Episode 17: What Video Games Can Teach Us About Teaching with Jared Brockmeyer


What could video games and teaching music possibly have in common? Surprisingly, quite a bit! There is so much we can learn as educators from video games and video game design that can help us better reach our students. We know gamification is big in education but knowing how to incorporate it into music or band classes can be challenging. Our guest today, Jared Brockmeyer, is sharing his experience and knowledge of gamification in the band room and using video games to help his instruction.

Jared has recently been presenting on gamification in education and has noticed there is an increased interest in the topic. There are several similarities between video game design and education and understanding these similarities can help to engage and motivate our band students. In this episode, Jared is diving into how he realized there were similarities between video games and their design and music education, how we can structure our instruction similar to that of a video game, and player type theory as it applies to band students.

Jared is currently serving in his 12th year as assistant director at Rockwood South Middle School where he conducts the 7th Grade band, assists the 8 th Grade band, and teaches beginning horn and trombone.  During Jared’s tenure, the Rockwood South and Summit band programs have continued a proud history of achievement, earning annual “Superior” ratings at state contest, four performances at the Missouri Music Educators Association state convention, a percussion ensemble performance at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and finalist performances at Bands of America Regional and Super Regional marching competitions.

He previously taught at Rockwood Summit High School and in the Midland School District in Varna, IL; he has also served as visual caption head for the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps, as a consultant for the 37th Kingswood Drum and Bugle Corps (Bristol, UK), and as visual designer and caption head for the Rockwood Summit Marching Band.

Jared is a graduate and former teaching assistant of Truman State University where he received his B.A. in Education, M.A. in Music, and M.A. in Education.  He is a National Board Certified teacher, a member of Phi Beta Mu, and an active adjudicator, visual designer, conductor, clinician, and presenter throughout the Midwest.  

He is the coordinator of the annual Rockwood Conducting Symposium, the Rockwood Composer Initiative, and presently serves as the middle school band vice president of the St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Association.

Recently, Jared has appeared in SBO magazine, as a visual judge for the Nebraska Bandmasters state marching championships, and as a presenter at the IMEC, IMEA, MMEA, NMEA and Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic conferences.  Recent conducting appearances include the KC Metro #3 Middle School Honor Band, the Eastern Missouri Conference Honor Band, and the Manchester Community Band, as well as conducting appearances at MMEA and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic conferences. 

Jared lives in House Springs with his wife Sara and daughters Eliza and Fiona.  He is a chess enthusiast, avid reader, and plays all the video games he can get away with.

If you have a small budget but want to provide high quality level one band instruction, check out our Quarter Note Companion Level One Method Book. Teach notes and rhythms with ease with our simple and logical approach! You can buy this bundle once and print for all your students making it affordable for even the smallest budgets!

In this episode we cover:

  • Jared’s background as a musician and music educator
  • How he realized there were similarities between video game design and music education
  • How to structure instruction in class to resemble the structure of a video game
  • The different types of motivations students have
  • Player type theory and how we can use this to better understand and reach our band students

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More about The First Six Notes with Classroom Composers

The First Six Notes Podcast with Classroom Composers is for band teachers and string teachers looking for great information from experienced teachers. 

Every other week, we’ll dive into everything about teaching band and string music students. We’re covering everything from pedagogy to fundraising and interviewing successful music teachers, composers, admin, professional private studio teachers, and more to uncover and share their strategies for musical success. 

Classroom Composers is a married team of two music teachers, Kevin Hoff and Jessica Frank. Between the two of us, we have experience teaching K-6 general music, elementary 4/5 band/strings, and middle school band/strings/guitar who want to share our knowledge and experience with other teachers.

Grab a chair and stand and join the conversation!