February 24, 2011 at 12:01 p.m.

Musicians support North Branch music programs through Minnesota Beatle project

Musicians support North Branch music programs through Minnesota Beatle project
Musicians support North Branch music programs through Minnesota Beatle project

Music instruction at North Branch Area Public Schools (NBAPS) received a 2011 grant from the Minnesota Music Educators Association for over $1,300. The funds are due to the North Branch Music Boosters' participation in the Minnesota Beatle Project. The Minnesota Beatle Project album is a compilation of Minnesota artists performing original versions of songs by the Fab Four. For Volume 1, musicians to studio techs, to graphic designer donated time to put the album together and proceeds from sales are directed to K-12 education.

The music department at NBAPS worked with grant writer Patrick Tepoorten to secure dollars for drums to be widely used by middle school students and Finale and Smartmusic software for the high school. Three Remo starter drum kits will be used widely by middle school students, and the software packages provided for a seamless transition for music students transitioning from the middle school, where the software is already in place, to high school.

"Smart Music is like guitar hero for band," said high school band teacher Ben Firkus. "Students can play instruments into a microphone attached to the computer and the computer will show them any mistakes they made. It will also record them at the same time. They can playback and save what they have just performed so they can hear the improvement the more they use it. It has revolutionized the band student's learning and my teaching. After school I often find students challenging each other on who can get a better score on their band pieces." This year, the Boosters will have the Minnesota Beatle Project Volume II available. The CD is a music compilation of artists from around the state. To purchase ($15), e-mail Barb Mork at [email protected] or text (651) 353-4924.

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