Curriculum Ideas by Australian Educators

There are a number of real-live, “in the trenches” music teachers around the world who are willing to spend a little time to share what they do in the classroom: both the good, and the not-so-good. Reading about their experiences allows us all to pick up new ideas for the classroom as well as learn from their mistakes.

Because there are rather a lot of excellent links to share, I’ve decided to post two articles: the first will showcase some Australian educators and the second will showcase educators in other parts of the world.

James Humberstone

James is a close friend who lives and works in Sydney. He is a composer, teacher, lecturer and author of the first authorised Sibelius courseware book Sibelius 7 Music Notation Essentials (Avid Learning Series)

James shares a generous amount of lesson plans, original music, and music resources on his two websites: Composer Home and Having Nothing To Say and Saying It.

I would encourage you to have a close look at the vast array of information on his sites. Here are a few highlights:

1. GarageBand

A collection of GarageBand resources including how-to videos, film scoring and jingle-writing units of work and more.

2. Sibelius

A collection of Sibelius resources, including a link to his Learn Sibelius in 1 Hour videos.

3. Original Compositions

James’s original compositions that you can use with your own students for performance or composition and analysis tasks.

4. Film Scoring

James’s own in-depth report on a film scoring unit he did with some senior students in 2011.

5. Avid Scorch for iPad

Ideas for using the Avid Scorch iPad app in the Classroom.

Samuel Wright

Another New South Wales educator, Samuel has a plethora of projects and articles about using music technology in the classroom on his website. Samuel frequently shares the resources he has made – for free. Two examples:

1. Reason PBL Course

A complete project-based learning course using Reason software. The course comes with files and other supporting material and it’s beautifully presented thanks to his talented wife Laura Wright.

2. Left-Hand Finger Exercises for Guitarists

An interactive app that contains a series of left-hand finger exercises for guitarists titled FROGS (“For.Really.Outstanding.Guitar.Skills”). Samuel writes about the creation of the app in his post Hyped About Frogs and you can try the app out by visiting this link (it will work in your internet browser, or on an iPad).

Gabrielle Deschamps

Gabrielle – a music educator in Queensland – took up blogging after attending last year’s mtec2011 conference, and she writes about her classroom experiences using music technology. Gabrielle’s posts include:

1. Musical Analysis

Teaching senior students how to write a musical analysis.

2. Music Notation

Strategies for teaching students to read music notation.

NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre

In January, Steve Wilkins wrote to inform me of some new online resources he has created in his role as Learning Designer 5-12, Learning Services. Steve has put together some interactive guide for using music technology in the classroom.

The guides include:

1. Finale Notepad +

Tools4U: Finale Notepad

2. MuseScore +

Tools4U: MuseScore

3. Guitar Riffs

UCreate A Rock Riff


Have you come across other Australian music educators sharing their use of technology in the classroom?