Motlow music professor incorporates tech into the classroom

Motlow State Music Professor Dr. David Bethea uses the forScore app on his Apple iPad to explain musical scores and their structure in one of his classes. {Photo Courtesy of Motlow College}

LOCAL NEWS | Education – Motlow Music Professor Dr. David Bethea keeps the attention of his Generation Z and Alpha students by integrating technology apps into the daily classroom. It’s a practice that’s both fueled student engagement and improved student success, according to the college. Bethea utilizes his iPad Pro as a portable digital library that allows him to access multiple apps, such as the forScore app, to support student learning.

“With the incorporation of the forScore app, I digitally view and interact with musical scores in the same manner as with a paper version,” said Bethea. “With the Apple Pencil I notate reminders and directions related to musical ideas directly onto the digital version of the score and share that with students real-time. As director of Choir and Band courses, I electronically carry the musical scores for all the pieces that I am currently rehearsing with each group, eliminating cumbersome binders for paper. During performances I conduct in low-light situations without the use of a stand light, giving me ultimate reassurance that I am able to see my scores.”

Recently, Dr. Bethea also incorporated the Tenuto app and its interactive music theory games to review and instruct students on topics covered in the Music Theory I course. Tenuto includes 30 interactive music theory categories, each having its own interactive game. Along with Tenuto, Bethea started using another instructional support app, TouchNotation, that allows the instructor to compose, along with the students, various musical scales and/or phrases through Apple TV. Once the exercise is completed, the composition can be played back for review.

“There are many music theory apps available,” Bethea added, “and I am just beginning to scratch their surface. As the semester progresses and our discussion of musical theory components increases, I’m sure I will discover other features to use in reinforcing important musical notation concepts.”

Tech in the classroom is a priority for Motlow President Dr. Michael Torrence who says he’s always focused on meeting the emerging needs of incoming students. It’s also in alignment with their recent focus of being an industry leader in mechatronics and robotics training in the area. •

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