Required Comment 1: What about the wiki?

Comment before class on Thursday

Please visit the wiki for the Tchaik project. Given that this is a quick and dirty first try at something that might hold potential for integrating technology into ensemble settings, explore, comment, and critique.

We will do something similar next semester (I’m planning this: we’ll work with an already arranged Sousa march to create new parts, etc.; and we’ll notate a much shorter piece such as an overture for a spring performance). Given that, how might a wiki like this be used? What could be added? What could be enhanced? What would be educational and interesting for students in terms of resources and activities?

Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the great work that is evidenced by these artifacts. Here’s the site:

http://digitaltchaik.pbwiki.com/

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36 Comments on “Required Comment 1: What about the wiki?”

  1. Emily D Says:

    A wiki like this can be used a plethora of ways: class website, place to share files, way to keep connected after the class is over to continue sharing information learned elsewhere. A couple things that could be added are more pictures or things that would catch the eye..there’s a lot of words. Also, I couldn’t seem to find any links back to the home page…but maybe I wasn’t looking close enough?? In terms of resources and activities, relevant games or a multitude of songs to remix with maybe directions or instructions on how to use the software (incase they’ve never learned how to use garage band or audacity). Stuff that might make it feel like they’re not really learning, but they are *oooo trickery!*

  2. NatDoug Says:

    I think the wiki could be additionally helpful by uploading different recordings of this piece and allowing users to comment on the differences between them. One of my favorite resources, hornexcerpts.com, allows horn players to print excerpts and listen to 5 of 6 different recordings by famous soloists and orchestras while studying orchestral literature. It is great to compare stylistic differences by conductor, geographic location, time of recording, and countless other factors within the orchestra.

  3. katieh Says:

    I am really not familiar with using wikis. However, it does seem to be quite useful for our purposes. I enjoyed the video, and it was clearly visible and labeled so we knew what it was.
    From what I can gather, a wiki can be used for classes with tech-savvy students who enjoy being on the computer. It’s an easy way to keep posted on events in the class. You could do a lot of different things with a wiki–post audio/video clips, post discussion topics, etc.
    Using more technology in the class makes it easy for everyone to access class info from home, which makes life so much easier.

  4. Melissa S Says:

    I think that the wiki is a good idea, but having it along side the weblog may be a bit excessive. I think that the wiki is very well organized and it seemed pretty easy to use from what I saw. Also, since there is a comment feature, I could see the weblog not being needed anymore for this class.

  5. Colby C Says:

    The wiki, in the same ways as our WordPress website, provides a home base for our class. Beyond the typical posting of assignments, it allows students to be “on the same page” for larger assignments. For us, a Tchaikovsky wiki could have been more useful if we had access to such a thing earlier in our project (as well as having much more time to work as a CLASS to perfect parts, etc. of our digital transcription). While I feel it is quite unnecessary to have a wiki for everything we work on or do, I can certainly see it’s benefits in regards to our Tschaikovsky project.

  6. Jeff N Says:

    I too, am not that familiar with wiki besides wikipedia. Nowever, I am not a fan of the wiki. Its the same as a blog, but in reality I don’t think that the wiki would get that many hits, from someone out side of the u of i network. I really liked the project, good length, and really hands on, bc the only way to learn how to notate is to practice… so yea

  7. Sara G. Says:

    I agree with the previous two posters. I think that wikis have incredible potential. I am all for the idea of making classical music more accessible to everyone, and if we have the technology to do it, why not? I love the fact that we have the garage band files of the recordings for people to mix. I’m curious to find out what they will come up with. The only thing I find annoying is the fact that you have to login and create another account for another website in order to edit the wiki.

  8. Aaron K Says:

    I agree with Natalie – links to youtube videos or recordings of the piece would benefit it greatly. Maybe also clips of specific motifs in the symphony?? But it’s good – I like it. The video is very good, props to Justin! And the score, bios, and remixes are very good additions. Maybe starting a comment space is a good idea for students to start conversation online about the piece. Great work Matt! Thanks for doing this!

  9. jschwar7 Says:

    I think that the wiki is a good idea to keep people updated. I just don’t know how other people outside of this class would know about this page. The video was absolutely fantastic! That Justin kid is a true artist. I think it’s also cool to have our post productions for garageband and other projects up for people to listen to before they start there projects.

