Release Notes


MusicFirst is constantly improving and updating. Check out our most recent updates for the Online Classroom, Content offerings, and more!

April 24th, 2017

MusicFirst Online Classroom Updates

Custom Grading/Markbook Scheme

Site Admin and Teacher users can now designate a custom grading scheme on a per class basis. From the left navigation area, choose Grading > Create New Gradebook/Markbook Scheme to create a scheme that can be used in any of your classes. From your class, select Gradebook/Markbook and click the book icon to change your scheme to any created scheme.

Site Admin users can now edit a site default Gradebook/Markbook scheme under Settings > Gradebook/Markbook Scheme Management.

Consolidation of Student Class Dashboard

This update applies to Student Users only. Instead of Students seeing a Class Dashboard and Class Overview page, they now see one consolidated Class Dashboard. This page includes a consolidation of the following elements: Class Announcements, Class Descriptions, Class Pages, Class Files, Unit Section, and all assigned content.

MusicFirst Student App Updates

App Version 1.16 Build 51


January 30th, 2017 MusicFirst Online Classroom Updates:

  • The label of “description” was removed from Tasks. Tasks now simply flow from Task name to the content within Student Procedure. Using the WYSIWYG editor in the Student Procedure window they can add any necessary label to introduce the proceeding Task content as they wish.
  • Grades exported via CSV are now rounded to the nearest tenth when appropriate.
  • Our sorting mechanism for Last Name now looks to the First Name as a secondary sorting. An example of this in action: Smith, Alex; Smith, Bradley; Smith, Zach. Previous to this update, our system would sort by Last Name, but then sort by date created which could have resulted in Zach appearing above Alex if Zach was created first.
  • You can now Clear Task Submissions from the gradebook for Tasks that allow Clear Submissions – the cog will appear and allow Clear Submissions when applicable. Because Sight Reading Factory and the Rising Software titles have their own submission attempt controller, Clear Task Submission for these titles is not possible.

November 28th, 2016

MusicFirst Online Classroom Updates:

  • The Gradebook will now automatically push the overall gradebook to a total of 12 items at a time and force pagination (controlled by number boxes at the bottom left). Viewing only One Assessment Group at a time temporarily removes the pagination for that group only.
  • The file size limit has increased from 10MB to 50MB. We're still at unlimited files per user.
  • Auto-grading is now happening even when an Instructional item is added to the Assessment.
  • Task and Assessment submission lists are now listing the students alphabetically by last name (A through Z).
  • Assessment Groups marked with the Grade Display Type "Value" will calculate the the average of the Assessment Group.

MusicFirst Student App Update:

Version 1.11 Build 45 - Integration with PracticeFirst 2.0

August 17th, 2016

MusicFirst Online Classroom Updates:

  • Based on customer feedback, we have adjusted the global calendar link to force the user to choose a single class for calendar viewing. The user can toggle between class calendars easily and cleanly using the global calendar link.
  • Teachers can now delete comments and messages.
  • Because not everyone uses the "A+" system for grading, we have adjusted iconography for the class gradebook to be a book icon.
  • Assessments will now be auto-graded IF the questions within are only fixed-point questions such as Multiple Choice, True/False, Fill in the Blank, and Matching. The teacher will have the final say to publish the grades to the entire class, but hopefull this will be a huge timesaver for those that assign fixed-point assessment questions throughout the school year.
  • Based on customer feedback, we have altered the workflow for Lesson creating and editing whereby once a teacher creates or edits a lesson they are brought immediately to the student view/student procedure since that area is most used in a Lesson. Also, Tasks in a Lesson would appear both in the Student Proecure area and then a redundant set of the same tasks would appear in the Teacher View at the bottom; we have removed the redundant view of tasks on the teacher view page.
  • We resolved an issue where non-task calendar events were not appearing for students in a class.
  • We have improved our image storage and loadtime for site branding images. Subsequently, this also resolved an issue where a site's watermark image was not loading for the Site Admin user.
  • We resolved an issue for the Site Admin user where the All User search filters were producing zero results even though there should have been results.
  • We resolved an issue where a teacher could not bring a Shared Content Lesson into a Unit of a Class.

July 25th, 2016

Software Updates:

PracticeFirst

  • Teachers can now prevent their students from listening to the notation before they perform an assignment. Create a Task for your students, select "Show Advanced Options" after clicking Assign, and select the "Special Type" drop down menu.

July 11th, 2016

MusicFirst Online Classroom Updates:

  • Teachers can now create Discussions for their students to participate in. Discussions can either be created for a grade or they can be ongoing, allowing for students to respond throughout a semester.

MusicFirst Student App

  • Sight Reading Factory is now available using the MusicFirst Student App. First, download the Sight Reading Factory app, and the newest version of the MusicFirst Student App (version 1.06). When you login to the MusicFirst Student App, you’ll see Sight Reading Factory on the Dashboard. Students can access from there or from any Task assigned to them.

May 24th, 2016

MusicFirst Online Classroom Updates:

  • Teachers can now clear the submission for tasks. **note that some integrated software will not allow the clearing of a submission because of rules built into the software that allow it to maintain its own submission count.
  • Teachers can assign a new Student Response to a task called "Submit Web Link". Tasks marked with this type of student response will allow the student to do a simple copy/paste of a web link into the field and submit the link back to the teacher.
  • The Recorder has been converted to an HTML5 recorder. Previously, the Recorder was built on Flash technology. Any new Recorder tasks completed by the student can be downloaded as a wav file by either the student or teacher.
  • For some smaller screen resolutions, the software icons would disappear. The software icon design has been updated to have the icons scale based on resolution.
  • For schools that were making full use of the Branding options of their subcription, their school name and school logo were colliding on the Forgot Password page. The design has been changed so that the logo will appear if there is one OR IF NOT the school name would appear.
  • We noticed date/time stamps for Software-only being recorded according to Eastern US Time Zone instead of the time of each LMS site. This has been adjusted to follow the time zone setting per site.

