and this is why not only music teacher, but all the other teachers should be aware of the various browsers. Yes, it will be quite common to see the Microsoft or Apple, but THAT’S NOT IT! From my experience at my practicum school, I had too deal with some devices which I’ve never seen or heard before like, Chrome Book, Metabox and more. To be honest, and as a Apple user, it was quite confusing and sometimes it felt hard to keep my students on task.
But why BYOD? (if it creates more confusions?)
- It is beneficial in the student centred learning – according to the statistic from The Howard Country Public School System’s Department, 81% of the students believe that the technology will help with their school works. By with chance to bring what they are using mostly in their life in to the classroom, that device turns into the learning platform and students will feel responsibility of their learning and also, continue their learning after school.
- Then how about students who does not have accessibility to their own devices (such as financial problems)? Doesn’t this raise the issue on the inclusive? – mostly no, almost every school with BYOD rules will provide school devices to those students, hence they would not be stopped from their learning.
So now, only problem which music teachers are faced is that some big music programmes, such as Ableton can not be run in some of the smaller devices… so what do we do?
For the second half of the lecture, we had a special guest who flew over from the France!. Nicolas Froment (@lasconic) from the MuseScore came to talk to us about Why MuseScore? and How can we make it better?!
So people who do not know what MuseScore is (you definitely should use it), it is #1 notational programme in the world like Sibelius. Unlike other programmes, it is FREE (the best part, isn’t it?) hence, everyone/ every students can access to it and produce music! It is very easy to use and it does have shortcuts – so read the manual and from what I heard during the lecture, you can also create your own shortcuts so that it is easier for you to compose/ notate the song. They service in 55+ languages around the world – so if you are a Windows, Mac or Linux users around the world you can definitely use it wherever you are. You can also download or share the sheet music which you’ve created on their website for free. They also provide the mobile app as well.
So, the first question raised was that how and why? Why did you start this free business? So Nicolas was originally a classically trained drummer and also an engineer. And most questions which he’s seen on the YouTubes and other music website was that “do you have the sheet music of this?” So, there he goes, researching the market of the sheet music. And what he found was quite heart breaking – the sheet music industry was broken. Why?
- High price
- Very limited offer
- Forced to buy the actual book
- Slow to release the new titles
- Only for popular instruments
So, he set the mission to fix this sheet music market with some creators and empower musicians with free software to create their own sheet music. So there he goes, created the free software, MuseScore with his teammates.
He showed us around the actual MuseScore and the subscription website, which was just so amazing! It actually blew all of us’s mind. So, from the MuseScore website, you can find so many different sheet musics created by various people in the world. you also have the audio feature, where you can here the music and see where the music is going on the sheet music.
But the most amazing part was when he showed us the feature connected with the Youtube. You can literally bring the Youtube video to the MuseScore and you will be able to see the video, hear the audio and play along with your sheet music!! It will automatically sync with the video you’ve connected so that you will be able to play in the same tempo, keys, and expressive techniques. – How amazing is this?! TBH I was quite shocked to see this feature.
This programme is also great for teachers since you can create your own group on the MuseScore and invite your students into that group so you can produce a class composition or you can assess and see individual progress on the composition tasks.
They are on their way on releasing the MuseScore 3 very soon! It will be SMARTER, FASTER and EASIER. So keep you eye out on this amazing software!