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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Skype In The Classroom Guest Expert for Guitar, Bass & Ukulele

Skype In The Classroom Guest Expert for Guitar, Bass & Ukulele

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Hi! My name is Jeffrey Thomas and I am looking for any interested skype ready classroom to host a broadcast for Guitar, Bass & Ukulele playing. I have moved 90% of my teaching over to skype and the lessons are amazing. I am teaching a wide variety of styles and genres as well as music theory. I would like to take a songlist from the class and prepare notation to give the kids fun examples of music they like. Beyond that it would be great to talk about practice techniques, using a metronome, etc... Please contact me here or through my website: www.jeffrey-thomas.com Thanks, Jeffrey

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Jeannine's picture
Jeannine
K-5 General, Choral, Band teacher in Poughkeepsie, NY

Hi Jeffrey,
I've recently attended the Level 1 Teaching Guitar Workshop offered through NAMM and GAMA. I had a great time and brought home great materials. I've had a guitar session online through facetime on mac about 2 years ago. Except for my lack of technical skills, which are slowly improving, it was a great experience. However, any "extra" support and ideas are a welcome opportunity.
Currently we have enough guitars for every student in a class, a smartboard, and with a minimal amount of effort, I think I could hook up a camera (will need to work on that part) to give a view of the classroom. What opportunities and ideas, etc. did you have in mind?

Jeffrey Thomas's picture
Jeffrey Thomas
Webcam Guitar Bass & Ukulele Instructor

Thanks Jeannine, thanks for your reply. I can help alot with the tech issues and for the camera I would recommend the Logitech C910 webcam. It has the mic built in and is a usb device so just plug it into the computer you will be using for the broadcast and we should be fine.

What I would like from your students is a songlist of fun music they would like to learn. I will prepare some writing for the kids based off their songlist to make the broadcast fun. I would also like to spend additonal time talking about note reading, counting, how to practice with a metronome, technique and any other questions the students might have.

I usually write in tablature with rhythmic values, and chord diagrams and will explain the difference between standard notation and tablature since guitar music can be written in both.

Your class sounds perfect fo me! I will look forward to working out all the tech issues and I like to run a test call to make sure we have good audio & video ahead of the broadcast.
What is a "smartboard"? Thanks, Jeff

Jeannine's picture
Jeannine
K-5 General, Choral, Band teacher in Poughkeepsie, NY

Hi Jeff,
A smartboard is a large, interactive screen that can be used as a projection device, a writing tool, like a chalkboard, can display and interact with computer programs, all with a touch of the finger or special pens, depending on what you're doing. For lack of a better way to describe it, it's like a giant touch screen computer. You hook up a lap top, and then the board itself is interactive with the computer simply by touching the large screen. It's a fabulous tool and will allow students to see you in almost life-size proportions. It is compatible with Mac or PC (I have a Mac at my disposal now at school) and the students love to use it.
We're not quite ready to start our guitar unit. I was planning on November or December. When did you have in mind to begin?

Also, I may have to ask for permission from my principal to have you "in" our classroom. Would you be able to give me biographical information so I can get that permission? Thanks!
Jeannine

Jeffrey Thomas's picture
Jeffrey Thomas
Webcam Guitar Bass & Ukulele Instructor

Sure, anything you need I will even allow a background check if needed. A brief bio is on my website: www.jeffrey-thomas.com My new cell # is: 808.779.9841
I think it would be good to watch the student testimonial video I have on my website home page since it has parents of students talking about me and the lessons on skype.

I would really like to run a test once permission is granted. The smartboard sounds awesome! You can project the skype broadcast onto it and the students will have great visability. I think I have seen this used in other school to school broadcasts. Thanks, Jeff

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