American School of Doha
“I like that everything is in one place with easy access for me and for my students,” says Gravelle. “With everything web-based, I can go in and help them remotely or they can work together on something.”
Gravelle isn’t the only one championing the technology. The school’s music technology program is funded by the PTA and Creative Arts Support Team, both avid supporters of MusicFirst.
“Music is a place for students to practice creativity, be a part of the community, and do something other than passively listening or sitting in a desk,” says Gravelle on behalf of both committees. “MusicFirst is an affordable program that bundles software together, provides a digital classroom, and a network of people that can help with ideas and problems. Because it's cloud-based, the students aren't limited by location and schedule,” she adds.
With programs like Noteflight and Soundation implemented in Gravelle’s classroom, MusicFirst has made a tremendous difference for students.
“I had one student who has never taken a music class feel very successful after a couple of projects,” says Gravelle. “He went from thinking music was a blow-off class to really enjoying composition. Many cannot believe that they have access to all the different programs for free to them.”
Students at the American School of Doha have turned in many successful projects using MusicFirst, including a mash up of Adele’s “Hello” and Mozart’s “Lacrimosa,” which was produced with Noteflight.
“The playback on Noteflight has helped [students] hear what they don't like or what doesn't work,” she says. “The professional look of their own score makes them feel like they've made a real piece of music. I really believe this helps them with their own music literacy, gives them something more creative to do than learn concert music, and the professional looking score makes them feel like their work is more legitimate.”
Gravelle plans on adding Musition to her classroom next year by student request, since many of them have asked for more theory training and many of them have interest in pursuing music education.