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.
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.
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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