Practicing Musician’s mission is to make music education affordable and accessible for every single student. This article explores the accessibility of our lesson plans.
Practicing Musician’s lesson plans are designed to be used as supplemental instruction in tandem with the current predominant K-12 teaching tools: method books. Standard of Excellence, Essential Elements, Accent on Achievement, and other predominant titles follow the same general outline. And so does Practicing Musician.
We are proud to announce that every K-12 music director who has their students use Practicing Musician reports narrowed achievement gaps between students who can afford a private teacher and students who cannot.
Our lesson plans are divided into seven distinct categories of content: instruments, courses, chapters, lessons, practices, song libraries, and songs.
Instruments refer to the specific instrument (or, in the case of percussion, grouping of instruments) that a student wants to learn. Students with a free account can view fundamental chapters and lessons on every instrument that we offer. In other words, beginning band and orchestral students can learn everything that they need to know about acquiring, putting together, taking apart, cleaning, and maintaining their instrument, as well as basic posture and playing technique, before they enter their classroom on day 1; absolutely free with no credit card required.
Educators and parents have discovered that class time effectiveness is maximized when students view our free content. Band and orchestral directors spend only a day or two reviewing the information learned on our site before focusing on the part of class that students truly care about; learning how to play music.
Students with Full Access accounts pay for each instrument they want to learn. Full Access accounts include every course, chapter, lesson, practice, song library, and song for an instrument, and these students gain access to new content every month to continue learning throughout their schooling and into adulthood. You can learn more about our pricing by clicking here.
Courses refer to a grouping of chapters that systematically build upon each other. Each course reflects the same general outline of each year of method book. Practicing Musician currently offers content for year 1 band and orchestral students. Year 1 content is being released throughout the 2018-19 school year at a rate comparable to the lesson plans utilized by educators in the majority of K-12 music programs.
When the 2019-20 school year commences, the entirety of all year 1 courses will be available and we will begin releasing content for year 2 band and orchestral students. Year 2 content will also be released at a rate comparable to educator’s lesson plans. This pattern will continue until we have courses and repertoire packages for band and orchestral students of all grades and abilities.
Please keep in mind that year 2 band and orchestral students who sign up for a Full Access account will be able to access all of the content for year 1; year 3 will be able to access all of of the content for years 1 and 2; and so on and so forth.
Chapters focus on a single concept such as acquiring equipment, technique, rhythm, pitch, or scales; among others. Each chapter provides the necessary lessons and practices as a foundation to build upon in subsequent chapters and prepares the student to play sheet music included in our song libraries or purchased at a store. We release at least one new chapter and/or song library at the beginning of each month.
Lessons cover a single topic. For example, note names on the lines of the treble clef staff are taught in a different lesson than note names in the spaces of the treble clef staff. There are between 6-25 lessons per chapter.
Practices are etudes incorporated into our feedback application and systematically organized into our lesson plans. Practices are directly related to the music theory concepts taught in the chapter’s lessons. There are between 6-40 practices per chapter.
For more detailed information about how we’ve made our lessons and practices accessible, click here.
Song Libraries are collections of songs that are skill specific.
Songs are… well, there’s not much to say about this category. However, it’s a real pleasure to watch a student’s face light up after they learn how to play a new song :)
It is important to note that after a lesson is finished playing, the next lesson, practice, or song loads automatically. After a practice or song is completed, the user simply has to click either “Results” to view their feedback and play the song again or “Next” to have the next lesson, practice, or song load. This reduces user interaction time and increases user learning time.
Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about our lesson plans by emailing [email protected] Otherwise, tell a friend about Practicing Musician and start learning and playing together today!