Written by Ben Chan
Published: June 3, 2014 at 2:31 PM [UTC]
I'm teaching several violin students right now, and one of the hardest things for me to tell is if my students are actually practicing and what it is that they're doing during each practice session. After lots of brainstorming, I've come up with an online practice system idea and was wondering if I could get some feedback from you regarding my idea.
The basic idea is to provide an online practice system designed for computers and tablets/phones where a student can log in, click a timer button, and then stay on a single webpage for the length of their practice time. The webpage would be set up like a dashboard and include things like:
- Timer, metronome, tuner
- Goals, repertoire, notes (potentially from teacher as well as student)
- Area to search for and watch videos/read sheet music
- Skill and knowledge based games to teach/reinforce sight-reading, dictation, theory, etc.
As a kid I would've loved to play games that taught me how to read music and recognize it by ear, especially if the games were fun and engaging. As a teacher I'd love to have access to my students' practice sessions so I can get a better idea of what they've actually been doing during the week and to take a few minutes here and there to provide written guidance outside of lessons when appropriate.
I'm interested in whatever thoughts you have regarding this idea, especially if it already exists somewhere online (though I was unable to find anything like it). In particular, would you and your students be interested in trying this system yourselves?
Maybe we could start a "record all the etudes" project on this site? Who wants to take Wohlfart?
I like Microsoft, but Google and Amazon are two other popular providers.
There would be a "fixed" cost for a domain name, like "benchanviolin.com". You can check out godaddy or any of the other domain name providers for pricing.
The big ticket item is developing the web application. I would probably write it so you can market it to other teachers for their students. Might as well some money on the side to cover the cost of the Cloud server.
I would be interested in putting something together for you in exchange for a "free" membership to your website and maybe a virtual lesson or two.
Regarding the idea for a single web page...
I don't think it would be necessary to try and create a one-sized fits all dashboard.
Better would be to use it as a clearing house for tools that people might need. Need a tuning app or a metronone? Here are some downloads and reviews. Having trouble learning a segment of a specific piece? Have you tried using looping software like Anytune Pro+? Not sure what pieces to select for your level? Here are some suggestions with downloads to IMSLP or to the pieces that you have transcribed?
I wish you the very best, though. The videos you produce are wonderful, as are the scores that you translate into sheet music.
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