Yamaha Music In Education System Motivates, Inspires Elementary Students In Vancouver School District

8/8/2008 [Music Education]

Innovative Teaching System Now Serves 11,000 Students in 21 Schools District-Wide.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — For many years, Linda Wear, a music teacher at Chinook Elementary School in Vancouver, Wash., has enthusiastically used the Yamaha Music In Education (MIE) system with her students.

Yamaha Music in Education
Yamaha Music In Education
When the time came to buy a new music education technology update, she considered several options. Though cost-conscious and not necessarily brand-loyal, her research and discussions with other educators at conferences ultimately led her right back to the updated, upgraded MIE system.

Yamaha's turnkey MIE program uses digital keyboards to make teaching and learning efficient, yet fun. Each MIE3XG keyboard features over 700 Yamaha XG voices, offering full, rich sounds to inspire student creativity and learning. Students can sing, move, discuss music, play and compose, while learning all the musical concepts they would normally learn in non-technology based general music programs, including note reading, melody, harmony, rhythm, form and dynamics.

Wear applied for and received three grants and, with the support of the school's parents' association, requested that school administrators and board members purchase the Yamaha MIE system (iMac computer and 16 keyboards, including one teacher unit). "After we installed the system at Chinook, they came to see our set-up and decided to purchase the same Yamaha MIE system for all 21 elementary schools in the Vancouver School District," said Wear. "It was pretty amazing."

Wear lauds the features of her original MIE system, but notes that important improvements made over the years helps students learn musical concepts. Over 3,400 schools in the United States use the MIE system. They report experiencing improved student participation in instrumental music, better attendance, improved student behavior and higher test scores in math and reading.

"I was satisfied with the first product, but the newer systems have an improved sound quality and the lessons are laid out sequentially," said Wear. "The composing program is great, even more than I need, so I won't ever max out: I can go on and use it to challenge older students. The students were very motivated, very excited, and couldn't wait to play the keyboards."

Wear stresses the importance of offering students the opportunity to learn using the latest technology. "Beyond the appeal of motivating them to learn, virtually everything they do involves technology," she said. "Most Chinook students come from families where they have access to computers and other technologies at home, but having a system in school really takes learning to another level."

The focal point of the Yamaha MIE3XG system is a unique keyboard that can accommodate two students at one time. Students may play alone using headphones, in ensemble with another pupil, or in normal mode, which gives them the experience of playing an 88-key, five-octave keyboard. Wear points out that the dual values of nurturing both independence and cooperation are important aspects of the MIE system. "One of my most favorite things is that kids will be playing music and say to each other, 'here, listen to this,' and they're sharing and passing headphones back and forth."

The MIE demystifies music for her students. "Yamaha really values educating kids and that's where my heart is," Wear adds. "I believe music should be an integral part of childrens' lives. What we experienced as kids—the experimentation of pounding on the piano at Grandma's house, for example—doesn't happen in the same way today. Kids today are more isolated and a lot of students only experience music when they're in the car or listening to the radio. The idea of making music is foreign to them; so many of them say to me, 'I can't sing,' and I say, 'you were born to sing!' They just don't know how to put sounds into patterns, and they can't do it if they don't have these experiences."

For more information about the Yamaha MIE system, please click here or call Yamaha at (800) 253-8490, ext. 4977 or write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90620; or e-mail: infostation@yamaha.com.

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