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Briarcliff Students Enhance Learning With MusicFirst

Cloud-based music learning platform MusicFirst is inspiring students at Briarcliff Middle and High Schools to compose their own music regardless of their prior knowledge about composing.
Cloud-based music learning platform MusicFirst is inspiring students at Briarcliff Middle and High Schools to compose their own music regardless of their prior knowledge about composing. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. -- Students at Briarcliff Middle and High Schools have been learning with the cloud-based platform MusicFirst.

“For my digital music students in both middle and high school, the software empowers them to compose and engage in higher-order musical activities even though they have limited traditional musical skills,” teacher Marc Tartell said. “For my high school band, MusicFirst provides resources for listening, recording performances, composition and theory.”

The program inspired a student to compose music that otherwise would not have been possible.

“Recently, we were studying minimalist music," said Tartell. "After learning about composition techniques, students wrote their own compositions in this style. After hearing a really original-sounding composition, I asked my student what she liked about our project most. She replied, ‘I can compose music that I could never play because I stopped playing the violin after elementary school.’”

A Briarcliff Manor Education Foundation grant funded Briarcliff's digital music lab.

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