Discussions about technology in the classroom are happening virtually everywhere, but the arts struggle for attention in the digital world. But in Tennessee, school districts are embracing state-of-the-art technology to update their music classes.
Quaver Music, a technology-based curriculum that incorporates multimedia resources like interactive whiteboards and mobile devices to spark students' interest in music, is finding followers in Tennessee, according to Alyssa Rabun of The Tennessean.
The Quaver Music curriculum was created by Dave Mastran and Graham Hepburn in 2010. They partnered with music teachers from across the country to assess the needs of struggling school music programs and found that curriculum "delivery was outdated."
Mastran and Hepburn hired a team songwriters, graphic artists, animators, web developers and video editors to create a music curriculum from their headquarters on Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee. The team worked hard and created a program that incorporates virtual resources like online music laboratories, recording studios and composition tools for students and teachers that meet the Common Core and National Association of Music Education standards, as well as the National Coalition for Core Arts standards.
"We were not trying to reinvent notes, rests, lines and spaces, but we wanted to find a way to teach kids how to love music with 21st-century resources," Hepburn said.
For the Quaver Music curriculum, prices range from $10 for a year of access to a single online lesson such as beat or tempo or duration to a $4,995 comprehensive package.
The teacher's curriculum includes a series of screens, short interactive videos and online resources. The program covers vocal warm-ups to vocabulary in a series of multimedia outlets. For example, QArcade allows students to work against the clock on classroom computers to match musical symbols like fermata, rests and notes to earn points while learning theory.
About 1,500 schools nationwide use Quaver Music's product.
Entrepreneurship matching technology with the arts is on the rise as both schools and individuals look to computers and the web for instruction. Grammy-winner and music legend Quincy Jones recently launched Playground Sessions, a startup that offers a computer-based solution for children and adults who wish to learn music.
The music education learning software will help children and adults learn how to read and play music by understanding the basics of piano playing on a platform similar to the famed Rosetta Stone method of learning languages.
Playground Sessions helps music students learn about playing the piano using popular songs. Playground Sessions has hours of interactive video tutorials starring music phenomenon David Sides teaching songs and music theory, details the Playground Sessions website.
Playground Sessions is designed to allow students play piano right away using songs they like. Lessons will be taught by Sides, a YouTuber who has received more than 170 million views on his videos.