By Shelly Cole
Remote, Hybrid, Virtual, HEPA filters, PPE, Social Distancing, Aerosol Emissions. All of these words have taken on new meaning in the past five months and strike fear and anxiety in the hearts of every teacher in the nation. We all have to embrace, no matter what phase your community is in and how your year is planned to start, it is not what it was a year ago. Breathe. We understand and we are here for you. Tri-M can help.
Kids need to see us but more importantly, kids need to see kids. If it is not safe, in your community, for you to meet live, virtual meetings are the next best thing. Whether you choose Zoom, Google Meet or another virtual meeting platform, make sure you take the time to familiarize yourself with the format. Be sure to check with your school district for approved platforms and suggested privacy and safety protocols.
Once you have chosen your meeting platform, the possibilities are endless. Hold a business meeting or have students create different lessons to share with your chapter on Music History, Music from different countries or “how to” videos on Science in Music. Hold a virtual talent show and allow your students to showcase their work or hidden talents. You can also create games and virtual scavenger hunts by utilizing platforms such as Google Forms. Our students crave the need to connect and be creative. Let them plan and come up with amazing ideas for your virtual meetings.
Virtual Community Service
Have your Tri-M chapter assist the music department during this virtual transition by serving as section leaders and tutors. While Zoom may be difficult for large ensembles, private teachers have had great success moving their lessons to virtual platforms. Have your Tri-M students hold private lessons or sectional tutoring. Have members create example videos and lessons that can be utilized by younger members as best practice resources. You may also have your chapter assist elementary teachers, who are isolated with small classes, by creating video presentations of your favorite song books. Have Tri-M members create video performances of ABC’s and various other elementary songs or readings and send them to your elementary music and classroom teachers. Reach out to local nursing homes and set up a time to do virtual performances or remote recitals. (Make sure you are following copyright laws on any recorded performances. See NAfME or your publishers websites for more information.)
Flexibility and creativity are definitely the key to success for this year. Coming up with socially distanced community service ideas is a challenge. Hopefully these ideas will help you with some creative ideas of your own.
Bitmoji Chapter Rooms
If you haven’t jumped on the Bitmoji bandwagon, do. It is worth it! Jazz up your website by creating a Bitmoji chapter page with links to your chapter resources. YouTube is full of tutorials on creating a Bitmoji classroom and the possibilities are endless. Have your students get involved and link the lessons they have helped create to your Bitmoji chapter page. You can also utilize it as a “getting to know you” activity by having your students send you a bitmoji of themselves and a biography. Utilize the bitmoji, link the student’s biography to their Bitmoji and let students get to know them by clicking on each member of the chapter.
2020-2021 is definitely a year of unknowns and challenges but it is also a time for us to explore, problem solve and get creative. This is the perfect opportunity for you to help students take the lead as they help you navigate uncharted waters. Tri-M is the perfect vessel for you to board as you take this journey with your students. KMEA will, again this year, be providing $50 scholarships to new Tri-M Charter Chapters. See the link below to find out more about how to take advantage of this opportunity. GodSpeed and welcome aboard!
Sample Bitmoji Ensemble
Bitmoji Tri-M Chapter Room