August 2012 Convention
Las Vegas, NV

NFA Pedagogy Anthology LIVE!

Several of the 2012 convention events featured authors who contributed to the new collection of 40 pedagogy articles that was published by the NFA this year in honor of the NFA’s 40th Anniversary. In this session, Leonard Garrison and Jim Walker, who contributed to the book’s section about technology, gave a presentation packed with information on technological tools that can be used in the flute studio.

Leonard Garrison

Garrison shared iPhone and iPad apps, such as metronomes, tuners, Garage Band, and video cameras. He also discussed MacOS apps such as Finale, Click Tracker, Audacity 2.0 (music recording freeware that comes with Mac computers), ProTools, and Praat speech analysis, which can be used to measure and see the depth of vibrato. He noted that recording hardware (specifically Audio Technica USB microphones) provides wonderful feedback with fantastic sound for teachers and students, and explained that using audio recording can make us aware of the details of sound. He pointed out that most musicians also happen to be visual learners, so using apps that allow us to see things graphically (i.e. vibrato, dynamics) will lead to greater accuity.

Jim Walker

Walker stressed that technology is simply a means to an end, enabling us to hear things better and bring about a higher level of performance. We can simply begin our journey into technology, he suggested, by recording a phrase and listening to it. He touched upon the many tools available in the Smart Music program in addition to keyboard accompaniments: tuner, metronome, practice looping, and a sensitivity microphone. He suggested favorite apps: ClearTune, which allows one to play along with a drone for tuning, and the Amazing Slow Downer, a free app that is beneficial when transcribing notes.

Articles by both presenters can be found in The Flutist’s Handbook: A Pedagogy Anthology, Volume 2, which was released at the August convention and is available through the NFA’s website at nfaonline.org/NFA-Store.

—Holly Clemens

photos by Brian Covington