Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Technology Spotlight - Mary Kathryn Burbank, Bridge Creek Elementary

Mary Kathryn Burbank is the music teacher at Bridge Creek Elementary School. She has been teaching for fourteen years, and this is her third in Richland School District Two.  Students in her classroom learn music through the Orff Schulwerk approach, which is based on things children naturally do: sing, chant rhymes, move, and play.  The students hear and experience the music first, and learn to read and write it later.

Mary Kathryn wanted to find a way to incorporate reading and writing music with technology.  After becoming acquainted with a site called Noteflight at a music inservice, she realized it was the tool she needed. Fourth and fifth grade students in her classroom practiced improvising melodies on barred percussion instruments, including xylophones and glockenspiels.  They brought their Chromebooks to the music room for many weeks, collaborating to create patterns that worked well together and plotting those notes on the music staff in the Noteflight site.

One recent composition sounded mysterious and eerie to a particular 5th grade class, so they entitled it "Zombie Turkey."  They added an accompaniment pattern and the school's steel band transferred it to their instruments.  The steel band students created a middle section for improvised solos and performed it at the recent spring concert, allowing the technology used to travel full-circle.

Zombie Turkey was enjoyed by all who were involved in its creation, and it exists because of technology and 1TWO1 computing.

*If you would like to nominate someone for a technology spotlight, please contact your Instructional Technology Specialist.