Trampling Over Old Boundaries

boundaries by gordmckenna I teach in a rural area where 10 years ago I couldn’t have dreamed of bringing real people working in the music world to my elementary students.  My school district can’t afford to pay people out to us or to take the students to the people.  The best I could hope for was to find a video that I could use in class.  Well NO MORE!

This weekend I went to Gear Fest 09 a FREE event sponsored by Sweetwater Music.  I found out about this wonderful weekend on Facebook. I recently spearheaded the purchase of a new mixer for our church and we bought it from Sweetwater. So I did a little search for them on Facebook because I liked their customer service so much.  Once I found them I became a “fan” of them.  So a few weeks ago they began announcing Gear Fest.  I checked it out and decided to go.

Upon arriving I set out to see what the lay of the land was and I discovered  so many great things i could do! We visited the tents first. In the tents Sweetwater had representatives for all the different brands of equipment that they sell. I got to talk to guys from Blue and Shure which sure taught me a lot. I even got to purchase a few things.  I’ll talk about those in a later post.

The sessions were the real goldmine for me was the sessions.  I went to one session in particular that was sponsored by AVID Media.  A very knowledgeable man name Brian was leading this particular session.I watched intently how he showed us with incredible ease how he and a co-worker put together a commercial for Audi by adding music to the video that Audi provided. As I was watching all I could think was: I HAVE to get this guy in to talk to my elementary students!!!! I’m sure they’ve never even contemplated this type of musical activity as a career. But here’s the problem….Brian is from California and IW is never going to be able to afford to get him to come to visit our school.  Sooooooooo tech to the rescue!!!

After the session was over I approached Brian and explained my situation.  Then I asked if he know about Skype.  He did.  YAY! So next came the BIG question….Would he be willing to do a short presentation to my 3rd graders about how he put together this commercial and how his musical understanding came into play in the creative process? Brian looked unsure at first but then said, “Sure, why not!” Wooo Hoooo!!!!! THIS is why I believe in spending time learning about all these new techie things.  If I hadn’t been experimenting myself with other members of my PLN then I never would have been willing to make this new connection and feel confident that I could make it work. I can’t wait to see my students’ horizons expanding when they meet Brian this year. Now I’ve just got to figure out when would be a good time to tie this into the curriculum.

It’s going to be a year FULL of learning in the IW Elementary Music Room!!

Brenda Muench

music educator tech specialist

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