Updated by Jack Keough
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how teachers look at education and their teaching methods forever. Remote teaching created more obstacles for teachers to navigate during already busy school days. From English to Phys Ed, teachers in all subject areas have adapted their instruction for virtual and hybrid classrooms. They have also had to reconsider the effectiveness of their assessments. Suddenly, there was not enough time to provide the same level of feedback they had in the past.
Music teachers were not immune to these struggles. Many tried to hold practices and lessons over Zoom, but it wasn't always reliable and didn't provide the same level of individualized attention as in-person instruction. Middy was designed to help music teachers quickly assess their students' learning, even when they can't be in the same room with them. With Middy's easy-to-use tools, teachers can view their students' progress every time they practice, even outside school hours.
What is Middy?
Middy is a platform suitable for both beginning and intermediate piano students. A student only needs a MIDI keyboard, a desktop computer, and Google Chrome to get started. If you don't have a MIDI keyboard, you can even use your computer keyboard instead! Then, students can guide themselves through various lessons that teach them the fundamentals of playing the piano, sight-reading, music theory, etc., through playlists in different genres or through teacher-designed lessons.
There are several advantages to using Middy to host your music lessons:
1. Middy allows you to create your own courses or use theirs
Tech-savvy teachers can create MIDI and XML files with either a digital audio workstation (DAW) or a notation program, then upload them to their channels. Middy provides easy step-by-step directions on creating MIDI files using Logic Pro, quantizing them, and exporting them to Middy. They also guide teachers through how to create exercises in Sibelius and uploading them to Middy. Not that familiar with these programs? You also have the option to use any lessons in Middy's curriculum or material designed by some of your favorite music publishers.
2. Middy integrates with standard learning management systems
No need to learn a new learning management system. You can use the program you are already familiar with, such as Blackboard or Moodle. Students can access Middy from anywhere you can embed a plugin. That means Middy will automatically import grades for assessments too.
3. Middy provides students with instant feedback no matter when they practice
Middy keeps track of important information, such as correct and incorrect notes and rhythm, when students record themselves going through an exercise. Then, it provides them with real-time feedback they can use to become better piano players, as well as a score. When you can't be there to give your students praise or advice, Middy can help.
4. Middy delivers teachers with useful analytics
Middy monitors things like when and how long students are practicing; this data gives you an idea of how dedicated your students are and their future potential. It also immediately grades assessments, advances students through your curriculum and sends a full report to the teacher. These analytics can help you tailor your lessons to your students' levels and needs. This feedback can help you become a better music teacher, too. For example, you will instantly see if your students find the material you give them too complicated or if you pace your lessons too quickly for your student's ability level.
Middy is there for everyone!
Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed both students' and teachers' attitudes toward remote learning. It has forced us to discover creative ways to engage students and manage our time. But, unfortunately, it has also caused some of our students to become less motivated. Middy works for unmotivated students by awarding them using a point system for playing the correct notes on time. Students can also slow down the tempo and loop through sections whenever needed.
Of course, it works for more advanced piano students, too. Students can choose to play music either from a piano roll or sheet music using standard notation. The latter option helps them learn to read music and practice more advanced pieces.
We now have the technology to meet with students when they are away or ill or live in different countries. With these changes, however, comes more challenges for teachers. So why struggle with new ways to assess or take more time to grade when Middy can do it for you?
Whether you run a music school, teach in a public school, or give piano lessons from your home, Middy can help make your life easier. Hosting a channel on Middy is free, and it includes a custom-branded channel, the ability to create your own lessons, and premium support. For more advanced features, request a quote from Middy's website today.
Article written by: Crystalee Calderwood