teach music in a connected world
Music has always adopted the latest technology but this has not always made its way into the classroom. Now it has. MusicFirst is a ground breaking, cutting edge teaching and learning tool that exists in the Cloud. There is no installation or updating required; one click and you’re there. It’s not just another Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) either. MusicFirst was built by music teachers for music teachers. It is flexible, easy to manage and brings together a whole host of content and software that music teachers need to do their job efficiently and to a very high standard. MusicFirst can be accessed by any web enabled device wherever it can connect to the Internet, anytime, anywhere. Rhinegold Education has recently adopted the platform populating it with GCSE and A Level content, and won the award for “Best Digital/Technological Resource” at the 2017 Music Teacher Awards.
So, what does it do? The calendar function allows busy music teachers to organise effectively, sharing work deadlines and concert dates etc. with the relevant students. This can be done when creating and setting work, so there’s no need to open and close other programs. Teachers can create specific tasks for specific units of work with nine options to select, including tasks using software, reading, writing and recording audio or video. Teachers can organise the units of work and store lesson plans with ease. Student work comes back to you directly through the MusicFirst platform too, so there’s no more “forgetting the attachment” as an excuse for late homework! Read more on: www.musicfirst.co.uk/features/
MusicFirst includes hundreds of Lessons and Assessments, and Premium resources are also available. Premium Content includes digital versions of best sellers like the Teach and Play series, linked to units of work and lesson plans written by other music teachers. You can create your own lessons and units, storing them alongside the MusicFirst content. There is storage for files and secure messaging. The ‘Portfolio’ section is designed as a space where you can store exemplar materials for standards verification or to show students what they are aiming for. Class lists can be imported from spreadsheets, with password management built in – something that can be delegated to ICT support or kept under the music teacher’s control. Once created, each class has its own homepage where work set, calendared deadlines and links to software appear. The teacher view also links to a ‘Gradebook’, so accessing progress data or marking is quick and straightforward. Read more on: www.musicfirst.co.uk/features/classroom-resources
(PIC: MF FoS Flute) MusicFirst features a range of software programs that cover pretty much every music task you can think of for Primary and Secondary schools. All of them are cloud-based, so students now have the opportunity to work in their own time using the exact same tools they access in the classroom, adding more to their school work or creating their own music. The tools available are astoundingly good and cater from early years to A level students and beyond. Need to set a student a task using written music? Go to ‘Noteflight’. Compose a drum beat? Use ‘O-Generator’, ‘Soundation’ or ‘SoundTrap’. Need to learn about the Orchestra? Go to ‘Focus on Sound’. Practise a piece of music? Use ‘PracticeFirst’ and the computer will listen to you and feedback how accurate you were.
A full list and descriptions can be found at :
(PIC: MF Noteflight) All this is available from £2 per student per year. This puts it well within the confines of a school budget. There is no extra fee for home use – the annual subscription covers the use of MusicFirst wherever you are, making a “site licence” a thing of the past. And when you think that all of the above can run online, that makes it accessible on any equipment too – desktop, laptop, Chormebook, tablet or smartphone. There’s no extra hardware to buy, although if you want to add a microphone or piano keyboard, you can. This really is music education for the twenty-first century and it’s here to use today.
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