‘When I decided to become a music teacher, I wanted to give my students the sense of community and meaning making that I felt when I was in school.’
Luke Manas teaches in York Early College Academy in New York City. Here, in an article from Soundtrap Education‘s blog, he explains how music technology solved practical problems, enabling him to offer students ‘a meaningful music education’.
‘I teach in the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the U.S., with more than 1.1 million students. 1,800 separate schools and just as many stories and contexts. For the last few years, I have found a home running the music program at York Early College Academy, a small school in Jamaica Queens for traditionally underserved, but strongly motivated students in grades 6-12. When I started the music program here, I had a few ideas that I let guide my planning: have students make music as quickly and as often as possible, push them be as creative as they can and, ask them to grow their voices as individuals as well as in collaboration.
‘For us, like many, the challenge was context. Many of my students do not play instruments and have not taken formal music classes since elementary school. We did not yet have access to grants for instruments and equipment and even if we did, seeing students for multiple years is difficult to schedule in a small school with our model. My first year here, I taught most of my classes in a science room. Despite the challenges, I knew it was possible to offer my students a meaningful music education. For us, the solution was technology.’
Header photo: students using Soundtrap © Soundtrap