Friday, September 25, 2009

Children's Music Journey by Savilla Banister

In this article they introduce what CMJ is and how you can use this technology tool in your classroom. CMJ stands for Children's Music Journey which is a software collection that allows Kindergarten to fifth graders take beginning music lessons from the experts. The experts are famous composers from several centuries ago. The concept of this technology tool is that the students play on an instrument digital interface keyboard. Once they log in, the take lessons from all types of composers and get individual feedback as to whether they did a great job or could use some more practice. The great thing about this software, is that they incorporate a wide diverse group of composers ranging from all types of music. They also include women and minorities. The first lesson begins with the student listening to exercises by a specific composer and thus asks for specific student feedback. Next is the opportunity for the student to play along on the keyboard. This program encourages students to explore the curriculum through additional reinforcement venues. This software offers games, composition, improvisation exercises and a listening library. With the budget crisis we are facing right now, there is a chance that the teacher won't have access or the opportunity to purchase 20-30 keyboards. For this reason, they have created a teacher's manual that provides materials for face to face group activities that correlate with the software. Included with the software, there are student assessments checklists that provide a good method for tracking individual progress. I agree that Children's Music Journey software could be a great addition to elementary music instruction. I was very surprised to see that they included pricing for this software and actually is quite reasonable. $69.95 for single volume without keyboard $179.95 single volume with keyboard $174.85 box set (volumes 1-3) without keyboard $274.85 box set (volumes 1-3) with keyboard.

I find this software beneficial for all classroom teachers. Like I mentioned previously, we are facing a huge budget crisis and first things cut are our arts and music programs. We as teachers should be prepared to teach arts and music in our classroom since we don't get the pleasure and convenience of sending them to an art teacher or music teacher. I think it would be a good idea to purchase two keyboards and have the students rotate while giving the other students face to face lessons that are provided in the box set. I found the pricing of these technology tools very reasonable and something i would definitely consider in my budget when becoming a teacher. They didn't mention anything in the article about other instruments, but with further research I hope to find that out prior to purchasing or considering. I was really surprised to read that they actually took into consideration what composers they wanted to use. They wanted to show students that composers come from a variety of different places. I think it's awesome that they used women and also minorities. This software seems to offer so much and provides so much for the students. From a teachers standing point, I don't feel like it would be a difficult task to grasp and yet easy enough to inform the students on what to do. When students hear that they will be doing a lesson with technology, they are already excited and eager to get their hands on it. This works very good for the hands on learners like I am. Even in college, I find lessons more intriguing with the use of technology. Just think of how exciting this would be for an elementary school student.


  1. this sounds like a great program, but the cost is a lot. and are economically is not all that great to invest is something likes this. but this is a great way for kids to try out music without having them have to buy the instrument. this way if they don't like it they are not stuck with the instruments and it saves money for the parents. but over all i really like the idea. coming from a person that can't play an instrument, this sounds like a great way to learn.

  2. Wow, this sounds really intreging - it sounds like a great way for student to learn how to play an instrument. I am also curious to see of there are other instruments that can be used with this program. In regards to the keyboards, did it mention anything about them having to ba specific type? I've heard of keyboards that are relatively portable in that they are able to be rolled up I wonder if those are relativley inexpensive and can be used with the program - and if the program can be projected for the class to all get a lesson together... I interested in findint out more information and how it could be used in more of a whole class setting.

    Link for portable keyboard photo:

  3. I think this is great! I feel horrible that due to budget cuts the first things that usually go are art and music programs. I feel that it is very important for students to learn about these subjects. I love how this program offers students a chance to learn about famous composers and their music!

  4. It is a very nice and good post. Keep up the good work.