I have been a member of the MPLN for a week now and have taken time to explore the many features of the site. Though the majority of the members are music educators already, there is so much a student or recent graduate can learn from joining this network. I have made a short list of reasons why students and graduates should consider becoming a member of the MPLN.

  1. It’s free. You register your email address and you are done! You can read any posts in any forum, join any group, visit members sites, and absorb the information without weighing any monetary worth! Always take advantage of free resources!
  2. You can be as active or inactive as you want. Maybe posting replies to forum discussions isn’t your thing. There’s nothing wrong with just reading discussions and taking your own personal notes on things that interest you. However, you get what you put in as well! Have questions about teaching techniques? Need help locating sheet music? Have a technical question? Post it, and I guarantee someone will answer you! I know from experience! (Shout out to David Ahrens for solving my HTML crisis!) Also, you may know how to answer someone else’s questions, so why not help out a fellow musician?
  3. It comes full circle. Musicians teaching other musicians, and musicians learning from other musicians. There are groups and forums for almost anything you can think of, and if it’s not there, you can start a discussion! Share your expertise while learning from the knowledge of others. Think of the benefits this has for music education and the music industry as a whole! It’s fantastic!
  4. It’s compatible with your other social networks. Join the MPLN, post something, and tweet about it at the same time! Link your Facebook, MySpace, or Flickr too! It’s a great way to share what you are learning and discussing with your peers, friends, teachers, etc.
  5. You aren’t the only geek. I mean that in the most positive way possible! The MPLN is a safe haven for music geeks all over the world. Maybe your business and science friends don’t think a YouTube video of a cell phone symphony is very cool. These people probably do! Just bought a new version of Finale? Someone else has been there and is excited for you. Listening to Vivaldi’sGloria? Someone will share their love for it, and recommend something else for you. It’s an entire network of people who get excited about the many facets of music. What a great community!
  6. It’s a great resource AND a professional profile. To me, I view it as a LinkedIn site geared towards musicians. Create your member profile and showcase you expertise(s), your websites, any links to your work, and contact information, and there is your professional music profile. It may help you during job interview processes, you never know!

So there you have it! 6 reasons why students should take advantage of the MPLN. So if you are a student, go now! http://musicpln.org

Happy Learning!