Technology In Moderation Tuesday, Apr 10 2007 

“Cell, Blackberry, instant messanger, wireless, blog, podcast, download, mp3”

-These are the key words to describe technology and communication in today’s society.

Owen Bradley, from “The Digital Music Educator,” had many great points in regards to technology in conjunction with the classroom. Technology can be great in many ways-for communication, information, classroom additives, entertainment, etc. However, it can also be overwhelming and in some cases, when it just does not work, can hinder learning or progress. It must be realized that technology needs to be an additive to teaching and learning-not a replacement for learning. Some students, including myself, much prefer an “old-fashioned” pen and paper for notetaking, while others prefer a keyboard and wordprocessor. Also, a variety of teaching tools and methods should be used throughout the classroom. These should include technology, but also methods of discussion, lecture, hands-on learning, etc.

Our generation is generally very “technological savvy.” However, most of our parents, or student’s parents, are not at the same “technological caliber” per say. There is an evident technological divide that must be addressed and considered. My parents, for example, sometimes get overwhelmed with simple short-cut computer commands. I am always being asked to “slow down” and “show them again” the keys that I pressed or the code that I typed.

I agree that introducing technology to a classroom or parent group should be done in moderation and step by step. Start with an e-mail list. I think that this is especially great, if the numbers of e-mail users (which should be generally high) are largely the majority of parents. Parental involvement is vital to any area of a students education and life. The more teacher-parent interaction, the more involvement and at least understanding of what is going on will take place. Once a technological foundation is built, additions of a website, blog site, podcast, wiki, etc., can be tried. Just remember, moderation is KEY!


For more information regarding Owen Bradley’s article or “The Digital Music Educator,” visit:


For more information regarding technology and the classroom, visit:


Copyright, Video, and Ensembles Thursday, Mar 22 2007 

Are ensembles allowed to film themselves and freely distribute the video to those within the ensemble either “for cost” or at “no cost”? 

After reading the above question, I realized that I was not sure if I knew the correct answer.  I was aware of some basic copyright laws, and realized that there are many legal aspects that educators must abide by.  However, after researching in more detail, I realized that the situation can be more complicated than I expected and is most likely frequently violated.

          According to MENC and their Music Education Copyright Center information, a single copy of a videotaped performance of your ensemble can be made to keep on file for reference or review.  However, if you want to make multiple copies and distribute them, either with or without charge, you will need permission of the copyright owners for each piece of music performed on the videotape. In addition, you will also need permission from parents to have their children videotaped.  For more information about MENC’s copyright views, read the MENC publication on copyright law.

Another individual who seems to agree with the view of MENC is James Frankel, teacher and author of To Burn Or Not To Burn: It’s More Than An Ethical Question.  Though his book deals with a different avenue of copyright, Frankel has done much research concerning the topic at hand and has much to say.  In response to the above question of copyright legality, Frankel responds, “The answer is no. Why? Every piece of music published with two copyright protections – one copyright protects the printed music itself, and another protects any recording of a performance of it.”



          So how can you legally sell copies of a concert?  According to the Fair Use Policy (which was written to protect those who are financially affected by the loss of sales), one can record a concert for archival purposes only and that the recording may not be lent out to students.  This recording can be played back in a classroom for critique only.  Also, without written permission from the publisher of the composition, you may not post a recording of the concert on a website, which is a commonly violated aspect of copyright.  Many teachers not only record their concerts, but they sell the recordings as a fund-raiser.  However, this is a clear violation of the law.  In order to have legal sales, you must get clearance from the Harry Fox Agency and pay royalties per copy of each CD sold.

          To learn more about this issue, visit the following link for more information:  Also, I strongly encourage going to both the MENC site and Harry Fox Agency as well as James Frankel’s copyright blog site.  All will be very educating and insightful concerning copyright legality.