ABOUT PRACTICING MUSICIAN

K-12 music education is notoriously underfunded. This injustice will take a village to correct, which is why Practicing Musician has become a collaborative effort between people, organizations, and government entities. Our shared belief is that inclusive and diverse music education opportunities should be accessible to all children.

Together, we build multi-media methods that help K-12 educators flip their classrooms, personalize instruction within ensemble programs, and facilitate mastery learning for all students. We are currently creating concert band and orchestra methods since those programs are most common. Then, we will create methods for all genres of music. Doing so will help music education offerings be inclusive of children’s increasingly diverse musical interests.

All content and teaching tools will be provided to K-12 music programs free of charge, forever thanks to practicing musicians and music lovers who purchase products from our shop as well as our growing network of music-loving donors.

Our small staff operates as a social purpose corporation based in Seattle, Washington. Our large number of volunteers operate under our 501(c)(3) fiscal agent Realize Impact, and our partners and PM Artists operate autonomously but in unison with our efforts.

Our Concert Band & Strings Methods

Practicing Musician and our Founding Member volunteers believe K-12 music education methods need an update. Why? Because K-12 music programs still primarily use method books. Think about that for a minute. Why would we continue to use a hard copy visual stimulus to teach an auditory discipline during a time when most ten-year-olds can use multi-media technology more intuitively than adults?

In comparison, Practicing Musician’s Fundamentals of Music Mastery online concert band and strings methods consists of a growing library of 3,500+ video tutorials, sheet music, assignments, and assessments neatly organized into an intuitive learning management system.

Educators love how they can use Practicing Musician to flip their classroom, provide substantially more personalized feedback to each of their students during class time, and help all students master their instruments.

We make it as easy as possible for educators to transition to our modern teaching tools. How? Our methods follow the same scope and sequence as method books they already know and love, and we provide free training. Our efforts have already helped educators from Miami, Florida, to Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Alaska, make the transition.

Currently, the scope of our methods is equivalent to a book one concert band or strings method. We’re excited to be working with educators in 25 states and three countries who have volunteered to help continue building our platform. These educators span all disciplines and want to help create methods that span all genres of music.

To learn more about our Fundamentals of Music Mastery methods, click here.

TESTIMONIALS

Shannon Waldo

My students were bummed when I told them we wouldn’t use Practicing Musician on Tuesday but celebrated when they learned we’d be at it again on Thursday!

Director of Bands, Billings R-IV School District

Dr. Frederick Burrack

“We’ve been waiting for a technological adaptation of the Model Cornerstone Assessments since the re-envisioning of the National Core Arts Standards in 2014. Practicing Musician has provided a viable and useful solution.”

Co-Chair of Model Cornerstone Assessment Development, Director of Assessment, Kansas State University

Reese Burgan

“I highly recommend Practicing Musician for anyone who is looking for passionate and effective musicians and teachers.”

Adjunct Professor, Lone Star College

Dr. Bret Smith

“I can’t think of a project that is more relevant to our current challenges, with as much potential impact.”

Professor, Faculty Legislative Representative, and Assessment Coordinator at Central Washington University

Catherine Stadulis

“My students are always asking, “when can we use Practicing Musician again?!” because they just have such a great time with the program.”

Band Director, Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle

Caitlin Brock

“Having access to Practicing Musician has been one of the best things for my program.”

Band Director and VAPA Department Head, Lynwood Unified School District

Mary Ellen Hodges

“Thanks to Practicing Musician, my students are leaps and bounds ahead of where they normally are at this time in the year!”

Elementary General Music Teacher, Burlington-Edison School District.

Stanislaw Hoholuk

“I highly recommend Practicing Musician. It is professional, user-friendly, accessible, and versatile. I was also very impressed by the IT support to resolve questions and issues. And it’s free – you can’t ask for a better price!”

Music Teacher, Bishop Kearney High School in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rochester, New York

Valerie Coolidge

“I love Practicing Musician’s method. It’s saving me so much time. Today I used it to assign what will be a semester’s worth of work for my HS students, and it only took a half hour. Oh, thank you!!”

"Jr/Sr High Music Director Oroville, WA"

Free Professional Development

Practicing Musician supports music educators with free professional development. Our Professional Development Roundtable’s Regional Representatives host our annual summer symposium, offer weekly training and ongoing support via office hours, and customize training for school districts. Topics include flipping the classroom, personalized instruction, mastery learning, strategies and tips for integrating Practicing Musician’s online method into music programs, strategies for sustainable success, musician health, national board certification, and more.

Shop with a Purpose

K-12 music education is notoriously underfunded – especially in districts with historically marginalized children. A substantial number of K-12 music program budgets are less than $5 per student annually. The result is that any cost associated with K-12 materials inherently creates inequity. Our mission is to make sure that all K-12 music programs can benefit from our service. That’s why Practicing Musician has made it easy for you, your friends, and your family to help keep our service free forever. Every product you purchase from our shop provides a certain number of students with access to Practicing Musician for an entire year. We also invest 100% of our remaining profit into enhancing our service. Whether you purchase a shirt for yourself or a mug for a music-lover as a gift, you can say with confidence that your purchase gave at least one child access to high-quality music education.

1+

K-12 Students

access PM annually per purchase

100%

Profit Invested

into enhancing our service

1M

Students

gifted access by 2023 is our goal

Standards and Assessments

Practicing Musician is honored to work with the leaders of the teams that researched, wrote, and piloted the National Core Arts Standards and Model Cornerstone Assessments for Music. The standards and assessments were developed over a three year period before being published in 2014. Now, Practicing Musician integrates the Model Cornerstone Assessments directly into our method so educators across the United States can rest assured of the validity and reliability of our service.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access

Practicing Musician embodies diversity, equity, inclusion, and access by crowdsourcing all content. We are fully inclusive by inviting all musicians and music educators to compose exercises and songs, record video tutorials, write assignments, and manage other tasks. Being fully inclusive also gives our students a genuinely unique opportunity to learn from teachers and play pieces by composers from diverse backgrounds. All content creators allow educators and students to download their content for offline usage so that students without consistent or stable internet at home can access the benefits of our method. In addition, the low cost to create content makes it easier to maintain our free, forever model and ensure equitable opportunity.

To sign up for training, visit
www.practicingmusician.eventbrite.com

To request free one-on-one training, email
PMlistens@practicingmusician.com