MusicFirst: Transcending Boundaries of the Classroom

MusicFirst is an online teaching tool for students grades K-12. This software-based learning platform includes standards-based lesson plans, engaging content and exercises, and portfolio for the instructor to track each artist’s progress.

Equipped with training sessions, workshops, and events, MusicFirst goes beyond the screen in ensuring that students and teachers have the tools needed to ensure overall success. Online resources and interactive lessons are the newest innovation in music education, and MusicFirst is exceeding all expectations of the classroom.

The Summit is greatly anticipating MusicFirst’s presentation with Dr. James Frankel, Transforming Music Education in the Cloud, on Monday, November 9th. We are fortunate to have MusicFirst supporting this event to facilitate music educators nationwide.

The 2015 City Music Summit will be held at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City on November 9-11. Register today.

 

 

49th Network Member – Dixon Hall Music School

Dixon Hall Music in Toronto, Canada is the 49th Berklee City Music Network member.  Dixon Hall Music School provides low-cost private lessons on 15 different instruments, group and ensemble classes, seasonal music camps, and affordable instrument rentals for over 300 students ages 3-19 in the surrounding community of Regent Park, Moss Park, and St. Lawrence Neighborhoods in Toronto.  In operation since 1978, the school has a dedicated facility in the heart of the Garden District and has a robust community standing, providing students ample performance opportunities and exposure to local arts performances through a free concert ticket program.

Be sure to check out their website to learn more: http://www.dixonhall.org/our-services/music-school

Welcome The Motivational Edge to The Berklee City Music Network

Please join us in welcoming the 48th site the Berklee City Music Network, The Motivational Edge in Miami, Florida.  The Motivational Edge utilizes culturally relevant arts as a motivational platform to inspire youth towards academic achievement, increased self-confidence and the building of essential life skills.  Their programs include art, dance, literacy, homework assistance and music.  Within the music program they offer a DJ program, music production, and private instrument instruction.  Click here to learn more about their music programs.

Checkout out their SoundCloud playlist below to hear their students’ work.

The John Lennon Education Tour Bus in Boston

Earlier this fall, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus made a stop in Boston to work with City Music students. In a single day, the students found the chemistry to write and record an original song, plan the project from start to finish, and conclude with a video shoot. Below is the final production of their original song and City Music College Scholar Yanina Johnson’s reflection of the experience in her own words. Yanina explains how her time on the bus helped her find the confidence to write a song, how to lean on the support offered by her peers, and to trust in her own voice.

When we first walked on to the bus we were in shock. We sat down and were greeted by the wonderful staff. We introduced ourselves by saying our names and spiritual animals (mine was a sloth). The staff only included three guys who did the recording, the music video, and engineering. They were supportive and willing to work with us through everything. They were excited and enthusiastic about any style of music we wanted to play.

I never imagined myself writing music. I never had the confidence to write how I feel and share a part of myself with other people. Coming on this bus, I didn’t expect to be needed as much as I was. It felt good knowing that people were depending on me to write lyrics and sing. It was a new type of feeling and pressure that I have never faced before. I felt challenged but I was not alone. Everyone on the bus had my back. It was a beautiful feeling to share and write music with other talented musicians.

I remember being in the booth, I thought I sounded terrible with every note I sang. Each time they would convince me that it was a good take, helping me every step of the way. The energy was always high, never turned down. I could tell that they had a passion for music and I felt privileged to have the opportunity to work with everyone one the bus.

I loved how every moment was enjoyable. We got work done while having fun at the same time, which can sometimes be really hard to do. I feel that sometimes people get caught up in this idea of being the best at what they do, like having the best runs and tone, or the best chops on drums. Somewhere along the line, they lose themselves and forget what music is all about. We had the chance to do what we love without having to sound perfect. Just showing our love for music was enough to make a killing song. I am happy that it was a judgment free zone. I felt comfortable to write and sing freely. Lastly I enjoyed myself on the bus, thank you so much for the opportunity!

25 FREE Registrations for Students to Attend the BCMN Conference

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CALLING ALL COLLEGE STUDENTS

We are offering FREE registration to the first 25 undergraduate and graduate college students who register to attend the Berklee City Music Network Conference in Los Angeles, CA from November 2-5.

After the first 25 FREE registrations are given it is ONLY $25 per day for undergraduate and graduate students.

Make sure you use your “.edu” email address to receive the discount.

Don’t miss out on this great event featuring music industry experts, nonprofit leaders, accomplished music educators, and Grammy-Award Winning artists.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Welcome City Voices to the Network

One of our newest member City Voices in #DesMoines #Iowa #music #singing #education

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Please join us in welcoming City Voices, the 47th member to the Berklee City Music Network.  Located in Des Moines, IA, City Voices is a non-profit that provides individual voice lessons to Des Moines public school students in an after-school and summer programs setting.  The organization’s mission “is to improve access for all students by providing free voice lessons and more intensive music education instruction for those students who want to sing, but may not have the resources to study privately.”  Students study an eclectic repertoire of music ranging from jazz, classical, musical theatre, contemporary, a cappella, and music theory.  Be sure to visit their website to learn about the program.