  10. mike k Says:

    The video was a great addition to this wiki. However I think it would be even better if there were other media things for people to explore – such as links to other recordings. I like the idea of the wiki because I feel it is a great way to share information among a group pf people. Look at wikipedia – it’s a global wiki. That’s definitely a testament to the success of a wiki.

  11. mus243 Matt Says:

    Thanks for the comments so far! A few responses:
    1. The intended audience is not our course. Rather, it is the ensemble members, the audience, and perhaps others (and could include our class). My future goals are to produce free versions, say, of a Sousa march or other short piece in the public domain, and invite numerous ensembles around the web/world to use the resources, interact, post analysis and recordings, and generally have rich experiences through the piece that can persist after the concert.
    2. I love the idea of posting additional excerpts. There’s a copyright issue, but generally-accepted practice on sites like Wikipedia seems to be that 30 seconds that do not comprise a performable unit may be extracted for commentary and analysis. On the other hand, it would be fine to link to YouTube videos, and perhaps many exist.
    3. On that note, I’d love in the future to build links that are relevant for the project as a whole (to articles, commentary, analysis, program notes, etc.). There are digital Tchaik projects out there (very different from ours) and to connect students, teachers, and an audience to those resources seems a very valuable goal.

    Looking forward to reading more,

    Matt

  12. kditsch Says:

    The wiki so far is really interesting and fun to look around! When we first started this project, I wasn’t really sure of how this whole thing would pan out, but it definitely turned out great! It was fun to watch the short video on the website of the orchestra rehearsing a little, along with some players in the orchestra telling us about their experience.

    I think that a wiki would be very helpful for future classes. Not only is it cool to have a website devoted to something that a class has been spending a lot of time on, but it is nice to go back and think about where we started on this project and look how far we have gotten. The program notes section is also really nice to have on the wiki. I know that it is just as easy to go and Google it, but this way all the information is compressed into a small essay.

  13. Emily D Says:

    The wiki is a valuable tool only if a student is playing the piece. It would be very helpful to have the ability to view other parts, and to listen for who else has the same parts as you.
    This would be cool for the friends and parents of a student in the ensemble, because then they could see what that student has been working on.
    This would also be helpful in terms of learning the piece to begin with. To see what to listen for before you even go into a rehearsal would be very helpful.

  14. Batman Says:

    This is a cool wiki, but I am not sure anyone outside of our class will ever access it. It is too bad too because that video was very cool. I think this wiki could be even more useful if there were links to other sights or sound recordings. This kind of sight should be taken advantage of for students to communicate about homework or projects. I dont know much about wiki’s, but it seems like they could be very useful in a class setting.

  15. Ryan M. Says:

    lots of great things on this wiki. i like that you can look at the score and parts. it would be great as an audience member to sort of know what you’re getting yourself into, so to speak. and also its neat to see the program notes. lots of intresting facts i didn’t know about tchaikovsky.

  16. glenn e Says:

    This page is really well set up, yet a little dry. The video is a nice touch – a professional looking synopsis of the project as a whole. Links to youtube videos of performances of the Tchaikovsky 5 and audio recordings would be another excellent resource for those who visit the page. It would be yet another way for them to be involved in this entire project. The links to the actual Sibelius parts is a wicked cool touch, especially for horn players, because they can check that out without having to splurge on an excerpt book. This is a well made wiki and it deserves a large audience – I hope we get one!

  17. theresas Says:

    I think the page would be a wonderful tool for teaching in the classroom! I unfortunately think, however, that I would not use this one et because it needs more spark to it. It has a great layout and great information, but it could use something a little more visual than only writing on it. If you can find some, maybe you could add some pictures of the performance or instrumental graphics on the wiki. If there was a way we could have a recording of the performance and post it on the wiki, I think that would be very ideal.
    Also, the movie is a nice touch, but I think that can’t be the only thing on the site that explains the purpose of the project to audiences. A paragraph of introduction to what happened and a little background on everything could help immensely. For example, although most of us would figure out that we re-wrote Tchaikovsky’s *Fifth* symphony (because we are music majors), the only way you can actually find that out if you don’t know which symphony is to go in the program notes for those who have less knowledge of the symphonies because it does not state that on the home page.
    I think its great, though, for students wanting to learn the music. They have so many resources and opportunities with this one site! It is amazing!

