Getting Motivated Through Music Ed Motivation Day (#musedmot)
During the school year, music educators tend to be one of a kind in their schools. Not a lot of us have others that are in situations similar to ours. We feed off our own motivation and drive throughout the school year to be the best educators we can be, but what happens when that well of motivation runs dry? We cannot be satisfied with dragging ourselves to school praying for a summer vacation to begin. This is how the idea for Music Ed Motivation Day (#musedmot) came to be – an idea I thought up to help music educators from around the globe motivate themselves to the end of the school year and into the summer.
Throughout #musedmot, we discussed a variety of different topics that were all related to motivation. The goal was to keep everyone actively thinking about next year and excited for September.
Getting Ready for #musedmot
The #musedmot event was held on Saturday June 2, 2012. This event was a free web conference where music educators from all over the globe could connect with each other online to talk about our practices, share resources, and network with each other. Social media was handy not only during the event itself but also during its promotion. I decided to use 3 platforms for #musedmot, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, for the following reasons:
● Facebook had the music teachers group with almost 2000 members ready to chat.
● Twitter was ready to give an interactive chat for topics not discussed in the Google+ hangouts scheduled for the evening.
● Google+ had the hangouts for face-to-face discussion over video chat. This social network is fairly new and a lot of users were excited to try out the new Hangouts On Air feature. Up to 10 people from all over the globe can get together in a hangout and broadcast their conversation to hundreds more who can tune in by clicking play on the moderator’s profile page.
After the event was over, those who could not attend could rewatch all the action on Google+ or YouTube.
The importance of networking and self-driven learning
#musedmot was successful because when the going gets tough throughout the school year, our music education community is always able to push through by relying on connecting with each other. Whether we choose to engage with a colleague, another teacher in the building, or a parent, we have many opportunities to talk about what we do with others and receive feedback. Also, seeking out these important connections keeps us focused and driven to always learn and improve. #musedmot was another opportunity to bounce ideas off colleagues, read up on your craft, and create our own PD opportunity.
Using resources to spice up an old routine
Throughout #musedmot, we were able to discuss a lot of different websites, books, curriculum supplements, and teaching materials available, all waiting to be tried in the classroom. Now that summer is here, take this opportunity to keep yourself motivated by seeking out different resources. JWPepper.com, a popular source for musical selections, also provides fun ideas for the classroom. Quavermusic.com is a new company that gives music educators access to a complete 21st century program of curriculum supplements covering the important musical concepts every student should know. Amazon.com carries a music educators summer reading list with recommendations such as “Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity” by Scott Watson or “Learning Sequences in Music” by Edwin Gordon. Introducing new ideas to your classroom throughout the school year breaks up the normal routine, which can create many exciting experiences for the teacher and students.
I was glad that #musedmot was a success, and it definitely was very motivating! Of course, the fact that the event took place solely online proves how beneficial social media can be to music educators looking to stay excited about their craft. Facebook gives those who are wary of other social media tools the opportunity to get involved in discussions and get the answers they need. For those willing to get involved in Twitter, there are a lot of exciting people to follow and a lot of information to take in. Lastly, Google+ allows you to take advantage of multi-person chat venues for impromptu face to face meetings with other educators; you can continue to talk shop no matter where you are in the world!
#musedmot motivated me to keep myself focused and connected to other educators, something I hope to continue throughout the school year! For me, it really hit home the fact that if you are driven to become better at what you do, anything can become a learning opportunity and a meaningful experience.
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