Updated by Jack Keough
If you don’t know what your students are doing outside of class you are making a huge mistake.
As a music educator, your role is to determine exactly what your student needs to achieve his or her goal and guide them on their artistic journey. This generally involves prescribing practice material based on the student’s knowledge and skill gaps, and continually assessing the student’s mastery of the material. This dynamic is incredibly challenging to manage properly if you do not know what your students are doing outside of your class.
Let’s diagnose this problem further. In order to create an accurate profile of a student’s progress, you need to allocate valuable time to observing and critiquing the performance of practice material. Furthermore, as material becomes more advanced, the time requirement for making accurate progress assessments grows. The less assessment’s you make, the worse your understanding is of what your student needs to do to achieve their goal. You ultimately have to balance time spent on assessment with introducing new material and correcting bad habits.
As music students, we experienced this problem ourselves and came to the realization that teachers and schools need technology to help monitor student’s practice behavior. This allows teachers to focus less on in-person assessment while creating an even better understanding of how students are progressing through new material.
The more our software was used by students, the more we confirmed that test scores only tell you part of a larger story. For example, we found that there’s a huge difference between a student that took ten minutes to receive the top score as opposed to a student who took five hours to receive the top score. The student who spent less time on material isn’t being challenged, while the other may be missing skills or knowledge at this point in the curriculum.
The analytics proved to be super helpful in other ways for teachers and schools managing larger groups of students. Our software enabled them to compare data across different groups to refine curriculum. By monitoring student’s practice behavior, they could now answer the following questions:
How much time is required a week for a student to maintain a high grade average? What parts of the curriculum are too easy or too difficult? How much practice time per week should we target? Which students are very passionate about piano and which ones are doing the bare minimum to get by? Does one group of students have a higher skill level than another?
Ultimately, with Middy, we can transform every class and 1 on 1 session into a more powerful learning opportunity, and generate better insights for teachers to help students achieve their most challenging goals.