Voice Technologies as a Teaching Strategy

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An Insight into Practice: Using Wimba Voice to help students master their instruments

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]usic to my ears … literally: Now for something completely different. Associate. Prof. Elizabeth Koch OAM, Head of Woodwind, Elder Conservatorium of Music, was faced with a challenge: “How can I get into the practice head-space of my students? How can I be there to help and mentor them as they practice?” After much coffee and brainstorming, we had a plan.

Recording the practice and getting it to the teacher quickly for reflection and feedback seemed insurmountable to Liz and students. I had introduced Wimba Voice tools (now in MyUni) to the University of Adelaide a few years before. We creatively used the voice email tool and with a little instructional help from me, those incredibly gifted musicians started to see new uses for their computers and their smart phones. I was excited to be working with Liz and was thrilled to support her ALTC Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010

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This pedagogy using technology helped Liz win her award. We used the US Drill Team to help the students understand mind muscle and the importance of practice. The military call it drilling to develop the correct instantaneous actions. A presentation on YouTube has a lot of valuable student feedback quotes and Rhiannon a Year 2 Saxophone student sums up my involvement:

Rhiannon Trimby“I should also mention that I think we’re all also very grateful to Allan for setting this up for us and making it so surprisingly easy to use! I will admit when you first told us that this would be happening I was extremely daunted and was not looking forward to figuring it all out but now I am quite looking forward to the next time! I hope other universities and schools even take this on, it’s an incredible concept and so far I think it is extremely beneficial. Once again, thank you for listening to and evaluating my practice!”

Rhiannon Trimby

It is so rewarding to have an excellent teacher like Liz use the best technologies available in creative ways to get some great learning outcomes. The positive responses prove the students appreciated the learning experience and that the pedagogy with technology was making a difference.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section]