From children finger painting in kindergarten to high school seniors performing “Romeo and Juliet,” the arts are a diverse and ever evolving part of the K-12 experience. With this in mind, we here at OutlooK-12 are introducing our new The Art Department section, which will be dedicated not only to art in its many forms and new technologies and innovations in art education but also on the arts’ reflection of and impact on cultures. This month we explore some recent developments in the field of music education. These partnerships and a new free service could be a boon to music teachers.
PracticeFirst Makes Its Debut
The old joke about the way to get to Carnegie Hall is “practice, practice, practice” takes on a new meaning in the digital age. MusicFirst has partnered with Matchmy-Sound™ to create PracticeFirst, which allows music students to literally practice, practice, practice anytime, anywhere, with instant feedback and flexibility.
Accessible from any internet-enabled device, students can practice any instrument including voice, band and polyphonic ones such as guitar and piano using PracticeFirst’s web-based interface. In addition, it responds with pitch and rhythmic corrections and can also judge tone for both instruments and voice.
Although teachers can also upload their own exercises, PracticeFirst comes with a library of practice content for students of all levels, which includes:
- A collection of 50 simple songs
- A collection of 24 choral works
- A collection of warm ups; scales and exercises for band, orchestra and voice
- Piano Book 1 & 2
- Flute Book 1 & 2
- Clarinet Book 1 & 2
- Alto Saxophone Book 1 & 2
- Tenor Saxophone Book 1 & 2
- Trumpet Book 1 & 2
- Trombone Book 1 & 2
- Drums Book 1 & 2
- Violin Book 1 & 2
- Viola Book 1 & 2
- Cello Book 1 & 2
- And much more PracticeFirst is exclusively available through the MusicFirst online classroom.
WoodSongs Releases Free Programs to Schools
“WoodSongs Classroom Project,” the lessonplan based project built on the national public television broadcast of the syndicated radio program, WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, has been made available to middle, high, home schools and colleges free of charge.
The WoodSongs Classroom Project is designed to use a two-dimension broadcast to encourage three-dimension action on the part of students. There are three projects teachers can chose from:
- WoodSongs In The Classroom: This sends a specially edited number of WoodSongs broadcasts for use in schools and college-level classes across North America and Canada. The lesson plans focus on music, the arts, history, literature, creative writing and social studies.
- The WoodSongs Coffeehouse After School Program: This program encourages students to create a regular performance event at the school. It can be done during a free class period where available students gather as the performers and the audience, a lunchtime stage or an actual after school “coffeehouse.”
- The Walden Play: This dramatic two-act, four-character play is a conversation between Thoreau and Emerson that can be acted as a theater production, read as a script reading in class and watched as a DVD or online. The Walden Play is ideal for ages 8-12 and collegeage students, includes lesson plans and the play’s script is available in English, French and Spanish.