The Art of Personalizing Music Lessons Through Audio and Video Feedback

Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

The Art of Personalizing Music Lessons Through Audio and Video Feedback

Posted in Community | January 07, 2016

As a Percussion Director at Pope High School in Marietta, GA, Paula Williams works with students to help them tap into their inner creativity and learn the ins and outs of reading, practicing, and performing music. But finding time to provide each student with the feedback they need to excel has been an ongoing challenge.

This is where Schoology comes in. Paula began blending her music curriculum with the platform, and now she's able to provide her students with a more personalized music education. “I've used Schoology to transform what's possible with a blended curriculum, peer collaboration, and enhanced student assessment.” says Paula.

Giving Private Music Lessons to Each Student

Paula has created a way to personalize the learning experience. Now the feedback she offers each student online is equivalent to providing them with private music lessons.

Students upload videos of themselves performing assignments such as scales, etudes, excerpts from pieces they are performing in ensembles, or solo repertoire. Paula then assesses the performances using written comments so each student has a checklist of items to improve upon. Taking this a step further, she also records technical commentary over the students' videos using Schoology's audio/video recording feature in the comments.

With her feedback layered over their videos, Paula's students are able to get the kind of personalized instruction they need for rapid growth. And it's paying off big time.

“The individual weekly instruction has enabled every student to transform their musical skills,” explains Paula, “which in turn has caused exponential growth within the overall program. By extending the opportunity to receive individualized musical instruction, every one of my students has become a better percussionist—not just the ones taking private lessons."

"The result is more confident individuals," she continues, "which creates a stronger community of students, both musically and personally. From that platform of strength, our ensemble plays more challenging music, participates in more opportunities beyond our school walls, and achieves at higher standards more consistently."

Expanding Learning Beyond the Curriculum

Schoology’s social components provide Paula’s students the freedom to collaborate with one another safely. “The ability to connect in an online environment has transformed the way we all communicate, share knowledge, and grow as learners,” says Paula. “It has transformed the way my students develop as musicians and young people.”

Now Paula even has more time to spend with her students. She is able to "examine their workflows and offer suggestions to them regarding time management, organizational skills, and using an online platform."

"When choosing Schoology," explains Paula, "I wanted to prepare them for their academic experiences in college that will undoubtedly include online class components. I feel confident knowing that their experience with Schoology as a high school percussion student not only improved their musical skills, but prepared them for their future as a student in the digital world."

Paula Williams
Percussion Director
Pope High School
Educator of the Year Finalist

Written by Giselle Magat

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