(2014) Clavinova for Middle School Music Classroom – Brittany Gurganus

          In Spring 2014, I received a grant to aid in the purchase of a clavinova for the Middle School music and choir program.  Since purchasing the clavinova, I have used it every day in my classroom and for multiple after school events.

          For 5th grade music, I have used the clavinova to enhance every aspect of teaching music, from songs, to rhythm, solfege, singing, and even keeping a steady beat!  The students love getting to hear how high and low the clavinova can play, and they love hearing all of the different sounds the metronome can make.   I am still working logistically on multiple students playing the many games stored on the piano, but the students who did get to play were very enthusiastic about them.  The students did get to complete a writing project, and I was very impressed with the results.  I plan to start earlier on this project next year and (hopefully!) even showcase a few of the compositions on a program.

          For choir, it has been an extremely valuable instrument for our concerts and for class time.  Previously, we would use the clavinova at the Junior High for our concerts, but it was starting to show wear and tear from being moved from school to school so much.  Moving the clavinova down the hallway to the stage is much easier on everybody (custodians included!) and on the instrument itself.  Our accompanist also enjoys playing on this clavinova verses the one at the Junior High because she finds the keys are more responsive.  Additionally, the clavinova has been a particularly valuable resource when I have to be out of the classroom.   I am able to record warm ups and songs directly to the piano so that the students can still rehearse when I am gone.  No rehearsal time is lost, which allows us to do harder and more interesting literature.

          Overall, I am extremely pleased with how the clavinova has impacted the musical experience of students and audiences at Wylie.  Due to this generous grant, students in general music and the entire Wylie Choir program learned from and sang with a high quality instrument.  The grant provided by the Wylie Bulldog Education Foundation has proved to be an invaluable gift.  Its impact on students, choirs, and audiences will be heard (literally) for many years to come!

The Wylie Bulldogs Education Foundation is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3). Our mission is to collect and distribute gifts to promote excellence in education to students and teachers.