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Online Teaching Tools for Teaching Artists

List compiled by MSO Artistic Director Taia Harlos

Google Classroom 

Google Classroom is a free web service developed by Google for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments. The primary purpose of Google Classroom is to streamline the process of sharing files between teachers and students. It integrates with all your G-Suite services, including Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Calendar.  

Watch the video here. 

If you would like to set up a Google Classroom for your program please reach out to Leslie Macedo, Program Director for Musicopia ( 



Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create "grids" (or learning communities) to facilitate video discussions. Each grid is like a message board where teachers can pose questions, called "topics," and their students can post video responses that appear in a tiled grid display. 

This video is specific to music teachers. Start watching at 21:00.  

To sign up for your own Flipgrid account, click here. 



Loom is a video recording tool that helps you get your message across through instantly shareable videos. With Loom, you can record your camera, microphone, and desktop simultaneously. Your video is then immediately available to share through Loom's patented technology.   

This technology is available as a Chrome addition, or you can use it through the website. 

This video will show you how to use Loom.
To sign up for your own Loom account, click here. 


Pear Deck 

Pear Deck is a Google Slides add-on that allows you to make interactive presentations for students. Instead of merely presenting informational slides, Pear Deck makes your slides interactive so every student can respond to your questions or prompts right on their own screens.  

This video will show you how to use Pear Deck. 

To get Pear Deck, click here



Nearpod is a student engagement platform that can be used to amazing effect in the classroom. The concept is simple. A teacher can create presentations that can contain Quiz’s, Polls, Videos, Images, Drawing-Boards, Web Content, and so on. They can also access over 7K k-12 standards-aligned lessons. The children can access a teacher’s presentation through a code. The teacher can move the class through the presentation and let them interact with the media as they go. They can also opt for student-paced, where the student controls the flow of the lesson. 

This video will show you how to use Nearpod.  

To sign up for your own Nearpod account, click here




Zoom Settings:

Settings on Zoom to think about when playing music whether live for teaching music or through the computer for dance or other uses: 

Make Eye Contact with the Camera!

Eye contact is critical for engagement with your students. Depending on where the camera you are using is positioned, if may look as if you are not looking at your students. 


​Make sure it is coming from the front and make sure your whole face is lit.  

An easy way to fix that is to put a lamp without the shade on it behind your camera 

Another option is to buy a ring light. There are a variety of inexpensive options available here: 

Camera choices: 

Iphone 11 has a great camera in it and is a great option if you have it 

If you want to buy a webcam to connect to your computer here are a bunch of good options from Logitech:

Something to keep in mind is that you want a high refresh rate and higher number of megapixels if you are going to be moving around (particularly for dance) 


Webcams have built in microphones, but if you want better sound than what it offers you can buy an external microphone. 

- Less high tech option: These would plug directly into your computer. 

- Higher tech option: best choices are dynamic cardioid condenser mics (Shure SM57 or EV RE410 microphones with a stand were suggested models). However, you will need some sort of interface in order to plug it into your computer. It will also require a Digital Audio Workstation (software to manage the sound). Options for those are listed below 

Switcher Options 

(switching between multiple cameras/mics): 

- ECAMM software (MAC only) costs $15/mo 

- OBS (for Windows, MAC or Linux, though ECAMM is better for MAC) free 

- Atem Mini (device for switching) costs approx. $725 

List compiled by Musicopia and DCP Board Member Greg Offner

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