City Voices #desmoines #iowa #music #education

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City Voices #desmoines #iowa #music #singing #education

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Berklee City Music Boston visits Phoenix

Last week, City Music Boston travelled to Phoenix, AZ to visit the Phoenix Conservatory of Music.  Guest blogger Jordan Summers from City Music Boston shares details from her trip below.

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Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Phoenix, Arizona with four other colleagues to visit the Phoenix Conservatory of Music. The site director Regina Nixon had a full schedule for our trip and before stepping into the Conservatory we were treated to watching Parent Tot Music Time, a morning program hosted by PCM that gets children as young as 6 months old exposed to music through singing, dancing, and playing with egg shakers.

When we arrived at the Phoenix Conservatory of Music, we were given a tour of their impressive site. Located within a mall, the Conservatory personalized a fully renovated clothing store to make it conducive to learning and performing music. The space had an inviting quality to it, with pictures of students hung on the walls, a hangout area complete with couches, air hockey, a pool table, PS2, as well as a snack table. The location creates a great access point where students hearing music from inside the mall can come into the conservatory and sign up for lessons on the spot.

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The first day, we observed a theory class that used PULSE for basic interval review. We were then treated to an ensemble performance on their main stage with audience seating and stage lights. Students performed “Rude” by Magic! and “Girl From Ipanema”. It was a pleasure to get to see previous City Music Summer Scholar, Michael Gloria, in his home environment as well as meeting the new scholars who will be coming to Boston later this month.

The second day gave us a chance to speak with the students and instructors about their experience in the program. The students said that once they joined PCM, they enjoyed it so much that they often came early or stayed past their classes to hang out with their friends and jam. With instruments hung on the walls, a piano lab, percussion lab, and complete stage set up, it’s easy to see why!

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Justin Johnson, my colleague at City Music Boston, found the dedication of instructors to their students really outstanding. Hearing about their student-teacher relationship strengthening in connection to the student’s musical growth was something that was very apparent in the organization. Kate Lyons, our Admissions Coordinator said that what stood out about the program to her was the level of student ownership and parent engagement. The students fundraise, help with recruiting their friends, and perform at community events in Phoenix. There is also a Parent Booster club which meets monthly discuss performances, auditions, scholarships, and concerts. This helps to educate parents on the commitment of their children to the program and to provide them support and assistance when needed. Kate hopes to bring the ideas of parental interaction back for further development here in Boston.

As the City Music Boston Director, Misael Martinez observed that the power of music reaches distances much greater than the miles between Arizona and Massachusetts. The educational development of the program was inspiring, as were the holistic approaches and expression of music. As they say, music is a universal language and he noted that while we live in different cities, with different demographics (and extremely contrasting weather!), the love of music and youth development was shared.

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Overall, the Phoenix Conservatory of Music is a great place for students in the Phoenix area to focus their efforts in becoming amazing musicians with the energy and passion of Regina Nixon and the staff. We are so thrilled to have been able to travel and see our peers in the Berklee City Music Network!

UrbanFUTURE, Welcome to the Berklee City Music Network

Please join us in welcoming the 46th member to the Berklee City Music Network, UrbanFUTURE in St. Louis, Missouri.  Founded in 1998 UrbanFUTURE “is dedicated to success of urban youth through literacy, academic growth, character formation, parental involvement, and career preparation.”

They provide mentoring, tutoring, enrichment and career exploration programs for middle school students to help them reach their full potential.  The UrbanFUTURE vision “is to help urban youth and their parents see and believe in future career opportunities.”

Check out the UrbanFUTURE drumline from Fanning Middle School perform at this year’s UrbanFUTURE Awards Banquet, and be sure to check out their website to learn more about what they do.

 

 

Welcome Workshop Houston

Please welcome the 45th member to the Berklee City Music Network, Workshop Houston.  Founded in 2003 and located in the 3rd Ward of Houston, Texas, their mission is to “provide youth with creative, technical, and educational resources.”  Through this they strive  to “lay the groundwork for a just society by creating a community that provides youth with support, expanded opportunities, and new definitions of success.”

The Beat Shop at Workshop Houston. #music #musiced #houston #texas #piano

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They offer students four areas to expand their knowledge, the Chopper Shop, the Style Shop, the Scholar Shop, which every student must attend, and for music, the Beat Shop.  They provide after-school and summer programming for middle and high school students.

Mr. Bass teaching a music student at Workshop Houston. #houston #texas #music #musiced

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Workshop Houston student in the #studio. #music #musiced #houston #texas

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Be sure to check out their website to see the bicycles their students design and build, as well as the clothing students make in the Style Shop.  For your listening enjoyment please watch this music video of an original song by their students titled “Study Hard” and be sure to visit their YouTube channel to view more of their students’ music videos.

Please join us in welcoming Workshop Houston to the Berklee City Music Network!

Central Music Academy Joins the Network

 

Located in Lexington, KY, Central Music Academy provides music lessons to financially disadvantaged students in the area from 8 to 18 years old.  They offer lessons on 17 different instruments including woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion, guitar, voice, and piano.  Students at any level of experience are accepted with the materials tailored to their needs and musical goals.

Watch this great video to learn more about how Central Music Academy is serving their students and their community, and please join us in welcoming them to the Berklee City Music Network!