Last week, I had an epiphany. See, I was teaching Sight Singing 2 to a bunch of students who had already failed it the first time and we were all frustrated. I was frustrated that they weren’t able to grasp the material and they were frustrated that I wasn’t yet dead so they could automatically move on to Sight Singing 3.
Both sight singing and ear training have a unique challenge built into the course- No textbook in the world can possibly help you learn sight singing or ear training by yourself. You can never practice either by yourself, because how do you know if you are right?
Practicing with others works well, but unless you have a very dedicated friend who is available 24/7 and willing to listen to you struggle through examples, then you can’t always rely on other people.
There are always apps and programs online that help, but the good ones cost money that you nor the school really has to offer.
I knew the solution was making some kind of available resource, online, that students could practice with any time and get real-time feedback. But I also knew that my skills as a webpage designer could easily be compared to Bill Gates, if he lost both arms and legs, went blind, deaf, and dumb, and was then placed in a dark cave in the middle of nowhere.
The answer came from my a cappella group. We had already started building a new website and our alto Melanie had shown me something called Wix. Wix is a free website builder that lets you add all sorts of things, like movies, and music, and photos, provided you use their template.
With WIX, I built a sight-singing practice website for my students, with audio clips, a metronome, and sheet music examples.
Before you start thinking that I now currently work for WIX and this is just some ploy to gain more customers, it isn’t and I don’t work for them. But I did think that WIX could have multiple a cappella applications that you probably haven’t thought of yet…
1) A place to hold your MIDIs
You could possibly make a website where your members could log on, practice their music with midi files they would never have to keep track of, and follow along with sheet music that you posted online.
When Docacappella.com finally comes (I’m working on it), I will house it on WIX, because even a computer-nobody like me can make a decent website.
Chances are, your members have lost the links to your Google calendar/doodle page, documents, and other really important things you use all the time. Why not put up the links on WIX?
And in case you think I’m being biased towards WIX, I also recommend Squarespace. So there.
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