I'd like to say that I know my way around a computer. At my last full-time job (for someone else), I was called one of the "super-users". However, I have been experiencing several challenges with my Studio Lab computer. It's operating on Linux Ubuntu and it's not as easy as Mac or as familiar to me as Windows or even Unix or DOS. Linux has some fabulous apps available for education and more specifically, music education and music. For example:
- music notation software (e.g. MuseScore)
- audio recording and editing (e.g. Audacity)
- drum machine (e.g. Hydrogen Drum Machine)
- note reader trainers and more
Music and technology has never been so tempting. "Sudo apt-get install" is just so gosh-darn easy to do. Getting the sound set up and audio controls cooperating with all one another? Now there's my technical challenge. Thankfully, some super Linux users have posted some helpful tutorials. The Linux Community Forums have been good too, but having the visuals and working through the steps along with the video helped. It's just been challenging getting the time in to focus on it. The process has made me rethink my roll-out strategy for these music software programs. Rather than having them all available for my students to explore at once, I am going to just roll out a few programs at a time. I have learned that it's important to have Jack Control and those connections set up properly.
After three weeks of on and off fiddling and re-installs, I can say with confidence that Hydrogen Drum Machine, Virtual Midi Piano Keyboard and Score Reading Trainer are playing nicely together in my computer lab.
Life was so much easier when dealing with physical midi and audio cables. Trying to set audio up in a virtual environment has really challenged my learning style.