In 2009, Dr. Diane Barger began a unique teaching experience in her studio at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During their lessons, Barger would record a short clip of the student’s playing. The clip was then uploaded to a private Facebook group where all of the students made comments, including on their own lesson’s video. In the fall of 2013 the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Alabama Birmingham studio (of Dr. Denise Gainey) started the same exercise of recording weekly lessons, and then four times throughout the semester the two studios would have lesson videos uploaded onto a collaborative Facebook group where students would posts comments on the other studio’s lesson videos. This new collaborative approach has several advantages for both students and teachers. The teachers are better able to see how their students are learning through the students’ own comments. The students find their own voice and open up to becoming future teachers, and are exposed to peers outside of their own institution with instant collaboration among people their own age. The students’ learning continues past the lesson for a better experience, and gives them something to go back to later. Students also learn to model their comments from their teacher’s comments during these virtual masterclasses. A cross-pollination opportunity for the two professors emerges to share pedagogical ideas between themselves and their studios. An interesting and effective use of technology to create a collaborative and interactive learning experience!
Sam Davies recently completed his first year of DMA study with Dr. Guy Yehuda at Michigan State University. At MSU Davies can be heard performing with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, chamber ensembles, and new student compositions.