  18. Marie R Says:

    I think the Wiki is frivolous. It is well organized, for sure, however it is somewhat bland. The Wiki has a narrow audience though. If a student who is currently or has, in the past, played the Tchaik piece, then the Wiki is helpful. But for those of us who have only arranged small portions of it probably don’t really have use for the Wiki.

  19. Ben K Says:

    From looking at the Wiki, it seems like a very easy way to share things. I also think that it is a great way to share information, videos, etc. I liked the video, because it gives a personal touch that is pretty cool. For students, it’s a great oppurtunity to share what you are doing with others, and to see what you’ve done without having to go see the concert or look it up on sibelius. It’s actually there, easily accessable, so from that stand point, its pretty cool.

  20. Jenny Says:

    Wow, I have never visited a wiki before, and I didn’t really know what it was till just now. It’s awesome! Seems really easy to use and there is SO much there! Not only is it rewarding for the students (us) who actually were involved with everything up there, but it’s a great way for others to see what we did. You could show it to fellow teachers to suggest classroom material or teaching methods, projects and such. You could also tell other students what you did and show off a bit. Any kind of wiki would be a great teaching tool, even a “homemade” textbook if you will. The teacher could put projects and loads of stuff up there for students to use.

    I also think that the scores and sounds and videos being accessable is wonderful because it’s not just “read this blog” I mean…peple can remix their own stuff!!! It’s crazy 😛 I love it, and I think everyone could use it…it has examples of things, and even if someone’s never heard Tchaik and has no interest in it whatsoever, I believe that it could at least open students’ eyes to what’s out there and give them a chance to learn…anything. It’s not just “read this blog” it’s “INTERACT AND LEARN!!!” True experience. I have so much to say about this…how each thing up there is important and suggestions of what to add, how to use it effectively as an education tool…wiki’s in general are a great use of today’s technology and this is very special to those involved. I think it’s very exciting, from a music educator position anyway…

  21. kevinraschen Says:

    I have never heard of a wiki before but after exploring it for a little I think it has some potential. One plus is it is very easy to use and navigate and is a great recourse for audience members and musicians to look into before and after the concert. It’s nice how it allows you to view other members parts so you can see what they have and also how you are able to isolate all the melodies from the piece. I think it would be cool to put up a few recording of professional orchestras.

  22. us243 Says:

    Very neat! A wiki is a great tool for incorporating not only links and files to the actual score that we worked on but includes a video medium that people can watch. The video was done very nicely having people talk and then by showing a film of them directly interacting with the music was effective. I can see wiki’s being a bit hit in the classroom, it’s similar to a blog but more advanced. I look forward to utilizing wiki’s in the future.

  23. emilyjayne Says:

    the wiki looks great. it’s nice to have a tool that can neatly relay information in a way that makes it fun for kids to explore. that said – i think more pieces obviously need to be explored before it can become helpful in any way. i also wonder about how easy it would be to use this in a classroom setting – we talk ALL the time about utilizing technology and it’s our future, blah blah – but a lot of schools simply don’t have the technology nor the funds to support GETTING the technology. it’s just the value of today’s society – football uniforms for a struggling football team that desperately wants to go to state this year and maybe send a few seniors away on football scholarship…. or give one of those “band geeks” a few computers with some high end software so they can learn more about their discipline. i know which option i’d choose, but i’m not an administrator with parents on my case about this and that. which band teacher has time to take 50-80 kids down to a lab (which school has the space? and why didn’t i get to go there?) — and once they get there, how can they be guaranteed to keep their focus? as teachers, we’re going to have to be creative. this is nice, but it’s a little idealistic for schools which are lucky enough to even HAVE a music program and whose administration won’t bother to throw a little money their way to further their students’ education.

  24. hornplaya88 Says:

    I’ve always been a big supporter of technology in the classroom and I feel the wiki is a really sweet thing to create. I wanted to see what actually happened with the whole Tchiak project because it was such a big undertaking, and its pretty awesome to see what we created. The wiki provides our work for others to use. The garage band version of the tchiak would be pretty cool to remix, and I like how the wiki connects everyone involved (the musicians and the class).

  25. travismarkley Says:

    I thought the wiki was pretty cool. There were definitely some great aspects to it that could be very fun to look at and could occupy some time for a little while. But, I think it could definitely be expanded to a format similar to this website where we could comment on things and make our opinions known. Either way, everything is going to have good things about it and flaws that come with it as well. I think it is a good idea and should be incorporated more often by educators. I know only one teacher I had in high school used a wiki and it was very helpful.

