Ahh Summer…vacation with the family, lazy days filled with recreational reading, movies, and the freedom to do whatever you want with your leisure time. If you are like me, the 4th of July is the “high water mark” of the Summer break and while fireworks are dazzling the sky our brains begin to nag us about what needs to be done to prepare for the opening of school.
Music educators have so many “extra” things that need to be done in addition to the regular preparation of the classroom, lesson plans, etc. Today I wanted to offer some helpful hints if you haven’t thought of them already- they can literally make or break your early rehearsals!
Here are 5 to get you thinking:
1. Batteries. Yes, that sounds like a no-brainer, but if they are dead in your Dr. Beat and your Long Ranger (or whatever flavor of metronome and megaphone you use to run marching rehearsals) they can stop a rehearsal dead (just like the battery). Test your equipment WELL BEFORE your kids show up to head off any potential problems with batteries or other electronic snafus…(I SWEAR it was working fine at the end of the year!)
2. Locate your “stuff”. Technology can be a great aid to the rehearsal, but it also comes with some downfalls- one of the biggest is keeping track of all of your technology AND THE CONNECTOR CABLES, WIRELESS TRANSMITTERS, AND POWER CORDS. We are all guilty of putting something down to take care of another crisis only to forget where we put it. Even the best memories can fail and not being able to find that 1/4 inch phone jack or patch cord can be VERY frustrating.
3. Log into your school email/portal. If your district is like mine, they like to tweak things over the Summer so that links and pages you are used to seeing look totally different or are missing/moved. Also, new technologies are coming on board (is your school on 365 yet?). Your login credentials could have mysteriously stopped working for unexplained reasons (like mine did two years ago) leaving you cut off from all things education.
4. Check all of your apps and online resources. School networks are notorious for blocking things randomly. Just because your Gdrive or DropBox worked at the end of the year doesn’t mean it will work on the school network now. Best to check!
5. Don’t forget your “old tech”. Do you still have an Elmo or…gasp…an overhead projector? How about a long forgotten LCD projector that “found” its way to your room and you now rely on it to project your lesson onto your one blank wall in your room? How much ink/toner do you have in your printer?- those are still Tech-nically “Tech” and as such need maintenance and supplies- some of which may be surprisingly hard to find!
I hope this short list helped you prepare and I wish you all the very best in the coming year! Post your comments if you would like to share your own “tips”!