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Idea Exchange: Capturing Great Video with Simple Devices

January 26, 2015
Content by Robert Luna | Post edited by Hanno Strydom

Toward the end of 2014 the MacPhail Music Learning Lab hosted guest presenter, Robert Luna, 
Creative Director & founder of Luna Creative Technologies, in two sessions about capturing great video using industry level approaches, adapted for everyday use with simple devices like consumer cameras, camera phones, tablets and web cams.

Session Videos
Both sessions were video recorded. At Mr. Luna's request, access to the videos is restricted only to MacPhail faculty members. Contact us to request the links for these videos.

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Minnesota Orff Workshop Blog

December 4, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson 

On October 25th, I attended a Minnesota Orff Chapter workshop presented by the internationally known elemental music expert and master Orff Schulwerk teacher, Steve Calantropio.  I looked forward to this event for months, not only because of Mr. Calantropio’s excellence as a presenter, but also because of the workshop’s topic. For a full biography of Steve Calantropio visit the Minnesota Orff website. On the chapter website’s description of the workshop, the following question was posed:

 “Does the philosophy [Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman] described as Orff…

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Idea Exchange: Effective Studio Management Tools & Strategies

November 18, 2014

by Hanno Strydom

In this nine-minute video I share several of the key tools and strategies I use to keep my MacPhail cello studio running smoothly.

It is based on my recent MacPhail Music Learning Lab Idea Exchange session, Effective Studio Management Tools & Strategies, and I cover five key aspects of studio management:

  1. Calendar & Schedule Management
  2. Day-to-Day Communication with Students & Parents
  3. Student Assignments & Additional Learning Resources
  4. Studio Policies & Expectations
  5. Student Recruitment

Tools discussed include Google Calendar, MailChimp, a …

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Idea Exchange: The Progress Principle

October 20, 2014

by Kristin Shoemaker

On October 10th a group of MacPhail Center for Music faculty members came together to talk about the importance of progress and its direct impact on student motivation. The discussion centered around findings from Amabile and Kramer’s book, The Progress Principle, and veteran MacPhail teachers Bob Adney, Joy Moeller, and Andrea French shared from their experiences.

Idea Exchange: The Progress Principle
Kristin Shoemaker facilitates a panel discussion featuring MacPhail faculty membere, Bob Adney, Andrea French & Joy Moeller
[Video has been edited for clarity and flow]

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Advice from the Sages

October 15, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson

The recent September 27 Minnesota Orff workshop featured a lunch time panel discussion with three Orff Schulwerk master teachers: Judy Bond, Arvida Steen, and Jane Frazee.  They talked about their early experiences with Orff Schulwerk and answered questions from audience members.  Here are just a few choice pieces of insight from the discussion:

On Singing: 

“Your first instrument is your voice.  If we can’t work with the voice, we are not really making music.  It takes some children a long time to make their singing musical.  Don’t give up on them.”
-Arvida S…

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Minnesota Orff Report

October 7, 2014

by Sarah Hruska-Olson 

The September 27 Minnesota Orff Chapter workshop, presented by Dr, Julie Scott, was on a favorite topic of mine: singing!  The title was: “Singing in Orff Schulwerk.”  Dr. Scott is a past president of AOSA, the national Orff Schulwerk association.  She was my recorder pedagogy teacher many years ago in Orff levels at St. Thomas.  Dr. Scott has been an Orff levels instructor for twenty years.  She is also an expert on teaching singing to children with 30 years of experience directing children’s choirs in various settings.  Dr. Scott is the director of Music Educators Work…

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Friday Round Up

September 26, 2014
  • Local composer James Holdman is in Istanbul for the fall to study middle-eastern music, and is recording live Turkish music and is blogging about it here
  • Nicely designed tuner and metronome app Tunable is free for a short time on the app store. 
  • 4-Early Year Keys for Effective Classroom Management from Edutopia
  • If you feel like you don't need to practice, just check out the video below...

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Things I Learned During my First Year at MacPhail

July 21, 2014

By Julia Reeves Reeves.Julia@MacPhail.org

1.   In order to be an effective teacher and survive my first year, I need to be flexible and resilient. I think this has become my mantra for working in partnerships. The concept of control is one I struggled with a great deal when I first walked into a classroom, because I had zero (count it: zero) classroom management skills. Learning to lighten up and go with the flow was really important in helping me see  students as people, not things to be taught.

2.   The best way to learn how to teach is to teach alongside other teachers.

3.   Atti…

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Building a Studio Website & Managing Your Schedule Online

July 11, 2014

This presentation was delivered by MacPhail faculty member, Beatrice Blanc, on July 9, 2014.

Video of the presentation is posted below. Click here for a PDF of the accompanying PowerPoint.

In the first part of her presentation Beatrice talked about building a website for her Suzuki violin studio; the second part (starting at 17:57 in the video below) dealt with online schedule management.

If you have questions, feel free to email Beatrice at Blanc.Beatrice@MacPhail.org. Also, remember that MacPhail's team of Tech Mentors are available to provide tech-related assistance to MacPhail faculty…

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Strategies for Consistent Practicing

May 21, 2014

Notes from Nancy Daley's presentation to Suzuki faculty on consistent practicing.


1. Get daily practice and listening topic out in the open! First lesson of Fall, I tell them what I expect

2. Don't ask amount of time because I just want to encourage regular practice. I really stress that even if they only have a bit of time, they can do do something productive. I talk about how I will set my timer and pick out something that I can accomplish in that amount of time. Nancy Pederson used to have them make a list of things they can practice well in 10 min…

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Percussion Pedagogy Notes

May 10, 2014

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

We set a world record the other day by getting 9 MacPhail percussion faculty in the same room at the same time. It was exciting to talk with other percussionists about teaching. Here are a couple notes which came up during the meeting and may be useful for other instruments as well. 

Only using part of method books:

This was a huge relief when Bob Adney shared that he only uses the reading exercises and 4-mallet material from Mitchell Peters mallet book. I feel like I have been given permission to tell my students the same.






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Video Game Design and Music Education Part 1

April 21, 2014

by David Birrow Birrow.David@MacPhail.org

Here is a quick summary from Friday's Idea Exchange session about what video game design can teach us about music Education. This session will be repeated: Wednesday, May 14th, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. in Room 607

Why are games addictive:

  • They give multiple layers of objective feedback that range from granular to sustained competence to career
  • They appeal directly to our psychology needs for: Competency, Autonomy, and Relatedness

Why  games are good places for learning:

  • They let you try on different identities and make meaningful choices …

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