As we become more advanced as a society, many different forms of technology are being incorporated into the classroom. There have been many developments in the field of music technology recently, including phone apps that can recognize a song just from hearing it and ones that act as metronomes and guitar tuners. This week we had a request from a teacher in a high poverty school in North Charleston, South Carolina asking for the device that kicked off the music tech revolution: an iPod. Mrs. Reid writes,
“Make the world a safe place for music.” My choral director in college always said that. My students are learning about styles of music, how to read and write it, how to appreciate where it comes from and how to use it as a safe place. Having easy access to the music we study helps them with this.
My students are spectacular, lively performers from the sunny state of South Carolina. I teach elementary music at a school where poverty is all too real for many children. My school is working to become an ABC school so naturally we LOVE the arts! The students I teach are bursting at the seams with creativity! I get to witness it every day as we learn songs and games and incorporate art and literature with our music lessons. Music is a place for them to feel safe and successful. Not just my classroom, but in an abstract sense as well.
Imagine teaching a class full of kindergartners a new song in Spanish (they adapt quickly!). Trying to pull up a video on YouTube is like pulling teeth, between all the advertisements and ‘buffering’ screens. The students get restless and noisy, the teacher gets frustrated at the situation, and no one wins. I am requesting an iPod so that I don’t have to wrestle with the Internet or with cumbersome CD players and stacks of Cd’s. If we had a class iPod, all the music is in a central location and I can have it with just a couple clicks of the finger. If I have to change songs in the middle of the lesson, it isn’t a hassle- the students don’t even have to know! It makes transitions so much easier. I will be able to expose them to even more wonderful music because of the storage on an iPod! This would be the perfect addition to our music class.
By funding this project, you can help my students travel through the history of the whole world! Music is a powerful force, and when students connect with it their opportunities are limitless! Famous musicians always have those who have inspired their music…you never know. One of my students could be one song away from inspiration that will last a lifetime!”
So we decided to make things easier for Mrs. Reid so she can spend her time teaching instead of trying to get the music for her lessons loaded up. As you may know, Joe Bonamassa founded Keeping The Blues Alive with the intention of passing the torch to the next generation of music listeners, so we’ll be including his full discography so that the students in Mrs. Reid’s music class can discover the Blues!