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  • susanappe

Digital Musicianship

I had heard of the topic of Digital Citizenship in general, and I’m on board about the importance of it, but I hadn’t thought about ways to incorporate it into my music and choir classes. I suppose it’s not that different from each new technology that is invented, we just need to teach people how to use them. I was thinking about an analogy of digital citizenship from history, and found with this video from 1951 teaching people how to use the telephone:

The following are some awesome guides for bringing Digital Musicianship to your music classroom:

        This guide for teaching digital citizenship in the music classroom points out that “The consumption of music in large volumes is reshaping the entire music industry. It’s one of the largest areas of digital use”. This makes the music classroom the perfect place to teach music literacy. The author of this article is a band teacher in Wisconsin and is also the technology chair for the Wisconsin Music Educators Association.

        This is a list of ten “Essential Fluencies” for technology in the music classroom. The fluencies range from ‘Creativity Fluency’, where students can write music online with programs like, to ‘Information Fluency’ like music theory websites which use gaming to teach music theory, to ‘Media Fluency’ which encompasses things like having students critique performances on YouTube.

        This article lists five Chromebook apps for music education in the elementary music classroom. One example is which is a program that teaches beatboxing through animated GIFs. Another great resource is website where you can have your students not only create music and rhythms, but share, collaborate and give feedback on their music with kids at any other school.

At my middle school, we have chromebooks for each student, and we do some research projects regarding the songs we are singing, so that seems like a good place to add some digital citizenship in to the framework. I could facilitate a discussion on how to do good research, how to avoid false information, what websites to trust and how to assess if information is trustworthy. This would satisfy ISTE standards 3a-3d.

          Another way to help choir/music students practice creating and maintaining a healthy online presence would be to have a class project where we create a website for our class as if we were a giant band. The students could build the site, post ‘band photos’ of the group, correspond with ‘fans’ (classmates), write posts with shows and band news updates, and upload recordings of our music. I think the technical skills the students would learn would be very worthwhile but the digital citizenship component would be invaluable, and the whole project could be very empowering for future musicians in the class. This would satisfy ISTE standards 2a- 2d, as well as 6b.

       This infographic above was made by me, using


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