Thursday, January 02, 2014

More Use Cases for Evernote in the Music Studio

Since my initial article on how I use Evernote in my teaching process, many CPB readers have contacted me with questions and ideas on how they can use this flexible tech tool.

Stratford-based singer and conductor Sharon Poelstra recommends:

A whiteboard! That's an amazing idea in itself for tracking rehearsal process. Then again, it might be easier to write everything down on a whiteboard and then take a photo, sending it into Evernote. Over time, you can track the rehearsal process in saved images of the whiteboard.

Dr. Tracy Cowden uses this solution for her students at Virginia Tech:
I was inspired by your use of Evernote to try it with my college students this year, and it has worked out pretty well! I had the same complaint - I'd write something down in their notebook but I was never consistent about keeping notes for myself. So I created a notebook for each student, and I sit with my iPad and wireless keyboard by the piano and type notes to them during their lesson. I type faster than I write, so it works out great. Each of my students also downloaded Evernote (free version), so we can all review notes during the week, and they can view it from any device, which they really like. The only problem is that with the free version, only I can edit those notes. I wanted to have a more interactive experience, where the students could edit notes or write questions to me through the week.

Tracy and I tested out sharing notes this morning and it seems that with a Premium account, you can allow others to edit and view your notes, even though they have only free accounts. This is a perfect model for teachers, who might be willing to pay for a premium service so that their students can use it for free.

The one-notebook-per-student solution works well if you have a mid-sized studio of up to 20 students. My studio has 45+ students now, so it is much simpler for me to have one Progress Report notebook with individual notes for each student which are emailed at the conclusion of every lesson. Tracy's solution is perhaps more elegant than mine, but the relentless switching from notebook to notebook can take up time in lessons. I need navigation through my system that is as fast as possible (more about that later).

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