We’re all very familiar with online piano lessons at this point, but what are Boom Cards? What’s Zoom? I’m going to show you what both of them are, and how they can work together to make online piano lessons fun, engaging, and interactive experiences for your students!
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What are Boom Cards?
From the Boom Learning website: “Boom Cards are self-grading exercises that are gamified for students and provide the data teachers want.”
Boom Cards are interactive, digital, self-checking, paperless task cards! No-print. No-prep. Accessible with a link. Boom Cards are compatible with Google Classroom and Google Apps too! Boom Cards are great for all ages and stages of learning. In fact, I created the deck that’s introduced in the following video for my 81-year-old beginning piano student!
Let’s get acquainted with Boom Cards. This video introduces a set of Boom Cards that reviews the concepts presented in Unit 1 of the Adult Piano Adventures All-In-One Lesson Book 1.
Boom Cards can also include sound & video elements, and the student can interact with them by dragging & dropping the answer, tapping/clicking the correct multiple choice answer, and by typing the correct answer. Click here to see the variety of Boom Cards that are in my shop. Each one has its own video introducing you to the deck and showing you some of the cards that are included. Here’s an example of a set of ear training Boom Cards with audio.
How do I get started using them?
Now that you’re familiar with what they are, and you can’t wait to get started with them, here’s how! The Boom Learning YouTube channel has lots of tutorial videos and webinars. Here’s a link to the Boom Learning website, and here’s a great video to watch to help you get started:
How to Assign Boom Cards in Learning Management Systems
How to assign a fast pin
I always use Fast Pins in online piano lessons. This is the quickest and easiest way to work with Boom Cards with a student during the lesson. It’s also the easiest way to make sure that the Boom Cards always shuffle and appear in a random order, like they’re supposed to. Use the “Action” button next to each deck in your Boom Cards Library to assign a Fast Pin. Quick and easy! Here’s how.
To use the Fast Pin in a piano lesson, I follow the instructions in the video, then I screen share my browser window in a Zoom piano lesson. Sometimes I give remote control of my mouse to my students, and sometimes I have them verbalize the answer and I use the mouse to select the correct answer. Both work very well! Join my Facebook Group for Piano Teachers, answer all of the membership questions to be admitted, and watch the free Facebook Live video all about Boom Cards.
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a fantastic online lesson platform that I’ve been using for all of my lessons since I went fully online in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to that, I was using FaceTime for the few online lessons I was teaching each week. But once we went fully online, I wanted to make things more interactive, especially for my younger students, since I wouldn’t be seeing them in person for awhile.
So I started using the screen share option in Zoom. Screen sharing is a fabulous part of Zoom that I use in every single online piano lesson that I teach. When I started making Boom Cards, I started using them in my online piano lessons through screen sharing, and now I use them to teach new concepts, as a quick review, and for brain breaks, to name a few.
Is it easy to use BOOM Cards with Zoom?
Absolutely! I couldn’t believe just how easy it was the first time I did it!
- Open a deck of Boom Cards in your web browser.
- Start your Zoom session with your student.
- Share your Boom Cards screen with your student.
- Give remote control of your mouse to your student, and let your student use the Boom Cards directly in Zoom!
- If the remote control option isn’t available, students can simply say the correct answer and you can click the answer on your computer.
- The following video clip shows an easy way to share your screen with Boom Cards during a Zoom session, and how to give your student remote control of your mouse so your student can play the cards.
How is this useful for online piano lessons?
Using Boom Cards during your Zoom piano lesson is fantastic for several reasons! Here are a few:
- You can have a student review a specific concept quickly
- You can check in on students’ understanding of a new concept
- Use them as part of a studio incentive program (the 100-Note Challenges are perfect for this!)
- They’re self-checking, which means you don’t have to grade them
- They’re way more fun than doing music theory pages during an online lesson
- They keep students highly engaged and involved!
Can I use BOOM Cards with Google Classroom?
Yes! Here’s how:
How can I purchase Boom Cards?
When you purchase a deck of Boom Cards or download a free deck from my website or from TpT, you’ll receive a PDF download with a link to the deck. Click the link in the PDF and the deck will be added to your Library on the Boom Learning website.
When you purchase a paid or free deck on the Boom Learning website, the deck will be automatically added to your Library. Payments are made with Points on the Boom Learning website. The points are similar in value to cents, with each point being worth approximately a penny, give or take. Here’s the pricing structure on the Boom Learning website:
Membership Plans on the Boom site
When you sign up for an account at the Boom Learning website, you’ll choose what level you want for your membership. I selected the Ultimate level because I wanted to not only create Boom Cards, but also sell the Boom Cards on my own website. Here’s a link to the membership plans. Scroll down a bit after clicking the link and you’ll see them.
What Else should I know about Boom Cards?
Here’s a webinar from the Boom Learning website that shows how educators are using Boom Cards during speech therapy sessions. MUCH of this information is transferrable to how we’d use Boom Cards during piano lessons, so I definitely recommend checking it out.
Have more questions?
Here’s a link to the Boom Learning FAQ Knowledge Base page. It’s a fantastic resource FULL of terrific information!
Here’s a free deck that you can check out. It reviews 2nds and 3rds on the treble staff.
And here’s the link to the Boom Learning website so you can sign up and get started. https://wow.boomlearning.com