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Preparing to Teach Music Remotely: Utilizing SmartMusic and Other Resources

March 12, 2020

Preparing to Teach Music Remotely: Utilizing SmartMusic and Other Resources

COVID-19 is here and the reality is that many schools are making plans for distant learning instruction in the event of a closure related to the global pandemic. First and foremost we sincerely hope you, your colleagues and students are not personally impacted by the illness.

We do understand the impact that school closures can have on the academic well being of your students. The last thing you need to be burdened with is the extra stress that comes with a disruption to your class. To that end, for schools impacted by COVID-19 closures who do not already have a SmartMusic subscription we are offering free access through June 30, 2020.

To sign up for this free SmartMusic access for the rest of the school year, please fill out this form and let us know your needs, including number of schools, teachers, students, and familiarity with SmartMusic. Your school will be set up with a SmartMusic platform which will allow educators to invite their students to join a class at the Premium Access level—this means they will be able to receive and submit assignments you send them as well explore the full SmartMusic library of content.

For those not familiar with SmartMusic, we do protect student privacy, is COPPA and FERPA compliant, and is suitable for students of all ages.

Additional Tips and Tools for Preparing to Teach Remotely

In advance of potential school closures and virtual teaching, review the following as a starting point for transitioning your in-class instruction to an online space:

Make a Plan: Review the lesson and course assignments for the remainder of the semester and consider ways of transferring in-class instruction to a virtual space.

Go Online: Choose the technology platforms you plan to utilize to access your students online. Consider ways to send and receive assignments, provide updates, administer exams, etc. Some tools to help you get started:

Communicate: Send a very detailed message with the action plan, expectations, and instructions to students and parents.

  • Make sure your class email/phone list is up-to-date
  • Zoom
  • Skype
  • Private Facebook Group (if social media is appropriate)

Do what you do best: Teach. Take remote teaching as an opportunity to be creative in your assignments and instruction. Create more listening assignments, assign music history videos and documentaries, reports on notable musicians or compositions, etc.

Questions to ask your administration

  • Will it be okay for students to take their instruments home for practice purposes? (For instrument cleaning, care, and maintenance, see Alfred Music’s Care Kits.)
  • Will students be able to take their Chromebooks/iPads home?

If students are unable to take their instrument(s) home, or are unable to access course material online via computer, Chromebook, or iPad, consider the following reproducible resources and assignments as ideas or solutions:

While virtual teaching may be a major adjustment to you and your students, do your best to stay positive and keep students engaged and encouraged. And remember to promote self-care—for yourself and your students—so you can all return to the classroom healthy, charged, and ready to make music.


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