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If You Know One DAW, You Know Them All

The learning curve from computer-based Digital Audio Workstations to online versions is gentle - and the potential for use is far greater.

TI:ME Music Technology Composition Contest

TI:ME announces their 2019 Music Technology Student Composition Contest. Entries are due May 1, 2019.

Blending Spaces at NBCS Music

March 21, 2019

By Brad Fuller & Peter Orenstein


MusicFirst Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month with "Intro to Jazz" Course

March 11, 2019

April is officially Jazz Appreciation Month (aka "JAM"), and we're excited to share with you a brand new Intro to Jazz course available right in the MusicFirst Classroom Library. Created by music educators for music educators, this course is ready for you to use with your students immediately.

More Than Just "Beep" & "Boop": How to Teach Synthesis as a Way of Helping Kids Sculpt Their Sonic Worlds

March 1, 2019

By Zachary Gates

With readily available and inexpensive devices, it is more possible than ever before for students to create their own sonic worlds. 

MusicFirst Reaches 500,000 Users Milestone

February 26, 2019

As of late February 2019, MusicFirst has reached a new milestone- half a million users! 

Profiles in Teaching with Technology Podcast: Stefanie Weigand

January 24, 2019

Episode 2 of the Profiles in Teaching with Technology podcast features Stefanie Weigand, director of choral music at Harwood Union Middle/High School, and president of the Vermont ACDA chapter. 

To Free or Not to Free? : The Pros and Cons of Using Free and Low-Cost Software with Students, Part 2

January 15, 2019

Dr. Jim Frankel

Many music educators are looking for free and low-cost software and music technology to help enhance their teaching. In Part 1 of this article, I covered several models of these solutions, including Web-Based Software and Locally-Installed Software, and the various multi-tiered payment options available for using them. In Part 2, I will provide an overview of some of the issues that should be considered prior to adopting these solutions for student use, including compliance with federal laws, privacy issues, and objectionable content. While it may seem like I’m trying to rain on the parade of some great teaching opportunities, it is important to be fully informed of what is and isn’t permissible from a legal standpoint, and potential pitfalls to avoid. I will also cover some technical limitations of web-based software, specifically in terms of device compatibility. Finally, I’ll cover how students turn in their work to you for assessment. It is certainly an exciting time in the world of music technology, but there are always things to consider before incorporating new tools into your teaching practice.

To Free or Not to Free? : The Pros and Cons of Using Free and Low-Cost Software with Students, Part 1

January 15, 2019

Dr. Jim Frankel

Everyone likes free, myself included. But, as my parents told me numerous times in my childhood: “Nothing in life is free.” Nowhere is this idea more relevant than in the software industry- both with music-oriented and non-music apps. This two-part article will provide a guide to the best free and low-cost apps and software available, with an eye toward why “free” is not always free. This article will provide a background of the free and “freemium” software model and app distribution, as well as list the many music apps that are available. Strategies for implementation and best practices will be shared for each.  will examine why teachers might consider paying for apps, and illustrate the hidden costs and possible dangers of using free software with students. 

NPR Student Podcast Challenge

November 28, 2018 

NPR is inviting students, with the help of their teachers, to create a podcast and compete for a chance to have their work featured on two national radio programs.

Taming Technology: Managing Multiple Technology Platforms & Systems in Your Music Instruction

November 26, 2018

As you use more and more technology in your teaching, you might find yourself eventually intertwined in a technological web of software, hardware, apps, desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, interactive white boards (IWB), etc. As part of their functionality, these devices and applications interact with one another using a variety of computer platforms and systems. This point of contact can be daunting for most users. How do you manage all of this without adding to your already crazy workload?

New Jersey Students Win "What's Your Anti-Drug?" Contest by Podcasting

November 5, 2018

Two students from Lake Hopatcong Middle School in New Jersey have won the annual Sussex County "What's Your Anti-Drug?" contest with their podcast submission.

Focus on Sound Pro Named as Finalist for Music Teacher Awards for Excellence

November 2, 2018

Focus on Sound Pro has been named as a finalist for Outstanding Digital/ Technological Resource in the 2019 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence. Focus on Sound Pro tops the shortlist for awards honoring the best of the arts education sector; Ceremony will be held on 6 March at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel, Mayfair.

10 Ways to Reduce Music Tech Costs and Increase Functionality

Tiny budget and big ambitions? Make the most of a limited school budget by following these ten tips.

Ask the Expert Webinar

September 26, 2018 Find answers to your questions about incorporating music technology into the music classroom in this informative webinar, hosted by Jim Frankel.

Celebrate International Podcast Day with MusicFirst & Soundtrap

International Podcast Day is on September 30 and is an international celebration of the power of podcasts. MusicFirst and Soundtrap have teamed up to bring you an exciting lesson plan highlighting this emerging medium.

MTT57: A Music Tech Life with James Frankel

Katie Wardrobe | May 29, 2018

Music Technology Teacher Podcast 

Dr. James Frankel, Director of MusicFirst and the Head of Digital Education for Music Sales Group, sits down with Katie Wardrobe from Midnight Music to discuss his career path in music education technology.

