Carnegie Hall’s Extensive Catalogue of Free Online Music Education Resources Available to Educators

Mike Lawson • News • November 24, 2020

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Responding to the needs of teachers and parents overseeing learning from home during COVID-19, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) has expanded its range of digital music education offerings now available for free to educators around the globe.

At a time when many teachers are working in distance-learning settings, Carnegie Hall continues to support its growing national community of educators, dedicated to bringing the best in music to students, through its free educational videos, activities, and professional development tools, all designed to enhance musical learning. These resources—which include instructional videos, interactive activities, and digital curriculums—are available on Carnegie Hall’s website for educators, and provide flexibility and adaptability for a variety of learning settings. The Hall also provides networks and opportunities for teacher-to-teacher support, which aid in community building and professional development. 
Specifically addressing the needs of New York City students during this period, Carnegie Hall is also partnering with the NYC Department of Education Office of Arts and Special Projects and the New York Community Trust to create robust direct-to-student remote musical learning materials to serve K-12 teachers and students in New York City for immediate use in this school year. The Hall is working alongside some of New York City’s finest arts institutions including 92nd Street Y (dance), Studio in a School (visual arts), and Roundabout Theatre (theater) to provide a range of new materials across the arts spectrum. As part of this project, WMI has created videos and written lessons, alongside accompanying resource materials for teachers, to incorporate music into remote learning. In addition to the Hall’s work directly with New York City public schools, many of these free materials are now available on Carnegie Hall’s website to serve parents, teachers, and students around the world. 
Through this partnership, Carnegie Hall serves grades K-12 through musical learning. For grades K-5, WMI provides materials to connect students to Musical Explorers, a program which highlights New York City’s rich and diverse musical community and builds fundamental music skills through listening, singing, and dancing to songs from all over the world. This is the first time that the Musical Explorers curriculum, traditionally available for younger students, has been available and adapted for grades 3-5, giving teachers more opportunities to integrate culturally responsive curricula in their classrooms. 
For grades 6-12, teens will learn the fundamentals of songwriting and digital music production through instructional videos led by Carnegie Hall teaching artists. These materials are accessible, relevant, and creative, and support teens as they learn the basics of musical creativity through step-by-step approaches to writing music that truly speak to students’ ideas and emotions. Starting with the history and purpose of music, teaching artist Bridget Barkan shares her thoughtful and personal take on songwriting concepts including inspiration, the chorus, writing verses, the bridge, and completing a song. Ms. Barkan takes viewers at home on a visual journey throughout the five boroughs and the videos celebrate New York City’s long-lasting legacy as a center for music. Young musicians can learn different components of digital music production with teaching artist Charles Burchell including how to create loops, beats, basslines, melodies, and arrangements. 
“At Carnegie Hall, our goal is to engage the widest possible audience in musical learning and discovery,” said Sarah Johnson, chief education officer and director of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. “Now, more than ever, access to opportunity is vital. We’re serving educators and students by providing high-quality digital curricula and resources that are free, flexible, and designed to keep young people engaged in making music and exploring their creativity, both in the classroom and independently.” 
“The New York Community Trust, in partnership with NYC’s Department of Education, reached out to us to create direct-to-student online learning materials because they saw the gap that was widening in arts education during the pandemic,” Johnson continued. “Carnegie Hall is happy to be partnering with our colleagues at leading New York cultural institutions to deliver robust musical programming that addresses a vital need right now for New York’s public schoolchildren and teachers.” 

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