Here are a few samples of Essential Questions I've used as of late:
- "How does ear-training improve my playing alone and in an ensemble?"
- "What are some different techniques for memorization of music?"
- "Why do we review and critique our performances and the performances of others?"
My cellphone, an LG Shine, has texting, camera, and audio/video recording capabilities. What if students could use their handsets to record their practicing during the school day (since computers or our advanced recording equipment is bulky and time-consuming to set up)? What if they used Twitter to keep track of practice at home? I realize video recording isn't available on every cellphone, but recording video would give students an insight on their posture, bow grip, performance quirks, and so on. I have a post in draft about using Skype for distance-learning lessons, but there's nothing stopping a student from placing a cellphone on a music stand (on a call) with me as they play from home, right?
Handheld electronics are not going away, and the sooner we all realize that, the less stressful we will be. How can we change policies for the better and start to take advantage of the portable nature of these tools?