Earlier this semester Amanda Siwek traveled to Texas for the TI:ME Music Technology Leadership Academy, gaining valuable experience and awareness about what options are available to bring new technology-based music classes into the public schools.
A junior studying instrumental music education, Siwek and only 10 other students were flown to the conference, all from different states and backgrounds in music. Siwek received funding from both TI:ME and the College of Fine Arts School of Music to attend the academy. Participants were required to attend eight leadership academy sessions focusing on developing strategies for utilizing technology to reach non-traditional music students.
“The TI:ME Music Technology Leadership Academy is unique because it discusses the importance of teaching the 80% of students who are not in band, choir, or orchestra,” Siwek said. “Music education is constantly changing, and along with it, is the development of innovative technology that music teachers could bring into the classroom to benefit student learning.”
The Music Technology Leadership Academy is a program for pre-service music education majors to focus on strategies for engaging non-traditional middle and secondary school students through technology-based music programs. In conjunction with the Texas Music Educators Association Conference, the TI:ME Music Technology Leadership Academy is lead by nationally known music educators who specialize in working with non-traditional music students.
Siwek exposed herself to new ideas and teaching strategies that will help her to develop ideas on how to incorporate technology-based music classes in low socioeconomic status schools, as well as using the tools she learned and applying them in general music classrooms in elementary schools. She also hopes to use further research and knowledge to write a book relating to technology-based music classes.
“I gained a lot of knowledge about the field of music education,” Siwek said. “I have found that a musician can never stop learning, the essence of music lends itself to endless opportunities. I look forward to sharing my ideas and experiences with other colleagues and hope that I can make a positive impact on the future of music education.”