Music for Education Picking Up STEAM

Education has become an experience, for a great number of students, that embodies a doctor’s visit and less like a visit to your local Science Center. Students are basically poked and prodded for data to satisfy funding allocation procedures by the very adults charged with forging a new and exciting path of study.

Thankfully, STEM activities are gaining STEAM. That’s right. The arts are now being included in the discussion and rightfully so. Data and standardized curriculum have a seat at the table and we would be smart to learn from our mistakes. It just doesn’t mean we have to do so by limiting the music we collaborate on, the plays we partake in and the paints we brush experience with.

The arts are fundamental to creativity sparking ideas and experiences that are transferred to any number of career disciplines. Remember we are educating a population of students who, by default, self-publish, create personal brands and promote themselves to the masses. By their very expression they are creative and we should provide educational opportunities that promote personal diversity through the arts. Sure beats daily visits to the data doctor.  

Let's take a look at some newsmakers: 

Higher Ed: University Commits $50 Million for CFA

Excerpt from BU Today |By Susan Seligson

President Robert A. Brown has announced that the University has committed $50 million to these three projects. That amount will include the funds from the sale of the BU Theatre and more than $20 million of new funding. “The programs of the College of Fine Arts are critical assets to the University,” says Brown. “Relocating our theater program for the majority of students’ education and for production will help us bring the arts to the entire Boston University community.”

Read more of Seligson's piece.

K-12: Music Hits A High Note In Education -- Finally!

Excerpt from Huffington Post |By Lydia Kontos 

Of great significance, incorporating music into the curriculum can help close the massive achievement gap between students of all different socioeconomic backgrounds. Children from low-income families are not as likely to have access to the same skills-based, sequential music learning as their more affluent peers, who can easily obtain music instruction privately. As a result, many economically disadvantaged children who may be particularly gifted in music are denied the opportunity to realize their full potential as learners. Many educators would agree that given an opportunity to be excellent would lay the groundwork for a successful professional life.

As it pertains to standardized testing, a main focus of contentious debate among policy makers, thought leaders, pundits and academics, several studies reveal elementary schools with music education programs achieve higher scores, a fact we've seen first-hand at the Special Music School at Kaufman Music Center. Here, at the only New York K-12 public school with music as a core curriculum subject, music education and private instrumental lessons are integrated into the regular school day, and the impact on learning is very significant. One major indicator is that our students consistently score in the top ten of all New York City public schools on statewide reading and math tests. Last year, our fourth and seventh graders earned the highest scores in the city.

Read the rest of Kontos's piece.

Newsmaker: Soundtrap 

Popular Soundtrap Online Music Recording Studio Now Has Special Version for Kids: Soundtrap for Education

First-of-its-Kind, Easy-to-Use, Multi-Platform, Secure, Inexpensive Tool Fully Integrated into Google Classroom                                                                                                                

FETC, Orlando, Florida, and BETT, London - January 19, 2016 – After a beta launch that has taken the market by storm and six months of market success, the first-of-its-kind Soundtrap online collaborative music and audio recording studio is taking a big step forward in the education market via “Soundtrap for Education,” being launched today. Soundtrap was already named “The Best Website for Teaching and Learning 2015” by the American Association of School Librarians but Soundtrap for Education is even better, being tailored for children and students in K-12, primary and secondary schools worldwide and offering optimal new features for both students and teachers.

Soundtrap for Education is the first solution for kids that lets them make music or audio recordings with fellow students within their invited and secured group, record a tune or podcast, then share the music with classmates in the cloud from a multitude of devices and operating systems. This new version is just as easy to use as the regular Soundtrap solution and is the first solution of its kind fully integrated with Google Classroom.  Soundtrap has been a Google for Education partner since June 2015.

Read more about Soundtrap for Education's news and review on FreeTech4Teachers.

*Soundtrap is a Preferred Partner of MindRocket Media Group

 

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