MusicFirst App Cloud

  • Teachers can now view what their students are working on by clicking the Observation Mode button.

March 31st, 2016

MusicFirst Online Classroom Updates:

  • Site Admin users can now add images and other content to the Dashboard Content using the full WYSIWYG editor under Settings > Dashboard Content. Site Admins also have additional branding options including adding a Login Logo or a Dashboard Banner. Select Settings > Branding Management. Site Admins can also lock student usernames or passwords in order to prevent students from making changes. Select User Management > Students > Lock Usernames or Lock Passwords.
  • Resolution to an issue where a Premium Content Assessment was appearing for students automatically upon bringing it into a class.
  • Resolution to an issue where a time edit of a task or assessment in the class calendar was not being recorded by the task.
  • Student names are now being separated into two independent columns upon exporting to CSV, first name and last name.
  • Tasks are now a part of a teacher’s dashboard notifications area OR Items to Grade area. If a Task comes back to the Online Classroom without a grade or a need to grade, then the submission becomes a notification to the teacher and subsequently produces the “bell” icon signaling a notification. If the Task is for a grade and does not come back as auto-graded, then it goes into a teacher's Items to Grade queue.

Content Updates:

  • Since the first of the year, a number of new content titles have been added to the Shared Content Library in the Online Classroom as well as the Premium Content store. “Sample Lessons” are a short unit that allows you to sample lessons from Premium Content.

Shared Content:

  • Jazz Studies: Improvisation as a gateway to understanding and creating
  • Meet the Families of the Orchestra
  • Mischief with Midi Files
  • Music of the Classical Era
  • Music Technology from Scratch (Sample Lesson)
  • Soundation4Education Starter Pack
  • Teach & Play African Drums
  • Teach & Play Samba
  • Teach & Play: African Drums (Sample Lessons)
  • Teach & Play: Balinese Gamelan (Sample Lessons)
  • Teach & Play: Samba (Sample Lessons)
  • Teach & Play: Steel Pans (Sample Lessons)
  • Test- Mallets: keyboard identification and treble clef note reading
  • Test- musical terms, notes and key signatures
  • Test- treble and bass clef pitches, piano keyboard, dynamics
  • Understanding Popular Music (Sample Lesson)
  • Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity (Sample Lessons)
  • Masterworks: Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf
  • Masterworks: Holst's The Planets
  • Sing at First Sight Quiz
  • Beginning Theory Quiz
  • Sax Fingering Quiz
  • Flute Fingering Quiz
  • Clarinet Fingering Quiz
  • Tuba Fingering Quiz
  • Trombone Fingering Quiz
  • Baritone Fingering Quiz
  • Horn Fingering Quiz
  • Trumpet Fingering Quiz
  • Erik Lawrence Jazz Improvisation
  • A "Classic" Movie Project

Premium Content:

  • Teach & Play : African Drums
  • Teach & Play : Balinese Gamelan
  • Teach & Play : Samba
  • Recorder from the Beginning: Blues, Rags & Boogies

PracticeFirst Premium Content:

  • Bandworks Publications Concert Band Repertoire including Fanfare to "The Hammer", Longing, Transformed Spring, and Victory Lap all by Patrick Burns.
  • Sheet Music Direct Top 50 Pop Vocal Hits including titles such as “Skyfall” by Adele, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, and “Let It Be” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • Tradition of Excellence Book 1 by Bruce Pearson & Ryan Nowlin (Book 2 coming soon) - The Tradition of Excellence Comprehensive Band Method is a music educator’s dream! It’s a flexible performance–centered curriculum that seamlessly blends classic and contemporary pedagogy and cutting-edge technology.

Software Updates:

PracticeFirst

  • The Premium Collections tab includes the collections that belong to the Premium Content. Premium Collections can contain demo exercises that are freely usable. The demo exercises are viewable on the Demo MusicFirst online Classroom.
  • The Favorite Collections tab allows putting aside the collections that a teacher uses more frequently. Collections from both the Free and Premium tabs can be added but remains hidden if empty.
  • Visual improvements include a new exercise list view, with the list breaking down into two columns if it has subdivisions. There is also a new design for buttons including round edges and a new color code for secondary buttons (backing track, metronome, click track, student, teacher). The active button is now red, inactive is white.
  • If sound score is below 50%, the attempt is discarded as not matching the exercise. This should resolve issues reported from some users who were getting a score when they had not actually attempted an exercise.
  • New PF integration in the App so issues with frequent crashes has been resolved.

Noteflight

  • Noteflight has a new look, including a new intuitive and exciting HTML5 Editor! Additional new highlights include a left side panel for site navigation, right side panel for account information, improved playback, AND a new score editor.

Soundation4Education

  • The latest version of Soundation4Education Chrome features a new FM synth and a new analog synth with tons of new presets. And check out the new effects channels! These features just begin to show off the power of Soundation4Education Chrome, which is included in every purchase of the MusicFirst Online Classroom.

Sight Reading Factory

  • Based on customer requests, Sight Reading Factory now allows teachers and students to customize sight reading examples in such a way as to exclude certain pitches from a range of notes. For example, eliminating Fa from the Mi -> La range of notes so you just have the notes Mi, Sol, and La. When selected, these tone sets will generate music based on specific groups of tones. Perfect for elementary or middle school teachers.