While slideshows are a big part of Google Slides, there are many other ways they can be useful for music teachers.
Here are just a few ideas:
As a starting point for group research projects
Like a procedural or musical diary
Like a practice journal
As a lesson guide or for project layout
In this blog, I’ll show you some simple ways I use Google Slides to create teaching tools and resources in my music classroom and with my students. Plus, you’ll learn some quick tips to make using Google Slides even easier!
#1: Save time with templates!
As music teachers, most of us are constantly pressed for time. Using templates to create presentations is a big time saver. You can create your own template and edit it every time you use it, or visit some of the free sites that provide great templates.
Providing templates as a basis for group work
Group work is always a great way to engage students. However, we often spend too much time on technical matters and too often students, especially my middle schoolers, can easily become distracted by the many options available. By creating a template and sharing it with different groups, they can focus on musical fundamentals and reduce time discussing layouts.
Process diaries or music diaries
In our school, we ask students to keep a process journal or a music journal. This is a living documentary that includes text, videos, audio, images, drawings that document their growth as musicians. I tried many different formats and finally decided to use Google Slides for this. It’s a place where all formats can be stored, easily edited and images can be organized in different ways – chronologically or by topic.
Keeping a practice journal is often a good idea to remind students of their daily practice. When I used paper exercise journals, it was easy to simply write down the entry. Using Google Slides as a journal, students can add evidence of their practice as well as embed explanatory videos they like.
#3: Using Google Slides to lead your lesson
One of the ways I use Google Slides most often is to create a full lesson plan. I love that I can virtually link anything in Google Slides! Never again will I have to click away from my presentation to show a video, Latest songs play a music sample, pause for a student to answer questions, work on a document or form, or create a jamboard. Everything is in one place and nothing can get lost.
#4: Add a musical note
Sometimes a short musical illustration is needed. Using the Flat for Docs add-on is the right program for this. Once you install it and open the add-on, you will see a screen similar to the one below. With just a few clicks, you can add a short musical notation. You can even add text, ornaments, articulation and choose from several pre-selected layouts.
#5: Change the background of your presentation.
The presentation background can be changed to give your presentation a special touch.
I used this very elegant template but wanted to add the Vienna State Opera to it since we were there for a performance. For this I need to modify the template.
You can find the Edit button under “edit theme”. This will take you to a different template look.
#6: Sharing your presentation
When it’s time to share your presentation, there are a few tips to make the process easier. By replacing the word “/edit” with “/present” in the web address of your Google Slides file, the presentation will automatically open in presentation view mode. An easy way to look even more professional and save time in a busy classroom.
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