• Shawn

Help Band Kids Practice During Coronavirus with PlayTunes App, We'll Keep Them Learning.

Updated: Mar 22, 2020

Smart Video feedback about performance. 150 practice sessions. We have PLENTY to work on while your student is at home. It's all laid out. We warm them up with long tones, lip slurs, rhythm work, scales, it's like your class in an app to practice at home.

The question is: how do we maintain a gradebook of student work when we are all at home?

There are a few ways we recommend:

1) Portfolio: Make a google doc file (or grade program equivalent) and have students put in screen shots of their results (level results show star ratings on each exercises so you can quickly assess progress) into personal portfolios. All you have to do is make the files and the students upload the docs. You could, with bands in 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, set parameters like: 4 star ratings at 120bpm. Watch the work flow in! We have scales, interval studies, clapping exercises - get beginners holding long tones to animations or get 8th graders going on tied triplets!

2) Using the same portfolio idea, have students video themselves playing assigned pieces from the app. Increased work on both ends, but also increased fidelity (you know it's that student playing that exercise).

3) Make a contest - have a party for all those who finish certain levels while at home. The app has 5 sessions per level, so you could start with something like "All students must get at least 3 stars at 100bpm on all exercises in level 15." For students with special needs, modify the results needed on a case-by-case basis, perhaps changing by lowering bpm or star rating (or raising in the gifted case).

4) For Percussionists, have them record PAS rudiments (Triple Paradiddle, for example) in succession with a metronome for 30 seconds. Try to play it a bit faster each day. If they have mallet instruments at home, why not try having them record over themselves in duets? They'd learn lots and enjoy. At my school, we are recording one line of a duet for the kids to record over - they love it!

5) PlayTunes app has a long tone Personal Record aspect of each practice session - perhaps have a contest where kids try to beat their own record. While kids are at home, you could make a "Challenge of the Day" where you have kids screen shot Personal Records and average them by section and post a leaderboard. Why not make it a part of the Home Practice Olympics - each Challenge could involve a different aspect - there are clapping exercises, called. Make section teams (and for lower-number sections like bassoon, add them to other low woodwinds to help even it out.

6) The videos may get old! If so, simply select "none" on the feedback area in Settings. We're working on more of them.

I'm at if you need ideas or have ideas for us! We're here. Inside. Still.

Check out PlayTunes and get kids GOING!

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