It is highly likely that classes across the nation will be 100% online or hybrid this fall, so music educators have two choices: prepare alone, or work together. The fact is, people can create more resources when they work together for the right reasons.

A great example is that Wikipedia, a completely crowdsourced encyclopedia, fast outgrew Encarta, the encyclopedia that Microsoft spent millions of dollars to create. How was this possible when Encarta was already the dominant encyclopedia on the market when Wikipedia was first created? Because Wikipedia contributors were intrinsically motivated to create a free resource.

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The majority of K-12 music educators who use Practicing Musician are intrinsically motivated to help students, and so are we. The heart of our vision, mission, and values is a firm belief that everyone should be able to access music education.

We are offering to teach you how to create high quality content at home with technology you already own. Then we’ll host it on our site for free for as long as you want. Through your collaboration with our team and the 125+ educators who have already joined forces on this project, we can quickly create a completely free student AND teacher centered space for online music learning.

The process looks like this:

Arrow Chart
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This isn’t a ploy to get free labor to build out our own library. The content you create will be owned by you—the educators—and our library will be available to you free of charge. Your content will never be available on our for-profit consumer side, but the entire library of content (ours included) will be downloadable for students who do not have internet access at home.

In addition, we’re developing methods to easily distribute content hosted on our site via Google Classrooms, Canvas, email, and other LMS you may already know how to use. We’re also working with writers of the National Core Arts Standards and Model Cornerstone Assessments to develop standards based Zoom/Google Meets teaching methodologies. This the only way we can hope to create somewhat equitable music education opportunities for all music students in the United States this fall.

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We know this project sounds huge, so we hope the following information about our efficient production process provides solace. With only two Practicing Musician staff and 15 educators who spent 10 hours each, we went from not having a lesson plan to having over 1,000 video tutorials and well over 1,000 exercises and songs organized on our site in about 3 months! In fact, we’re just about to finish uploading our second round of content, which was produced in about the same amount of time.

By training music educators to adopt our process, we believe we can create a library of general music, choir, concert band, and orchestra content for all skill levels.
Our process is simple. Organize lesson plans and split up the work amongst educator volunteers. The more volunteers, the less time commitment for each educator.

Volunteer roles include: Project Managers, Curriculum Designers, Video Producers, Sheet Music Composers/Arrangers, Video Editors, Content Managers, Curriculum Coordinators, Tech Support, Administrators, Educator Best Practice Advisors. Click HERE to learn more about each role and join the project.

Although we still need volunteers for all roles, we especially need volunteer Video Producers (educators who record short video tutorials that cover a single concept each on the instrument or method they specialize in) and Sheet Music Composers/Arrangers.

Project Manager roles will require a greater time commitment, but the skill set you will learn is invaluable. Project managers will meet as a group every week with Practicing Musician’s Chief of Staff Ed Rogan. As a National HR Executive with 25+ years experience, Ed will help ensure our teams are making progress as required and engaging, motivating, and recognizing the efforts of all volunteers across all projects.

Spread the word to your colleagues. The more educators volunteer, the less work will be required of each educator.

This project is being led by Practicing Musician’s founder and CEO, Jake Douglass. Feel free to reach out to him at any time by emailing jake@practicingmusician.com or by calling (206)854-6076. He’s here to help.

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