Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Computer Lab

This year, one of my goals has been to set up a computer lab.  I wanted to use a separate computer and keep my recently purchased one strictly for the business and my use so I put a bit money into a used one rather than buying another new one (which I couldn't afford right now!).  I've done a bit of research into it and have to admit that I am not very "hardware" saavy, so I'm starting with a basic set up - a separate computer with some on-line games as well as some software that I will purchase.  I have a midi and Finale, and plan to use that set-up for a couple of my more advanced students. 

Right now I'm in the midst of putting together a letter to my parents, figuring out how much extra to charge and organizing a lesson plan for each student.  I would LOVE suggestions from any of you who may already have this set up.  My plan is to have one student taking a lesson while another is working at the computer.  I'm trying to figure out how much is fair to charge and what programs would be the most effective to start with.  Any help that any of you can offer would be greatly appreciated. 


Jennifer said...

Sheryl, when I have a little more time (probably towards tend of the week) I'll share what I have done and do... Good luck, you'll love it! :)

Jennifer said...

Are you making lab an optional thing in your studio? My tuition includes lab so it's not an option. If they don't want to do it, tuition is the same regardless so they might as well take advantage. I would recommend doing it this way because some parents just don't see or understand the benefits. As far how much to charge. Typically you take your lesson rate for one lesson divide it in half and that is your new tuition rate. For example if you were charging $20.00per lesson you will now charge $30.00 per lesson. If you think that's too much of a jump, then maybe raise it 1/4 instead.

Scheduling option- come 15-30 min. before their lesson or stay 15-30 after their lesson. While you are teaching one student, another student is working in the lab.

Some of my favorite software-
Music Ace or Piano Ace (Piano Ace is basically Music Ace 1 and 2)
Alfred Interactive
Piano Is Fun (download off the internet)
Music Emozitron (not sure this is still available)
Alfred Theory Games
Ear Training Expidition
Ear Training Coach
Piano Wizard
Piano Mouse
MusicLearningCommunity.com (online subscription)

Some of my free favorites-

I would highly recommend KeystoImagination.com as a resource for you. Michelle has a good resources and a really good book for setting up your lab (Studio Makeover Technology Addition) that has so many goodies inside including a letter to parents, etc... She even has books for students that already have the lab assignments all laid out for you depending on what method you use! Look for double click curriculum.

Good luck and enjoy your new lab!

Heidi said...

I've had good intentions of posting about lab ideas on my blog - but until then here's a few ideas.
I have used Music Ace Deluxe the most during lab time. It is a great starter program for labtime because it covers so many concepts for a relatively low price.
A few favorites for my students to learn note names are Happy Note Treble Bass Clef and Music Interactive Staff Wars (both free from internet).
Ear Training Expedition is great for older students and Midisaurus is fun for the younger kids.
I have links on my blog to a lot of the fun internet sites I've used during lab time.
I also made a checklist (on Microsoft Word) organized by concept/level of possible lab activities. Each student has their own chart to track which activities they complete each week.

Sheryl said...

Thank you SO much Jennifer and Heidi! I did just get the book, "Studio Makeover Technology Edition" from Keys to Imagination and have found quite a bit of good information. I appreciate both of your feedback because I really want to invest in good programs right up front. I'm really considering Music Ace as the first one I try and possibly looking at another one for my youngest students. Thank you for helping me out!

Jennifer said...

Sheryl, just a little tip for you if you are thinking of getting Music Ace (which I would highly recommend). I just recently ordered Hal Leonard's new software they have out called Piano Ace. I received it last week and found out that it is Music Ace 1 and 2 packaged together plus a few extra games. The nice thing is they have a chart on the back that corresponds what game is good for what is going on in the lesson book. Even though they have it catered to Hal Leonard books, you can easily adapt them to any that you use. The other plus is Hal Leonard is having their 40% off sale right now so you can get Piano Ace at a great discount! Just thought I'd share... :)