During my first year as an elementary music teacher, I scoured the internet for the best resources. I was not prescribed a set curriculum to follow, and so I was left to my own devices (I preferred that, really). And then I came across a website called Mama Lisa’s World. Indeed I entered her world, and my (teaching) life changed! She has organised a collection of songs, rhymes, games and traditions from around the world. Celebrating International Day at school was a breeze because of this website. My lessons on world music and other cultures were such a pleasure to teach. Also, themed concerts and/or presentations were a big hit thanks to this resource (insert praise emoji hands here)! Thanks, Mama Lisa!
After reading the articles Understanding Visual Hierarchy in Web Design, and Design Better with CRAP, I realized that “Mama Lisa” could learn a trick or two to update and freshen up her website. For instance, I would redesign the homepage where the header would have a simpler font with a neutral color (I have an obsession with shades of grey. No, NOT the book). The light blueish-green background with maroon letters isn’t quite my style. I would fill the homepage an interactive world map. When you hover above a continent, it would glow (or something). Upon clicking on a continent, it would zoom in – Prezi-style – and from there, you can choose the country which then directs you to that country’s page. The page would include historical information, up-to-date photos and a selection links to songs, rhymes, games and traditions. Of course there would be some sort of icon, perhaps a globe or a music note, to take you back to the homepage when desired. I must say the ads littering the current site can be a bit distracting. Is that something she can control as the owner of a website? Hmm, perhaps a question worth pursuing later if I decide to create my own. . .
After hours of “redesigning her website”, I got to thinking: who am I to criticize her website? Maybe criticize is a strong word. That’s probably just her style! She happens to LIKE light blueish-green and maroon..?! As a new elementary music teacher, the idea NEVER crossed my mind because I was visiting the site to learn – to learn about new songs, games, traditions, dances, etc. I have composed a number of successful student productions and performances based on the content of her website. Now, I ask you: what’s more important? Content or aesthetic?
Okay, okay. One can argue that it CAN be both. I suppose in an ideal world it should be. But for now, Mama Lisa, you do you (insert praise emoji hands here)! Thanks for everything!
P.S. Any thoughts or comments about my draft website? Have a great weekend!