Monday, August 1, 2011

My Most Valuable Resource: The Music K-8 Mailing List

If you already know about the Music K-8 mailing list, please skip* to the end of this post. If not, read on...

It is possible that a few of the readers of this blog are not aware of what is possibly my number one resource. I believe I made reference to it in a previous post, but I want to give you a bit more information. The resource I cannot live without is the Music K-8 Mailing List. Okay, I could probably live without it, but I would certainly not be as successful at teaching without it. "The List" as many of us call it, is sponsored by Plank Road Publishing, publisher of Music K-8 Magazine. Music Teachers (primarily elementary music teachers) use the mailing list to pose questions or post ideas of things that work well in their classrooms. I may also refer to it as the MK8 List. If you are not a subscriber to the MK8 list, I encourage you to check it out. I will warn you that it is an extremely active listserv. Some people are overwhelmed by the amount of email they receive after subscribing. There are a couple of different ways to alleviate this issue.

  • Exclusive Email Account - One possibility is creating an email address exclusively for the listserv. You can get a gmail or Yahoo account and use it to subscribe to The List. Then all your List messages are in one place. I suggest gmail because it has very nice sorting features.
  • Digest Version - You can subscribe to the digest version of The List which will give you several very large messages each day that are compilations of the postings of the list. Some people really like that option because it limits the amount of messages in their inbox. I don't like it because I find it to be too much information for me to absorb all in one place.
  • Regular Subscription - You can subscribe to The List and receive each posting as a separate email. This means there will be a lot of messages in your email, but I find it easy to see which messages interest me and which don't. I simply delete the ones I'm not interested in. Gmail also sorts messages with the same subject and groups (threads) them together. The delete key is your friend. Use it to keep yourself sane. :)
  • Archives - If you don't wish to subscribe to The List, but would still like to get valuable information from it, you can use the archives. Each message is archived and you can simply go and read to your heart's content. Simply click browse messages if you want to see all the posts. You can also search the archives if you are looking for something specific.
* I have to admit that most of my teaching ideas are not original. I have borrowed most of what I know and use from other music teachers. Most of these teachers are "cyber friends" that I've met online on the MK8 List or other sites. I'm guessing that most of my readers at this point are those very friends. If you are already a member of the MK8 List, you may see some things reposted here. I promise to give credit when credit is due. I also promise that not everything on this blog will be reposted information, however.

I also want to let you know that you can expect quite a few posts in the next couple of days. I have a list of things I've been hoping to add to the blog and right now I have time to do the research and the writing. That will not be the case when school starts. You all know how it goes. I plan to keep the blog going throughout the year, but the posts will not be so frequent. Don't be alarmed if you have a number of posts each day in your inbox (for those who subscribe by email). That won't always be the case.

Well, this was rather lengthy. I hadn't intended to be so wordy, but I guess I had a lot to say.

1 comment:

  1. I also love the MK8 list, and that's how I first met you! I do admit that I unsubscribed myself since I am no longer teaching at the elementary level, but I do go to the MK8 site from time to time to look at the archives or Idea Bank. Love your blog by the way, especially all the techie stuff!