Facilitating STEM Karaoke with Noteflight Software

Presented by

John Mlynczak, Noteflight.com (MA) and Greg Crowther, PhD, Everett Community College (WA)

Abstract

STEM instructors brave enough to use music in their classrooms have typically played songs or music videos while the students watch passively. At this conference we will be seeing a host of ways in which educational music can be made into a more active experience for students. In this presentation we will highlight one way, namely, STEM karaoke. STEM karaoke has been feasible for some time, but is greatly facilitated by the use of a free or low-cost subscription to Noteflight. After Greg shows examples of how he helps become active singers of STEM content, John will provide a quick tour of Noteflight's features and answer questions. Free trial Noteflight memberships will be made available to all conference participants!

Recording

Just to anticipate one question about this that some people may have.... The example I used was a parody of "Sugar, Sugar"; does an instructor have the legal right to use a song in that way?  My understanding -- after wading through some verbiage on fair use, the US Copyright Act of 1976, and the Supreme Court case Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music -- is that song parodies in general are kind of a gray area.  As a practical matter, I feel legally and morally justified in adapting popular songs for educational purposes, since I always give credit to the original songwriters/performers and am not making money on my songs or depriving the original artists of any income.  Of course, different schools and online platforms may have different interpretations of fair use, and one must also comply with those to the best of one's ability. But in my 20 or so years as a member of the science songwriting community, I've never heard anyone running into significant legal trouble as a result of making an educational parody of a song.

So how most people view this is that the distribution or derivative works is where you get in trouble. If this is just a classroom activity for education purposes that is not publicly performed or distributed, no one should complain.

I really appreciate you holding this conference. Noteflight seems like a great tool for anyone writing music. Thanks for the 2-month trial subscription.

Also, FYI, this poster will mostly be attended by John (rather than me) during the live interaction time, as I'll be wandering around (virtually) to make sure the other posters are going OK. But I'll duck my head in periodically.... Also, questions for me are always welcome via email (crowther@uw.edu) or whatever.

Thanks for making the free Noteflight trial available to VOICES participants.   While I  sometimes have a new tune in my head - I can never put those to paper because of my basic music illiteracy.  I'm anxious to see if Noteflight helps me with that challenge.

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