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Carnegie Hall's Extensive Catalogue of Free Online Music Education Resources Available to Educators Everywhere

Flexible Educational Activities and Tools Are Designed to Inspire and Enrich Musical Learning Both In-Person and Online

Supporting Work in Classrooms Across New York City This Year, Carnegie Hall Partners with the NYC Department of Education and New York Community Trust to Provide Engaging Music Curriculum Materials for Remote Learning

(New York, NY, November 24, 2020)— Responding to the needs of teachers and parents overseeing learning from home during COVID-19, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI)—the Hall’s music education and social impact arm—has expanded its range of digital music education offerings now available for free to educators around the globe. At a time when many teachers are working in distance-learning settings, Carnegie Hall continues to support its growing national community of educators, dedicated to bringing the best in music to students, through its free educational videos, activities, and professional development tools, all designed to enhance musical learning. These resources—which include instructional videos, interactive activities, and digital curriculums—are available on Carnegie Hall’s website for educators, and provide flexibility and adaptability for a variety of learning settings. The Hall also provides networks and opportunities for teacher-to-teacher support, which aid in community building and professional development.

Specifically addressing the needs of New York City students during this period, Carnegie Hall is also partnering with the NYC Department of Education Office of Arts and Special Projects and the New York Community Trust to create robust direct-to-student remote musical learning materials to serve K-12 teachers and students in New York City for immediate use in this school year. The Hall is working alongside some of New York City’s finest arts institutions including 92nd Street Y (dance), Studio in a School (visual arts), and Roundabout Theatre (theater) to provide a range of new materials across the arts spectrum. As part of this project, WMI has created videos and written lessons, alongside accompanying resource materials for teachers, to incorporate music into remote learning. In addition to the Hall’s work directly with New York City public schools, many of these free materials are now available on Carnegie Hall’s website to serve parents, teachers, and students around the world.

Through this partnership, Carnegie Hall serves grades K-12 through musical learning. For grades K-5, WMI provides materials to connect students to Musical Explorers, a program which highlights New York City’s rich and diverse musical community and builds fundamental music skills through listening, singing, and dancing to songs from all over the world. This is the first time that the Musical Explorers curriculum, traditionally available for younger students, has been available and adapted for grades 3-5, giving teachers more opportunities to integrate culturally responsive curricula in their classrooms.

For grades 6-12, teens will learn the fundamentals of songwriting and digital music production through instructional videos led by Carnegie Hall teaching artists. These materials are accessible, relevant, and creative, and support teens as they learn the basics of musical creativity through step-by-step approaches to writing music that truly speak to students’ ideas and emotions. Starting with the history and purpose of music, teaching artist Bridget Barkan shares her thoughtful and personal take on songwriting concepts including inspiration, the chorus, writing verses, the bridge, and completing a song. Ms. Barkan takes viewers at home on a visual journey throughout the five boroughs and the videos celebrate New York City’s long-lasting legacy as a center for music. Young musicians can learn different components of digital music production with teaching artist Charles Burchell including how to create loops, beats, basslines, melodies, and arrangements.

“At Carnegie Hall, our goal is to engage the widest possible audience in musical learning and discovery,” said Sarah Johnson, Chief Education Officer and Director of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. “Now, more than ever, access to opportunity is vital. We’re serving educators and students by providing high-quality digital curricula and resources that are free, flexible, and designed to keep young people engaged in making music and exploring their creativity, both in the classroom and independently.”

“The New York Community Trust, in partnership with NYC’s Department of Education, reached out to us to create direct-to-student online learning materials because they saw the gap that was widening in arts education during the pandemic,” Johnson continued. “Carnegie Hall is happy to be partnering with our colleagues at leading New York cultural institutions to deliver robust musical programming that addresses a vital need right now for New York's public schoolchildren and teachers."

