Music Teacher Turns Sixth Graders Into Podcasters




Compared to most people, Jake Lorefice was one New York University music technology master’s degree more prepared to roll with the pandemic’s punches and modify the Montauk School’s music program, setting his sixth graders up for podcasting success.

Students’ Chromebooks came to the rescue with “really wonderful software” that Mr. Lorefice was familiar with thanks to his degree. After doing a piano lab with mini desktop keyboards that plugged into the Chromebooks, he turned his sixth graders’ attention to podcasting, which required only a microphone plug-in.

What his students came up with was “next level, you would never expect it,” he said. He was wowed by how his students wielded their autonomy. “I just gave them the prompt and let them go. Explain something that kids understand, but adults don’t.”


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Texas Music Partners Working with MINDPOP’s Creative Learning Initiative

TMP working with Mindpop and Creative Learning Initiative


Texas Music Partners (TMP) has been an arts provider with MINDPOP since 2017.  The Creative Learning Initiative (CLI) is a project through MINDPOP that ensures students have access to the arts, creative teaching, core content areas, and elective courses.  This spring, CLI is starting a new project for elementary school students called the Spring Season of Arts Experience in which selected arts providers to offer their courses to AISD schools to be presented by the arts provider or AISD teachers.  We are honored that CLI has chosen Texas Music Partners to supply two of our courses for this project so we may reach more students and let them experience music and technology to help them find a creative passion.  The courses that TMP will be providing are:


  • How to Take Powerful Photos of Musicians
  • How to Make a Music Video


Texas Music Partners would like to thank MINDPOP’s Creative Learning Initiative program and AISD for this opportunity to reach central Texas students and help realize our mission.


Breakthrough Artists Tap Tech To Bypass Big Music




With concert venues closed, musical careers must be forged on streaming platforms instead.

It’s been an awful year for the majority of artists who make most of their income from gigs and touring. Yet a small but growing number are harnessing the latest tech to break through on Spotify, YouTube and TikTok.

Musicians like Jayda G and RAC have bounced back from canceled tours to secure Grammy nominations with the help of apps like Distrokid, and The tools help artists to distribute and market their work, share out royalties, break into popular playlists and identify which songs resonate most with listeners.


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Texas Music Partners’ 2nd Annual Amplify Austin Day, March 4-5

Texas Music Partners will once again be participating in Amplify Austin Day.  Amplify Austin Day is a day of giving through I Live Here I Give Here to help raise funds for over 750 nonprofits in the central Texas area.  Amplify Austin Day takes place on March 4th from 6 PM to March 5th at 6 PM.  Early giving has already started. If you wish to make a donation to TMP, or help us fundraise, feel free to do so by going to


This year we will be raising money for tablets and equipment to provide our teachers so they can come into the schools to teach our central Texas students.  Each teacher kit costs about $3,000 and provides everything the teacher and student needs to successfully take our courses.


TMP provides STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) to students.  This helps them prepare for the demands of our future job market by adding a creative component to STEM.  Being able to think more creatively will allow our kids to be successful and help keep this country’s future workforce the most sought after in the world!

#texasmusicpartners #amplifyaustin #ilivehereigivehere

In New Orleans, Music Education Programs Cautiously Fall Back In Step



In the weeks after last year’s Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans experienced one of the most explosive COVID-19 outbreaks in the country. Since then, music has largely been missing from a city that depends on it.

Sonya Robinson, co-director of the arts education nonprofit Artist Corps New Orleans, says one reason why music education has been slow to start back up in New Orleans is the disproportionate impact the virus has had on African Americans.

Public schools began to gradually reopen in late September, and by mid-October, the district’s 45,000 students had the option to learn in-person at least several days a week. While the district doesn’t offer detailed guidance on how to teach music during the pandemic, it is permitted: Bands and choirs can practice outdoors as long as they remain socially distanced and adhere to their school’s maximum group size.


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Connecting the Globe Through Music




Ben Ma first realized the power of music to connect people as a volunteer DJ.

“I used to DJ at retirement homes, at food kitchens, at rehabilitation centers,” he says. “As a 15-year-old, I couldn’t really relate to a 70-year-old in a retirement home. But I did some research and listened to requests and realized that playing music that we both enjoy is something that creates the seed of a personal connection. And we can expand on that.”

As Ma grew up in San Jose, California he was simultaneously discovering his love for technology. After joining coding summer camps in the hopes of being able to make video games, he discovered the multitude of uses of programming languages and enrolled in computer science classes in high school.

Upon his admission to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Ma hoped to combine his passion for music with his interest in technology.  In the laboratory, Ma assisted with creating algorithms to analyze the body’s physiological responses to hearing music. Data obtained in this way can have incredible applications in understanding exactly how music manipulates our emotions, and how it can be used to bring people together.


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This Robot Can Rap … Really!




What if your digital assistant could battle rap? That may sound far-fetched, but Gil Weinberg, a music technologist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has adapted a musical robot called Shimon to compose lyrics and perform in real time. That means it can engage in rap “conversations” with humans, and maybe even help them compose their own lyrics. Shimon, which was intentionally designed to sound machinelike, is meant to be a one-of-a-kind musical collaborator—or an inhuman rap-battle opponent.


To read the article click here or on the picture.


‘Tripping With Nils Frahm’: 4 Sweaty Berlin Nights Captured Onscreen




In the new concert film Tripping with Nils Frahm, directed by Benoit Toulemonde, a small figure in a t-shirt and flat cap bounces around a Berlin stage — playing pianos and towering analog synthesizers, flipping switches, turning knobs and massaging keyboards in front of rapt audiences.

German composer Nils Frahm creates songs that fuse electronic and classical music. He’s one of the stars of a new wave of what’s been described as neoclassical, a movement takes traditional instruments like grand pianos out of concert halls and into clubs and indie theaters.


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Langley Teacher Finds New Ways To Keep The Music Playing During COVID




If students couldn’t come to teacher Kanata Soranaka’s classroom, she’d bring the classroom to them.

Now Soranaka and her music cart are a common sight in the halls of Belmont Elementary as she stays connected musically with hundreds of students in 19 divisions.

The cart is a mobile office containing the technology, instruments and accessories she needs during the school day, including a home-made Plexiglas shield that allows students to be near her safely.

The cart is just one of the ways Soranaka, who has worked in the Langley School District since 2005, devised to outwit the coronavirus and keep students learning, and one factor in why the music teacher has been chosen as a Langley Advance Times Hero in Education.


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Students Enhance Music Therapy Experience




The College’s School of the Arts and Communication partnered with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) to build upon the hospital’s existing holistic arts programs. The program, which currently includes wellness treatments such as art therapy, meditation, pet therapy and reiki, is now expanding its branch of music therapy.

The nine students enrolled in the College’s interactive multimedia and music course “User-Centered Musical Design” are utilizing innovative online music therapy experiences for cancer patients. Alongside Associate Professor Teresa Nakra, students are working together to design an app for musical exploration that cancer patients can use while undergoing chemotherapy infusions.

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