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school music

  • U2 and the Ireland Funds donating $3.2 million to music education in Ireland

    Mike Lawson | December 8, 2015

    The Dublin-based band, who started playing together as teenagers and have steadily marched their way into rock history, have donated $2.13 million (€2 million) to make sure that Irish children have access to music education. In September of this year, U2 announced $2.13 million (€2 million) from their Irish concerts would be gifted to Music Generation, which provides access to high quality, subsidized music tuition for thousands of children and young people across the country.

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  • Ten Finalists Announced For Second Annual Music Educator Grammy Honor

    Mike Lawson | January 3, 2015

    A total of 10 music teachers from 10 cities across nine states have been announced as finalists for the second annual Music Educator Award, presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. Steven Acciani, Diamond Bar High School in Diamond Bar, California.

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  • Oxnard School District Gets Piano Lab

    Mike Lawson | January 3, 2015

    Haydock Academy, a school in the Oxnard School District, now offers its students the opportunity to learn how to play the piano as one of their electives in a brand new piano lab.

    “I didn’t know how to play the piano and we learn which notes to use so it could sound exactly like you were singing,” seventh-grader Ashley Gonzales told News Channel 3 KEYT.
    This particular piano lab is the only one of its kind in the Oxnard School District. The principal of Haydock Academy, Eddy Bond, believes the lab is helping the children become better students.

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  • Study Suggests Engaging in Music Classes May Boost Children’s Literacy

    Mike Lawson | January 3, 2015

    The journal Frontiers in Psychology published a study on Tuesday, December 17th with research which suggests actively engaging in music classes can help improve literacy in children. Scientists at Northwestern University used electrode wires in this study, along with button sensors to monitor brain responses in students. The authors of the study observed that those youth who actively engaged in music classes “scored higher on literacy tests and exhibited improved language functioning.”

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  • UpClose: Julie Bounds

    Mike Lawson | November 23, 2014

    Building A Band Worth Being A Part Of 

    Things are moving in the right direction for the Santa Teresa High School Band in San Jose, California. Under the guidance of director Julie Bounds, the opportunities for music students have expanded dramatically over the past decade, with the program doubling in membership and, in turn, new ensembles being formed to accommodate the influx of students. Santa Teresa’s current offerings include three concert bands, a competitive marching band, and three jazz bands, as well as percussion, guitar, ukulele, and other chamber-style groups. In addition, the band’s budget has gradually expanded from around $4,000 per year to over $100,000. Several years ago, Bounds started a blog titled “The Thrifty Band Director,” and she insists that the recent growth in capital hasn’t altered her fastidious efforts to maximize the return on every dollar spent, whether replacing instruments, purchasing new uniforms, or taking her band on the road. In this recent interview, Julie Bounds discusses the strategies she used to build a comprehensive program that her students feel is worth being a part of. 

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  • From the Trenches: Budgets

    Mike Lawson | June 17, 2014

    Understanding the school budget process

    Well, it is that time of year again – time to prepare for the school budget process. What’s that, you say? It’s too late? The process is almost over?

    No, no – I am not talking about the upcoming year (2014/2015); I am talking about the next year – the 2015/2016 school year! You see, in order to be really effective impacting the budget process, you (and your supporters) need to be preparing now.

    Here is why:

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  • New SBO Feature: On the Road

    Mike Lawson | April 9, 2014

    Travel experiences from school band and orchestra directors

    Have you taken your school music groups on the road in the past year or two? How did it go? What did you and/or your students learn from the experience? What was the best part? The good, the bad, the funny, the life-affirming, and the death-defying, SBO wants to hear about it! Share your travel experience in 250 words or less for the chance to be included in an exciting new feature that will be debuting in an upcoming issue of SBO magazine.

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  • From the Trenches: Déjà Vu All Over Again

    Mike Lawson | March 17, 2014

    New music/arts standards will drive education for the next decade… or longer

    In March of 1994, 20 years ago this month, two of the most historically important efforts to advance music and arts education came to fruition:

    1. The codifying of the arts as a core subject with the passage and signing of the Goals 2000 Educate America Act (the Clinton Administration’s name for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that governs all of public education in this country) and,

    2. The release of the National Standards for Arts Education.

    These two events, culminating simultaneously, set the stage for the future growth, and defense of, music and arts education.

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  • Technology: Digital Audio Workstations

    Mike Lawson | January 21, 2014

    Web-based apps for the music classroom

    In a previous edition of SBO, Dr. Jay Dorfman wrote about the growth of cloud-based computing and its impact on education. This model of computing leverages access to networks (both local and internet) for most, if not all, activities that a user may do on his or her computer. Very little is actually stored on the user’s computer. Instead, applications and documents are accessed from remote servers. The netbooks (i.e. Google Chrome) are a good example of this new trend. It’s almost as if we’ve come full circle from the early 1970s when mainframe computers handled tasks sent from “terminals,” primitive keyboard and printer devices. Of course, today we have media-rich experiences with images, audio, and video at our beck and call, which can be invaluable resources for the music classroom. 

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  • Report: NYO-USA

    Mike Lawson | January 21, 2014

    Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra trains the USA’s most promising musical ambassadors

    Limitless potential fills the air these days at Carnegie Hall. Why? The National Youth Orchestra USA, which celebrated its inaugural season in the summer of 2013, has already established itself as a premier training and performance program for the country’s finest young musicians. And in terms of cultivating more wonderful talent, the best is yet to come.

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