“The boundaries between communication, interaction, cooperation, and collaboration can be blurry. In the simplest sense, ‘communication’ can be seen as the umbrella term. Communication can be seen one-way or two-way. Communication includes interaction, meaning give-and-take between participants. Interaction can be cooperative or collaborative, both of which require negotiation of meaning. Interaction can also be asynchronous or synchronous. Both types of interaction have advantages and disadvantages.” (Egbert, 2009).


Tools for Communication in Music Class*

Social Media

  • SoundCloud is a website that allows users to upload their music and share it with people all over the world for free.
  • Edmodo operates similar to Facebook, but is designed for education. Students can join groups and participate in discussions that are moderated by the teacher.
  • YouTube for Schools provides access to thousands of educationally vetted videos. Students can also upload videos to YouTube for feedback from other students and the teacher.

Text chat/voice chat/instant messaging (IM)

  • Remind (formerly Remind101) – This service allows teachers to text students and parents. Several music educators use this service to remind students about upcoming performances. It’s also a great way to communicate last minute changes to a large number of people — and the service is free!


In addition to facilitating regular communication with music students and parents, an email address is often required to create accounts with other music technology services and websites. Here are some of the most popular email service providers.

Electronic Discussion Forum and Courseware

Students can engage in online discussion about musical concepts using forums and courseware.


A listserv is a “mailing list” of people with similar interests. By subscribing to a listserv or creating one, students can get information emailed to them and teachers can communicate with classes and parents conveniently.


Students can create personal blogs to write about musical topics and share their posts online. Other students can comment on posts and provide peer feedback.


A wiki is an expandable collection of interlinked webpages that any user can easily edit. Using a wiki, students can collaborate on projects. Wikis are also a great way to facilitate feedback between students and teacher.

Note. *Adapted from Egbert, J. (2009).


Egbert, J. (2009). Supporting Learning with Technology: Essentials of Classroom Practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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