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Board approves career-focused music education 

By ASHLEY BOOKS

The Francis Howell Board of Education has voted to replace middle school Piano Keyboarding with a more technology-focused alternative, Music Production and Technology.

At its April 2 meeting, the board approved a new curriculum that will teach students engineering and music editing using up-to-date software and hardware. Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris, chief academics officer, said this course is designed to better help students understand the technological side of music.

“Just keeping a focus on college and career readiness, we knew that we had students for whom Piano Keyboarding wasn’t meeting their needs – that there would be another class that could better meet their needs, whether they were musically inclined or learning technology,” she said.

The board also approved the purchase of new headphones and keyboards for the course. The new materials will cost the district approximately $9,998.

Hendricks-Harris said she is pleased with the overall student enrollment for the course, and that the district plans to eventually offer it at the high school level.

“Certainly when the music teachers brought it to us, they had a long-term vision for, at some point, extending something similar to the high school,” she said.

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