Best Buy---see us on their website: http://communications.bestbuy.com/communityrelations/teach.asp
I recently found out that I won a Best Buy Grant! I collaborated on the writing of this with my colleagues Shana Zaslow, and Phillip Seymour. Here is an example of the question and our answer from this grant. I'm including this in case it helps other music teachers to seek funding. The audience for this type of writing usually does not have much formal music knowledge, and it's important to remember that in our descriptions.
Describe the project you are submitting for a te@ch award. Tell us how the program uses interactive technology to make learning fun for students.
Our digital music composition program has grown rapidly over the last two years. 100 students participate annually in music composition classes and 25 belong to our Digital Media Arts after school program. They respond with enthusiasm, are motivated and proud of their creations.
During the first year, students used GarageBand software to create original musical compositions with roots in hip hop and rap. Their positive response encouraged us to introduce more sophisticated software and musical techniques, resulting in more complex and developed projects. Last year we used Sebelius and Audacity software, enabling us to increase the students’ knowledge of musical notation, allowing them to manipulate sound, and expanding their exposure and the scope of their composing to include western classical music. The music was performed on electronic keyboards and recorded directly into computers, and the students created album covers using Adobe Photoshop. We then collaged their images into rudimentary music videos.
This year students will use Logic Pro Audio and Final Cut Pro Video Editing software to produce music videos using original compositions and visuals. We now have several digital still cameras and limited use of a very basic digital video camera. Our most immediate need is for several high quality digital video cameras so that our students can work with the tools that best support their work. Ultimately, we plan to equip our sound studio with professional grade sound mixing and digital editing equipment.
We are progressing steadily toward the capacity to produce professional quality music videos. Renovation of our music rooms this year included creation of a “sound room” which we plan to equip with sound and video production equipment. Additionally, we have established partnerships with the American Composers’ Orchestra and Vision into Art (a multimedia arts performance company), which provide mentoring by professional musicians and music video artists.