Music educators are struggling to create a new paradigm for online learning, and I have the solution. But, before we get to that, I’d like to relate what led me to write this particular blog.
I discovered the Facebook group, “Music Educators Creating Online Learning”, shortly after it was created on March 11th, 2020. What blows my mind is that the number of members in the group has grown to over 42,000 in less than three months. That’s nearly half the total number of K-12 music educators in the United States!
What truly breaks my heart that this group has to “create” online music learning.
The popularity of this group makes perfect sense when considering that historically cash and resource-strapped music programs are now facing the unprecedented challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. We are asking an educational system that has lagged in the adoption of comprehensive technological solutions to “leap frog” into the world of remote learning!
As I perused the posts in this community, it was apparent these dedicated educators are struggling with the same challenges that led me to create Practicing Musician:
- Current music edtech services are little more than a supplement to method books, rather than standalone teaching tools
- Current music edtech is an incompatible hodgepodge of apps and services that are not optimized to work with remote learning
- Integrating this mishmash of tools and services into a coherent and effective online learning program requires a massive amount of each educator’s time and effort
- Insufficient budgets results in a difficulty in overcoming these challenges and delivering effective online learning
- The former challenges result in difficulty narrowing the achievement gap between students who have or don’t have access to private lessons
If you are one of these 42,000 educators—or are not in this group but struggling with these same issues—I’m well familiar with your pain. Our team spent the last three years developing a service that addresses these challenges. The result is a service that delivers a seamless, online learning experience that emulates the private lesson process with a business model that makes access free for K-12 music programs.
Our service receives high marks from K-12 educators, K-12 students, and private at-home learners. Teachers report significantly higher levels of student proficiency when using Practicing Musician.
We are raising seed capital to improve and expand upon an already ground-breaking service. Here’s where you come in.
We don’t need your money, but we do need your input to ensure that our funding goes where it needs to go and helps you do what you need to do.
Imagine this as a Khan Academy-style instrumental edtech program, designed to be your ultimate online K-12 music learning tool—a tool that you as an educator can access for free! That’s a pretty impressive payoff for just evaluating our service and steering us in the right direction by:
- Approving learning management system (LMS) functionality
- Suggesting and voting on LMS features
- Helping prioritize the order we develop features
- Beta-testing new features and functionality
- Suggesting and voting on content we produce
To get involved join our private Facebook page Music Educators Supporting Practicing Musician.
Practicing Musician funds its K-12 music program LMS with profits from its $9.99 per month consumer subscription service. That’s how we’re able to offer our service free to K-12 programs. In fact, depending on revenues from our at-home learner subscriptions, we can additionally provide funding to K-12 music programs for things like instruments.
To further encourage your participation in this endeavor, we are offering a free giveaway beginning June 11, during my presentation at the International Music Education Summit. The giveaway will end July 11, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST.
One band director will win a grand prize of seven (7) brand new instruments and stands from KHS America, and one orchestra director will win a grand prize of four (4) brand new string instruments from Eastman Strings.
In addition, every educator who enters the giveaway will receive Practicing Musician Full Access Subscriptions for FREE for all of their students during the 2020-21 school year to use while we develop the LMS.
If you don’t plan to be at the virtual summit, or can’t attend my speech, or are intrigued and don’t want to wait to find out more about Practicing Musician, I encourage you to visit Practicing Musician’s website to evaluate our service. Sign up is free for anyone through September 2020.