SUCCESS STORIES

MusicFirst is committed to helping you succeed. We offer a wide variety of training opportunities, from one-hour webinars to week-long workshops and full-semester Professional Development courses.

To Free or Not to Free? The Pros and Cons of Using Free and Low-Cost Software with your Students

Dr. Jim Frankel

Everyone likes free, myself included. But, as my parents told me numerous times in my childhood: “Nothing in life is free.” Nowhere is this idea more relevant than in the software industry- both with music-oriented and non-music apps. This two-part article will provide a guide to the best free and low-cost apps and software available, with an eye toward why “free” is not always free. Part 1 will provide a background of the free and “freemium” software model and app distribution, as well as list the many music apps that are available. Strategies for implementation and best practices will be shared for each. Part 2 will examine why teachers might consider paying for apps, and illustrate the hidden costs and possible dangers of using free software with students.


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Social Justice in the Music Classroom

Meaghan O'Connor, Barnstable Public Schools

April 6, 2018

I grew up on the outer reaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a predominantly white, middle class community. In the fall of 2013, I started my teaching career in a much more socially and economically diverse community in the village of Hyannis, towards the center of Cape Cod. Adapting to the interests of my students, I developed a unit devoted to hip-hop, with a particular focus on the theme of social justice.


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Beaver Lake Middle School

Beaver Lake Middle School

What happens when you combine an award-winning educator and experienced concert violinist with an innovative, cloud-based music education platform? You get a recipe for success! It’s exactly this formula that has further propelled an already active orchestral program at Beaver Lake Middle School.


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Winfield Scott School No. 2

Winfield Scott School No. 2

Technology has been playing an increasing role in the success of the K-8 General Music and 4-8 Chorus programs at the Winfield Scott School No.2 in Elizabeth, NJ, under the leadership of Annice M. Benamy, NBCT. From grading to group learning, the MusicFirst Online Classroom has been her technology partner for the past few years, with yearly expansion that has enabled the schools’ music program to grow.


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Melissa Middle School poised for success with MusicFirst

Band/Chorus/Orchestra Melissa, Texas

Elizabeth Becker, director of middle school bands at Melissa Middle School in Melissa, Texas, has seen MusicFirst help her program succeed exponentially since she started teaching there one year ago.


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American School of Doha

Doha, Qatar

Stephanie Gravelle is a secondary music teacher at the American School of Doha, an international American school located in Doha, Qatar, with a diverse student population representing over 70 different countries. With six years of teaching under her belt – two with the American School of Doha – Gravelle knows exactly what works, and what doesn’t. For Gravelle, MusicFirst undoubtedly falls under the first category.


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Inspiring creativity in every Music Student

Dan Schultz, JP Case Middle School

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Dan Schultz is a veteran music educator in Flemington, New Jersey, currently teaching middle school strings and general music. By adding software from MusicFirst, he has revolutionized the way his instrumental and general music students interact with technology and their own creativity – leading to some award-winning results.


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