Linda Jones teaches both of our music courses: AMU3M and AMU4M. You may wonder how a music class can be taught online. . .but rest (no pun intended) assured, doing so is entirely possible and effectively accomplished. Ms. Jones says that the technology available today is what makes learning and teaching music online so effective:
Teaching music online is easier than you might think. Devices including cell phones and tablets provide audio and visual quality comparable to high-end recording studios of the past. Imagine opening a student Dropbox submission and immediately feeling as if you have just taken a front row seat in a concert hall. That is what I experience time after time with student assignments. Their pieces might be creative compositions, a blues improv. for a jazz-backing track provided in the course, or a final solo performance on their instrument of choice.
For a music educator, resolution typically refers to a musical resting point or ending. But in Linda’s case (retired from conventional schools but not tired), the Virtual High School (VHS) Resolution Run in early 2013 signaled a beginning and not an end at all. That day was her first official contact with the school and staff. Covered in snowflakes and ice crystals, everyone gathered after the run inside the school, and over a steamy cup of hot cider, Linda experienced first-hand the incredibly warm and welcoming environment of VHS. She soon signed on as a music teacher and course writer.
Ms. Jones has 35 years of teaching and coaching experiences which have taught her the best methods for creative problem-solving. She is passionate about running, strength-training, and fitness. She is a foodie who loves all things creative. Ms. Jones often competes in track competitions and has set a number of relay records with her team. In June of 2015, Ms. Jones’ team set a new Canadian record for the W65 4 x 800m Outdoor Relay. In January of 2016, her team set the Canadian record for the W60 4 x 400m Indoor Relay. She was also very excited to meet Damian Warner, a Canadian decathlete, at this January event where he was signing autographs.
VHS provides Ms. Jones with flexible and stimulating teaching opportunities. While many other online educational institutions exist, only VHS offers uniquely creative, “out-of-the-box” learning experiences for its students. She finds it rewarding to work with an organization that highly values everyone—staff, teachers, students, and community. Ms. Jones has met challenges of writing an online music course by using the technological solutions available in Brightspace by D2L. Linda is pleased that the capability to use open-ended, creative approaches allows course content to be delivered in a variety of learning styles. The best part—as Linda would say (paraphrasing Thoreau)—”At VHS, we do not need to keep pace with our companions. . .we each can step to the music we hear.” Ms. Jones is thrilled to be able to extend her teaching years beyond her days in the conventional classroom, all while engaging with students from around the world:
I love teaching at VHS. There are many reasons and examples I could share, but let’s go with this one:
A current student recently submitted one of her assignments. Imagine my joy and surprise to see that for her discussion she has chosen two songs by an East coast-based, Juno award winning singer – Meghan Smith who is a former student of mine (she was in my grade 6 homeroom class, and I taught her music for her four years at Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts). Without this amazing job with VHS – that was one moment I would have missed. Thanks!