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A Student Guide

... for Learning in the 

Heterogeneous Blended Learning Environment


What is it? 


The Music Studio classes offered at Burr and Burton Academy are considered HETEROGENEOUS BLENDED LEARNING courses.  Blended learning is where you explore course content through a "blend" of  digital resources complimented by face to face instruction.  This student centered approach provides more one on one instructional opportunities, the development of independence as a learner, and the opportunity to develop skills for learning that will last a lifetime.  Much of the music studio course content is explored through projects, where you will be trained to research, investigate and find solutions to problems that have been crafted by the instructor.  


As each course progresses, you will be gradually given more and more autonomy to guide your creative study.  In the earlier units, much of the work is "modeled" and scripted for you with an emphasis on the process of how one learns and manipulates new material.  Prior to completion of each course, you will craft a capstone project that encompasses strategies for research, the setting of timelines for project management, and the creation of creative artifacts of your learning. 


The HETEROGENEOUS nature of our courses describes the fact that during any music studio learning block, several subjects can be offered at the same time.  Some students may be studing Music Theory while others Audio Production in the same room.  Small group and individual instruction serve to compliment the powerful online tools that have been developed to deliver content to each individual.  The benefits have been remarkable.


  • We can offer a wider range of courses

  • Students are not locked out of courses based on scheduling constraints

  • Students can progress at their own pace with specific targeted goals set by the instructor

  • Students that need remedial assistance get more one on one instruction

  • Students learn HOW to learn more effectively through a gradual release model of instruction

  • Project based learning enhances creative freedom



Really Important Tips from Previous Students:


  1. Read what is presented in each unit.  The information has been gathered to help us learn more efficiently. Avoid       skimming material.   

  2. Make your eNotebook very user friendly.  Label everything clearly so that you can go back later and find it a useful tool.  Learn to embed your audio examples and provide descriptions of your work whenever possible.  Put the unit work in the correct unit and remember to logout before you copy the url to submit to your instructor.

  3. Don’t fall behind.  Each unit is designed to be completed in roughly 5-6 class periods.  If you start to get behind on the deadlines,  take the work home or come in for extra lab time.  It is really different assigning yourself homework... I like the freedom.

  4. Each unit  is meant to be just a guide.  Your job is to go deeper and research aspects that will help you understand the material  better.  The teacher provides you some great resources... it helps if you look for more.

  5. Check your email and texts at the start of class.  If you need to use your phone during class, let the instructor know so he does not freak out.

  6. I like to work but sometimes people waste time and talk too much in the lab which distracts me.  They usually fall behind too.   Don't abuse the freedom in this class... make the most of it and get into the subject.

  7. Take the time to let others hear your work. The feedback helped me a lot.

  8. When you get stumped on a problem, learn how to solve it yourself first.  Your teacher is there to help as well.

  9. Don't unplug headphones and keep the desktop clean so I can use it too!

  10. Don't be afraid to ask questions.   





Time Management


  • Get to work at the start of each class.

  • Take reasonable breaks without disturbing others

  • At the start of each unit, skim through all the material to see how many assignments need to be completed.  

  • Make a plan for the week to ensure that you get it all done.

  • When you fall behind, determine what would work best for homework.  Sometimes watching the videos or doing the readings at home will give you more time to create music during class.

  • Set small goals.  If you struggle to stay on task, your instructor can help you with a guided learning plan.


Portfolio Management


  • An organized ePortfolio leads to an organized mind

  • Take notes on your research

  • Embed videos and audio.

  • Screen shots (Command Shift 4 on mac)

  • Add reflective notes on your work... what worked, what didn't, what was your process.

  • Example:  If the unit is about learning audio compression, you really need to have a good description of how it works complete with pics.  Posting just the final project for the assignment is not enough.  Your goal is to prove to me that you have mastered the concept

  • If you are still reading this, find your instructor and win a prize.  READ!


Creative Projects


You need to learn to take some risks.  Each student is going to have a different level of musicianship and ability.  That is ok.  If you work hard, show your learning and your process, you will do fine.  There needs to be evidence of effort.  There is no bad work, only bad effort.  Your teacher knows the difference.  


Much of what you will hear will be student work in progress.  Be positive with your peers and provide constructive help if asked.















Grading Practice


For every unit, your instructor will grade you based on two key components


1. Content Knowledge - Developed Expertise

2. Habits of Learning - Your ability effectively learn, remain curious and persistent







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