To Infinity and Beyond…

I have found this investigation into Music and the 21st century quite interesting. As someone who has been teaching music for over 25 years, I have seen many changes. The introduction of the Internet, the increased need for fluid communication via the introduction of email, and the need to be in contact with friends and family via the introduction of social media sites like Facebook.

All of these changes have not only affected the overall society in which we live, but they have made connecting with the world so much easier. Our ability to Skype a colleague and work on a single project with a global team is possible thanks to technology. It is something that I have done for a few years now.

But one thing that hasn’t changed for me is my fundamental ethics of teaching musical concepts. Sure, I have implemented new trends as they have come across my table, but a crotchet is still a crotchet and music history should still be taught from the beginning to now. Or should it? The way people learn is not so defined now. Before you would find students with a preferred learning style. I bet if the students of today did Julia Atkins’ learning styles test from the 1990’s, we would see a very different brain pattern. I think we would see a lot more strength in dual areas rather than one preferred learning style.

Well I can firmly say that the videos I have seen in this course have opened my eyes to an endless realm of possibilities in programming changes. As a teacher who has always taught from the practical side, I have found many of the practices happening in the schools reviewed to be quite useful. I have no fear of technology and have incorporated a number of technological practices over the last 4 years. From Google Classroom and google docs to online apps and websites, I have always managed to find useful links to assist my teaching. But I now consider that to be just touching the surface of what can be done.

The Music Department that I organise is currently undergoing a developmental change. With a change of staff, comes a fresh approach. Wheels were set in motion 2 years ago and the ideas that I have developed throughout this course have certainly arrived at the perfect time. The physical space at my school was designed for “teaching of a different time” and needs to be considered. The technology platforms to control the release of information at key times needs to be developed. The current units of work, which all start with a practical, analytical focus, need to be reviewed. The three stages we deal with need to be considered as a whole, as does the BYOD practices of the school. This has to come from a faculty approach and all persons need to be in the same mindset. So the first thing that needs to be done is for my colleagues to do this MOOC. Only then will we have a collective approach. This collective approach will lay the foundation for the future of classroom and extra curricula music at the school. We have already seen the strength of a collective approach in other areas of growth within the department.

For me personally, the changes to my mindset have opened the flood gates to a world of possibilities to engage and excite students further. Experiences with professionals within our country and around the world must be integral with the new focus. I see the introduction of PBL units in stage 4 through to student centred learning in Stage 5 and 6, with a renewed connection to the extra curricula program that so many of our elective students find themselves involved in.

As for me, creativity and play has always been a fundamental approach to my performing and therefore my teaching. I need to remember that as I move into the next phase and remember to develop my ideas and mindset. Only then, will things blossom and grow.


Klerrisa Custom Music creates innovative resources that engage my students

Kym Reithmuller

I have used Klerrisa’s resources for many years and have always found them to be highly beneficial as they work! You can open them up and start teaching knowing that they have been thoroughly prepared and tested in the classroom. Students respond well to them as they experience success and fun whilst learning. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Patrick Honyak - Fairfield High School

I highly recommend the resource material on the Klerrisa Custom Music website. Both Kerri and Lisa are excellent educationalists, presenters and musically talented professionals.

Dev Gopalasamy - St Ignatius’ College Riverview
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