  26. mcowen2 Says:

    It was the first time i ever looked at a wiki website. Actually i think it was interesting all the options that are offered with wiki. Being able to post blogs and videos of them practicing. it was also useful for others to come to the website and see what is going on with the Tchiak project and more. I also thought it was very cool that you could get the score and part by part off of wiki.

  27. lpence2 Says:

    I liked the wiki. It seemed well organized and easy to navigate. And it also seemed to have all of the same options as this website, plus more! The video was very good and gave a lot of information.

  28. Andrew Says:

    In this day and age, there is a wiki for everything. The wiki contains a lot of useful information about the project and what was done. The program notes provide a wonderful reference to students doing any research on the piece. What I would like to see is more on the front page to allow for easier navigation. If more projects were done, I would rather see a wiki that combines all of them as opposed to a wiki for each piece. This would give more depth and more information to put into the wiki. Overall, I would say this is a great source for information and a great way to document the work that is being done.

  29. Erin Kimberlee Says:

    I think that the concept of this project is very exciting and interesting! The wiki is a very effective way to follow progress. I really enjoyed the video that was posted on the wiki! It was very informative. This was my first time visiting a sight like this, and I sense that it can be very effective in the classroom! I think that it gives students and teachers a sense of accomplishment to see their work put together in one place.

  30. Eric Swanson Says:

    I think the wiki is a very nice concept for sharing info about the event. One concern that at least I would have is how people outside the project would find the site or even know about it; perhaps an advertised link from the U of I music website could be a good recruiting tool for those interested in joining the orchestra or the music education program at U of I. The remixing opportunity is a very cool touch . . . if you have time or the software to use it. Orchestra member bios would be nice too.

  31. sherylm Says:

    I think that this is very exciting! It is extremely organized and and easy to use. I also agree that a comment space would be great opportunity as it gives people the opportunity to reflect and communicate with others on the new information they are digesting.

  32. Lauren S Says:

    I don’t really know how to use wikis at all or anything. I myself probably would not take the time to use it unless I got really bored. Its cool that the info is shared and is online for everyone to view though. I don’t think very many people are aware of this site or sites like this and it should be advertised a little better. I think it would be cool for a teacher to have a wiki though. It is easy to find and get onto since most everyone has internet at home.

  33. radford2 Says:

    I thought the wiki site was really interesting and potentially very useful in a technology class like ours. The site is kind of bland and colorless right now, so maybe some pictures and less words? The video was very informative and of good quality. If only we could incorporate the wiki with the existing website so there aren’t two? It seems a bit overload.

  34. Adam S Says:

    I think you all bring up some very valid points about the use of wikis and their place in the music classroom. I would like to briefly comment on something that Emily brought up, which is the funding for technology in schools – which is always a challenge, and an issue that you should all consider. Most of the schools that I am familiar with in this state have funds set aside for acquiring technology. It is important to not view your budget concerns as a battle with a perceived value in another discipline (ie, the new football uniforms). Even though this perception may, in fact, be a reality, a good team of administrators will never put anything ahead of an academic need. And therein lies the challenge for music teachers when it comes to technology. In my opinion, we as a profession have not been doing a good job of demonstrating an academic need for technology – much like we have not been doing a good job of advocating for music in the schools, but that is a topic for another day and another class. The types of projects that you all have been doing this semester are great and powerful examples of the importance of student creativity in music. If you can construct a solid argument for using technology to benefit a wide population of students in a creative environment, your administration will have to consider your claims. Every teacher that I know who has been able to do this has been successful in acquiring what they needed. Be prepared to fight, be prepared to lose, and be prepared to keep trying because it is important, and a vital part of what we do.

  35. eskayve Says:

    I thought that the wiki was a very creative idea to give students an idea of the project they are going to be working on. The video showed the process of it, played the music, and interviewed ppl (good job justin!). I think more links could be provided with information about the song and with actual recordings of it, since people only can hear clips of the piece on the video. But having a video is very beneficial to a class because it gives the students a visual..something other than a teacher’s instructions.

  36. Kristin K Says:

    I think Wiki would be helpful for uploading additional recordings. It is extremely organized and easy to use. It had all of the same options as this website, but it was more advanced.


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