Select WMI Educator Resources

Musical Explorers helps young elementary school students in grades K-2 learn songs from around the world, building a deeper understanding of different cultures while developing basic singing and listening skills. The fully digital program is available for educators free of charge, with a flexible curriculum which allows teachers to choose the programs that best fit their classrooms. The culturally responsive curriculum materials include lesson plans, an interactive Around the World Map, which helps kids see where the music they are studying comes from, artist-led videos, and digital concert experiences filmed live at Carnegie Hall that highlight diverse musical traditions. 

Carnegie Hall's Music Educators Workshops bring together teachers who work in schools and communities with K-12 students for community building and professional development. Educators from the workshops have shared great insights in a new “Great Teachers in Action” video series which cover a range of topics including artistry, intention, compassion, expression, and more, that are available for educators to stream on the Hall’s website. This series of videos has been designed and framed through the lens of WMI’s “Great Music Teaching Framework,” which puts forth a series of values for teachers to consider when considering their pedagogical style and curriculum. Music Educators Toolbox is another popular resource for teachers, which features grade-specific music education activities that address the fundamentals of rhythm, meter, singing, form, dynamics, articulation, tempo, pitch, and performing.

Teachers looking for an online community, support system, and space to share best practices are encouraged to join the Hall’s Music Educators Facebook group. With more than 2,500 members, the publicly available group is a growing, supportive community of educators across the country who engage in dialogue with the support of WMI resources and programs.

“I discovered that page a couple of weeks into the COVID-19 shutdown and it's been a real bright spot for me. It was so traumatic to be ripped from the classroom, but I've gained so much perspective, so many tips and tricks, and had a few smiles all because of that group. I'm not exaggerating it has been a real relief to be part of a community of educators.” said Tim, a teacher from Harwich, Massachusetts.

WMI’s longest-running music education program, Link Up, is used by nearly half a million elementary school students and teachers across the globe. Students in grades 3-5 learn to sing and play an instrument through this highly participatory program. Teachers using Link Up can utilize any of the program materials—including teacher and student resources, interactive sheet music, online lesson plans, downloadable student activity sheets, and robust audio and video content—free of charge to engage students in musical learning and exploration. Explore Link Up’s four unique programs: The Orchestra Rocks, The Orchestra Swings, The Orchestra Sings, and The Orchestra Moves.

WMI’s extensive catalog of masterclass video content with leading artists including Joyce DiDonato, Jonathan Biss, and members of the Berlin Philharmoniker and the Vienna Philharmonic, is a meaningful tool to inspire students. NYO-U, a free online video series that is written and produced by teenage members and alumni of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA), NYO2, and NYO Jazz, has been specifically developed to invite other teen musicians to explore a range of topics, including mastering fast passages, conquering stage fright, essential items for your instrument case, and more. 

For the full list of WMI educator resources, please visit: carnegiehall.org/Explore/Learn/Music-Educators


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About Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) creates visionary programs that embody Carnegie Hall’s commitment to music education, playing a central role in fulfilling the Hall’s mission of making great music accessible to as many people as possible. With unparalleled access to the world’s greatest artists, WMI’s programs are designed to inspire audiences of all ages, nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and harness the power of music to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. An integral part of Carnegie Hall’s concert season, these programs facilitate creative expression, develop musical skills and capacities at all levels, and encourage participants to make lifelong personal connections to music.

The Weill Music Institute generates new knowledge through original research and is committed to giving back to its community and the field, sharing an extensive range of online music education resources and program materials for free with teachers, orchestras, arts organizations, and music lovers worldwide. Nearly 800,000 people each year engage in WMI’s programs through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall. This includes more than half a million students and teachers worldwide who participate in WMI’s Link Up music education program for students in grades 3 through 5, made possible through Carnegie Hall partnerships with more than 110 orchestras in the US, as well as internationally in New Zealand, Canada, China, Japan, Kenya, and Spain.


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Carnegie Hall thanks generous supporters of the wide range of music education and social impact programs created by the Weill Music Institute.

Photo at top of the release © Kyle Rynicki.

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