In honor of April Fools Day, here's a video of a fellow from a drum shop covering "Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles on a tuba.

Read more: Eleanor Rigby, Tuba style

NAMM Foundation program celebrates districts’ and schools’ exemplary dedication to music programs

 

The NAMM Foundation has announced the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) for 2014. This year, the NAMM Foundation has designated 376 districts as Best Communities for Music Education and 96 individual schools as SupportMusic Merit Award winners. These districts and schools set the bar in offering students access to comprehensive music education.

The BCME program applauds the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders working to assure that music education is part of the core curriculum. More than 2000 schools and school districts participated in this year’s survey, resulting in a 21-percent increase in designations.

“These schools and districts make a strong commitment to music education in the core curriculum supporting its essential value to a well-rounded education for every child,” said Mary Luehrsen, NAMM Foundation executive director. “Strong, engaging programs that offer students access to music cannot thrive in a vacuum. The Best Communities designation and the SupportMusic Merit Award bring hard-won visibility to music classes, programs and departments that are keeping music education alive in our schools.”

Read more: The 2014 Best Communities for Music Education

Arts Education Partnership debuts new tool to shed light on state arts policies

The Arts Education Partnership has just debuted ArtScan, a searchable database of the latest state policies supporting education in and through the arts from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

This resource not only includes policy language excerpted directly from each state’s education policies, but also information on state-level surveys of arts education and a set of descriptive education indicators (from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics’ Digest of Education Statistics: 2012).

Read more: AEP's ArtScan

Grants awarded to 12 top U.S. public high schools for excellence in music education

The Grammy Foundation® has announced that 12 schools nationwide have been selected as Grammy® Signature Schools for 2014 and have been awarded cash grants totaling $58,500. Created in 1998, the Grammy Signature Schools program recognizes the top U.S. public high schools that make an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year.

Each of the 12 Grammy Signature Schools will receive a custom award and a monetary grant to benefit its music program. The top three schools are designated Gold recipients. The best of the Gold recipients is named the National Grammy Signature School and will receive $6,000. The two remaining Gold schools will each receive $5,000 and the two remaining Grammy Signature Schools recipients will each receive a grant of $2,000 to benefit their music programs. Seven schools will receive the Enterprise Award grant, which recognizes the efforts made by schools that are economically underserved. Each of the Enterprise Award schools will receive a grant in the amount of $5,500. The Grammy Signature Schools program is made possible in part through the generous support of the Ford Motor Company Fund.

Read more: 2014 Grammy Signature Schools Announced

Detroit Institute of Music Education to offer degree, diploma, and part-time performance courses 

A new performance-based music education college is slated to open up in Detroit in the fall of 2014. Founded by three veterans of the British music industry – Kevin Nixon, Sarah Clayman, and Bruce Dickinson – DIME, the Detroit Institute of Music Education, school will offer advanced music students courses in guitar, bass, vocals, drums, songwriting and music entrepreneurship.

Read more: DIME Set to Open in '14

NJSO and Hilary Hahn Perform for #OrchestraYou

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra teamed up on March 15 with the renowned violinist Hilary Hahn in honor of the state's music educators to perform along with the organization's first “pro-am” orchestra, dubbed “#OrchestraYou.” The new orchestra consisted of students, teachers, administrators, subscribers, music lovers, and NJSO musicians collaborating on a Jeff Grogan-led "Toreadors Song" from Bizet's “Carmen.”

Read more: NJSO's Music Education Night

National Conference Exceeds Expectations in Louisville

More than 2,000 string teachers, students, and performers attended the 2014 American String Teachers Association National Conference, which took place from March 5-8 in Louisville, Kentucky. The clinics, presentations, concerts and other activities were held in conjunction with ASTA’s National Orchestra Festival and the National High School Honors Orchestra.

Under the direction of Colin Catoe and Elyse Catoe, Atascocita High School Chamber Strings from Humble, Texas was named the winner of the high school division of the 2014 ASTA National Orchestra Festival. The winner of the String Youth Orchestra division was Stringendo’s Vivace, from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and directed by Jonathan Handman.

Read more: ASTA 2014

The Lady in Number 6 named "Best Documentary Short"

The acclaimed documentary The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life, which outlines the incredible life of holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Somme, brought home the Oscar for “Best Documentary Short” at this year's Academy Awards. Somme, who was the world's oldest known holocaust survivor, died this year on February 23 in London.

Read more: Holocaust Piano Documentary Wins Oscar

Artists Oscar Palou and Alexander Müller-Rakow have introduced a clever new instrument called the Theometrica that adapts dozens of tiny acupuncture pins to create music.  The instrument is described as a "sound interface" that includes a spinning platter on which users stick pins, which in turn trigger samples when sensed by a motion sensor mounted on the side of the instrument. It's sort of a real-time, modern player piano.

Video below: 

How can conventional theory mesh with modern pop music styles like hip-hop?An unexpectedly forward-thinking answer recently appeared on the online forum Quora when posed with the simple question, "What are some new topics in the field of music theory?"  Ethan Hein, master's candidate in music technology at NYU, took time to eloquently explore a number of ways in which conventional means of teaching music has become irrelevant to modern day musicians. Excerpts follow:

"Rather than trying to identify a canonical body of works and a bounded set of rules defined by that canon, we should take an ethnomusicological approach," he writes. "We should be asking: What is it that musicians are doing that sounds good? What patterns can we detect in the broad mass of music being made and enjoyed out there in the world?

Read more: How to Mesh Traditional Music Theory with Modern Pop Music?

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