Music books used for harp lessons and piano lessons at Harp on the Hill Studio

The Cadenza Practice App

Several years ago, I was enlisted to participate in a discussion group at Concordia University.  A group of researchers, curriculum developers, and software designers were in the process of developing an online note-taking tool for music lessons that would replace the conventional notebook. 

 

And they wanted feedback from music teachers—that's where I and a group of other music teachers came in. 

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At that point, Cadenza Music Suite (as it was called) was still under construction.    I went home from the discussion group interested by what I had heard.  But I soon forgot about it.  It wasn't until a few years later when I suddenly thought, "Hey, I should check back on that project…What was the name of it, again? "

 

And so I signed on my first student.  Now all of my students are signed on, including those students who were initially hesitant.  Like me, they (even the non-tech-savvy ones) have come to recognize the major advantages that Cadenza has over a conventional notebook. 

 

Here are the top ones, starting with number 5:

 

5.  In Cadenza, the lesson plan is always clear and accessible.

                       

No more students struggling to decipher my messy writing.  No more excuses about forgetting one's dog-eared notebook at home.  Lesson plans are always available no matter where one is, or what device one is using.

 

 

4.  Writing out lesson plans/notes takes less time with Cadenza.

 

            This is because with the Cadenza Practice App I can simply copy last week's lesson plan, and then edit it as necessary—adding, subtracting, modifying the task list and associated instructions as required.  It's a huge time saver. 

3.  Students can track their practice time through the Cadenza Practice Log. 

 

            This is a great tool to have at one's fingertips. And not because having a Practice Log (paper version, or fancier online version such as is featured in Cadenza) automatically leads to students practicing more.  It doesn't.  But it does serve as a great starting point in the conversation around developing good practice habits. 

 

2.  Cadenza facilitates Online Lessons. 

 

            I simply can't imagine dictating my lesson plans and instructions to a student during on Online Lesson, and having them write it all down.   It would simply take to much time.  Luckily, with Cadenza, I do exactly what I would do in a normal in-studio lesson:  I simply type everything into Cadenza.  And students (whether they are sitting across from me, or half-way around the world) have it at their fingertips immediately.

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And my #1 reason for preferring Cadenza Practice App ever a conventional notebook?

 

Cadenza has a built-in Media Annotator that makes it extremely easy to attach teacher-made videos to specific lesson plans.

 

Long before I had signed my students up on the Cadenza Practice App, I was having students take videos at their lessons, usually using their smartphones.  This wasn't ideal.  They ran out of space midway through a video, or their battery life was critically low, or they forgot to bring their device to that particular lesson. 

 

Now with Cadenza's built-in Media Annotator, I can make videos quickly and have them upload to students' lesson plans automatically, where they stay archived indefinitely.  

 

This ease of function means that I use video attachments as a teaching tool more than ever before.  And I use videos as a tool in many different ways.

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