In the Spotlight - Spring 2019

Music is for Everyone!

An open education resource for you, music teachers! Music Workshop provides free-of-charge, innovative, online K-8 music education programming that any school can access and teach regardless of their means, location or musical expertise. The courses are ready-to-go musical lessons perfect for supplementing a lesson, introducing a new unit or as an easy sub plan. Students are able to engage with a music program that uniquely weaves multiple educational disciplines into each course. Our overall aim is to inspire students to appreciate the arts, motivate them to play an instrument and teach them ways to incorporate music into their lives. Our courses intentionally expose students to a broad spectrum of music so they can become inspired to choose their own musical paths.

In 2012 things really became clear to Amy Richter. That was the year her own children’s school district was hit with major budget cuts. One of the first things on the chopping block, music education. With an educational background in music and psychology, and a focus in Music Therapy, she knew of the extreme importance of music education for our youth. What had previously been a robust, full time music program would now be going down to barely part time. In that moment she determined that she would do something to bring more music education not only to her children, but to all of our children.

If music is for everyone, then everyone should have access to music education. Music Workshop’s mission is to educate, inspire and motivate children through music education. Students need music to develop areas of the brain that not only enhance academic potential but also promote creativity, social development and self-worth. Envisioning a program that would not only be a high quality and broad ranged education, Amy also thought it exceedingly important that the program be straightforward and available to any school regardless of location, finances and teacher expertise. After gathering a talented group of educators, creatives and videographers - Music Workshop was born. Music Workshop has spent the last five years creating high quality music education videos and lessons available to music teachers free of charge.

The first course created was on Jazz, America’s Music. The program was created to be flexible, allowing music teachers the ability to customize its presentation to fit into their schedules. The lessons last about 40 minutes and are sectioned into four parts. The Intro to Jazz course covers the History of Jazz, Instruments of Jazz, Styles of Jazz and Performers from the past and the present. While the visual style and music was meant to educate students while keeping them engaged, each course also contains two other important lessons: the Music in Life Lesson and the Musical Movement Minute. The Music in Life Lesson is a special mental exercise to help students understand that music is a very personal experience.

Through this exercise they learn how to use music as a tool to enrich their everyday lives. The Musical Movement Minute is a great way to keep the students engaged through physical activity. Within the Jazz course, the instructor is invited to have the students participate in a “call and response” activity. This call and response enforces an aspect of Jazz and allows the children to physically enjoy the lesson.

The premier course was launched in ten schools in the Portland, Oregon area. Courses in Classical Music, the Birth of Rock n’ Roll and the Evolution of Rock n’ Roll followed during that first year. Within two years the number of participating schools had increased to over 40. It was soon realized that a more scalable delivery system had become a top priority. In 2014 Music Workshop moved to being a fully online, open education resource. By that time, the program included two years of programming having added additional courses in R&B, Country, Piano, Guitar, Instruments of the World, Strings and Percussion. The Music Workshop program has continued to grow. It now has eighteen courses including eight Genre courses, eight Instrument courses and two "Careers in Music" courses. The program has grown to be presented in over 1000 schools across 50 states and 18 countries.

Music Workshop strives to bring more music to every student, everywhere. It is an open education resource, available to all teachers for free. This program is for every school and student – it is a helpful and effective supplement for existing music programs.

Sign up for Music Workshop at Again, it’s free and available to all.

by Amy Hall

NYC Teacher Nominated

I remember hearing about the recipient of the 2018 GRAMMY Music Educator Award while listening to WNYC’s Morning Edition. As soon as I heard that she taught in New York City, I had to find out more about her. Her name is Melissa Salguero. She teaches at P.S. 48 Joseph R. Drake Elementary School in the South Bronx. I’ve been a big fan ever since.

When I started working on social media for MEANYC (@meanycmusic), I found Ms. Salguero’s Instagram account and started following it (You can follow her @salgueromusic). It was there that I discovered that she was a finalist for the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize. In the month leading up to the announcement of the winner, Ms. Salguero shared about her life as a teacher and as a person. She even shared about her trip to Dubai for the announcement. Her followers left her well wishes and messages of support in the comments section of her Instagram posts. Although Peter Tabichi was announced as the winner, she showed grace and humility. She cheered for him and gave him a big hug. After the ceremony, she posted about how much she learned from him.

We are proud of Ms. Salguero and look forward to supporting her as she continues to serve the students of New York City. MEANYC is proud to announce that she will be presenting a workshop in the 2019-2020 school year. I cannot wait to register for this workshop. I look forward to being inspired by this amazing teacher and learning together with you.

by Gina Costanza

Presto! Articles Wanted

Have you ever wanted to be an author? Do you have a success story from your school community you want to share? Have you created a unique way of teaching musical content in a NYC classroom?

If so, we urge you to share your success stories via our journal, Presto!. This is a journal for MEANYC members, written by MEANYC members and our local community. This is your opportunity to share ideas, strategies, or any local music education news that impacts us here in NYC

If you are interested in writing an article, please email editor Brian Wagner-Yeung at We look forward to hearing your ideas.