When I was growing up, my voice teacher would have me bring cassette tapes to my voice lessons. We would record warmups, new songs, and sometimes even full lessons so that I could practice more effectively at home throughout the week.
In college, I bought a handheld voice recorder for the same purpose, thought not the modern kind that allows you to download mp3 files from it.
When I started teaching lessons, and even up until this past school year, I made CD after CD for my students — each time they learned or recorded a new song. I was going through so many CDs each month that I finally decided I needed to find an alternative.
I experimented with a few different options. I tried out Dropbox as a method of sharing mp3 files with my students, but that took up too much space in my already full account. I also tried sending mp3s as download links, but that wasn’t very convenient for either of us.
And then I had a “duh” moment. I used a USB flash drive to transfer new songs from my home computer to my work computer, so why couldn’t my voice students do the same thing? I suggested it to just a few students at first, and now almost all of them bring a flash drive to each of their lessons.
No more wasted CDs or excuses about not being able to practice. Most of my students are very good with computers and know how to use iTunes, YouTube, and so on…this is just one more excuse for them to use the computer, and I’m okay with that :) Parents are happy too, because they get to hear what we’ve been working on in our lessons.
How do you share music with your students and encourage them to practice throughout the week?