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ASTA: Technology Presentation

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This page contains the notes to accompany "Indispensable Technology Resources for String Teachers", a presentation given at the ASTA 2006 National Conference in Kansas City by Richard Culatta and Monte Belknap (Brigham Young University). Links to related information are provided in the right column of the page.

I. Overview of Technology Use

A look at current trends in technology use for curricular and non-curricular purposes
Types of technology typically used for teaching music in the classroom or private studio
Types of technology typically used by students for non-curricular purposes
A comparison of the level of interactivity and innovativeness of the technologies used for curricular and non-curricular purposes

Curricular vs. non-curricular internet use

Data based on studies from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the PEW Internet & American Life Project

Typically curricular and non-curricular technology use do not overlap

By finding ways to integrate the technology for curricular purposes that students are currently using anyway teachers can take advantage of a great tool for teaching and learning

II. Ideas for integrating Technology for Teaching Strings

Using digital video to record performances or lessons and then distribute the videos via the web, DVDs or e-mail.

Allowing students to "log" their own performances looking for specific areas (intonation problems, rhythm, arm movement, etc.) can be even more effective than having the teacher do it.

This allows students to see positive changes over time.

Software is available to help students log their performance videos.

DV Log (for Mac)
(for Windows)

Similarly, performance analysis can be done with digital audio recordings. Most students already have iPods. Using an iTalk will turn any iPod into an audio recorder. In addition, Audacity is a free audio editing program to pull out clips or edit student performances.

iTalk (by Griffin Technologies)
Maxell P7 (by Maxell)

Audacity (for Mac and Windows)

MIDI files allow students to practice playing with an accompaniment even when a pianist is not there. They can also speed up and slow down a piece of music for practice purposes.

Sweet MIDI (for Mac and Windows)

The Violin Site has a free MIDI Archive. You can also find MIDI files at other sites on the internet. MIDI Archive MIDI files (click on the title of a piece to view the MIDI file)

Podcasts are audio files that are automatically sent to subscribers (much like an e-mail list, but with audio). This can be very useful for weekly masterclasses or special performances. (podcast hosting for $5/mo)
Learn more about Podcasting (Wikipedia)

III. Virtual Maestros

Using technology to connect students to the experts
Example of online violin lesson

IV. Useful Tools

Technology tools to make integration easier
Link to Online Metronome
More information about the Intonation Training CD
Link to Violin Practice Exercises
Link to download free digital sheet music
Link to purchase digital sheet music

V. Communication tools

keeping in touch with students and parents
Sign up for a free studio webpage

Blogs are like electronic newsletters that let you archive old posts and search throughout all of the posts (where as e-mails are gone as soon as they are deleted).

More information about blogs
Start a free Blog ( is a way to connect with musicians, educators, and professionals around the world. By connecting through people you already know, you can get in touch with just about anyone in the world without having to ever make a "cold call".

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Content on this page is part of a presentation from the ASTA 2006 conference and may not be copied or used without permission.