Fostering Social Justice in the Music Classroom

Meaghan O'Connor | April 6, 2018

I grew up on the outer reaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a predominantly white, middle class community. In the fall of 2013, I started my teaching career in a much more socially and economically diverse community in the village of Hyannis, towards the center of Cape Cod. Adapting to the interests of my students, I developed a unit devoted to hip-hop, with a particular focus on the theme of social justice.

The Music Sales Group announces the sale of its printed music and retail divisions to Hal Leonard LLC

Global independent music publisher The Music Sales Group has today announced the sale of its physical and online printed music and Musicroom-branded retail businesses to Milwaukee-based worldwide music print publisher Hal Leonard LLC. ...

NPR Affiliate WFAE discusses MusicFirst software Soundation for Education in Music Education story

We were thrilled to find this story by Charlotte, N.C. NPR affiliate WFAE 90.7, which features MusicFirst audio recording software, Soundation.

MusicFirst Adds In Tune Monthly's Digital Edition

Online Classroom to Include "The Young Musician's Textbook"

J.W. Pepper & Music Sales Announce Online Platform Integration

J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc. is pleased to announce the integration of its Cut Time online group management platform with MusicFirst, the learning management system from Music Sales Corporation. With the integration of these two online platforms, music teachers can now move seamlessly between the Cut Time and MusicFirst to accomplish tasks.

Boston Public Schools Re-imagines its Professional Development Program with MusicFirst

The visual and performing arts have long been associated with forward-thinking ideas and goals. In that spirit, the Boston Public Schools system has debuted a multi-pronged professional development (PD) plan that aims to incorporate a variety of components such as in-person, online, video and combinations of each, as well as options that fit diverse schedules. As part of the program, they’ve also adopted the MusicFirst Online Classroom learning management system as the delivery system and access point for all modern professional development.

MusicFirst Partners with PledgeCents for Music Education Funding

MusicFirst has announced a new partnership with PledgeCents, a crowdfunding platform specifically for PreK-12 that enables teachers to fundraise for needs such as music services for their schools. PledgeCents allows teachers to quickly and easily create personalized campaign pages to reach their fundraising goals. Using PledgeCents, teachers will be able to apply all funds raised to purchase and renew MusicFirst and its array of music learning and creation tools for their students.

Summer Professional Development

Join MusicFirst this summer for two days of professional development sponsored by NAfME Academy.

Release Notes

MusicFirst is constantly improving and updating. Check out our most recent updates for the Online Classroom, Content offerings, and more!

MusicFirst Signs Distribution Partnership with Soundtrap Offering Online Collaborative Music-making Solution to Educators

MusicFirst, a learning management system designed specifically for music educators, has signed a distribution agreement with Soundtrap, an online collaborative music and podcast recording studio, to offer a cross-platform music creation within its portfolio aimed at educators, teachers, band, choir and orchestra directors.

ComposeFirst Competition

To help celebrate Music in Our Schools Month, MusicFirst is excited to announce the ComposeFirst Music Competition, open to students grades K-12.

6-Month Subscription – Limited Time Offer​

Beginning January 1, MusicFirst will once again be offering half-price subscriptions of the MusicFirst Online Classroom to new users. The award-winning Online Classroom keeps your students, classes, and assignments all organized in one easy to use platform. Whether you want to prepare students for your end of the year concerts, or engage students with creative and exciting software, MusicFirst has a package for you.

NAfME and MusicFirst Partner to Bring Music Educators State-of-the-Art Learning Management System

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) strives to provide music educators and education leaders with engaging professional development opportunities to support best practices. Now, NAfME and MusicFirst have come together to bring music educators a state-of-the-art learning management system, available 24-7. MusicFirst is the Digital Education Division of the Music Sales Corporation.

MusicFirst is Growing!

We are excited to announce the addition of three new MusicFirst team members: Roger Williams, Director of Sales and Marketing; Zachary Jackson, Administrative Services Manager; and Joanna Huang, Asia/Pacific Regions Accounts Manager.

MusicFirst Junior™

MusicFirst Junior™ is an amazing new Teaching System for Elementary Music Education. Ideal for both teacher - led and independent student use, it’s also perfect for flipped classrooms and cross-arts learning.

TI:ME & SBO Best Tools for Schools Awards for MusicFirst

Leading music education technology company MusicFirst was presented with two of the highest music education accolades during the 2016 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif., the Technology Institute for Music Education (TI:ME) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Technology in Music Education, and the School Band and Orchestra Best Tools for Schools Award for Best Teaching Tool for Intermediate Students.

Announcing the MusicFirst iOS Student App

We are very proud to release the MusicFirst Student App. The app allows students who are subscribed to the MusicFirst Online Classroom to view and complete tasks assigned to them by their teachers, using an iPhone or iPad.

Santa Teresa High School

Julie Bounds of Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, Calif., is a band director always on the lookout for the thriftiest ways to run her band program.

With MusicFirst, Bounds not only found an affordable solution for her bands’ needs, she also found an extraordinarily convenient tool that allows for more student accountability and flexibility for busy music teachers.

Introducing PracticeFirst

MusicFirst announces an exciting partnership with MatchmySound™ to create PracticeFirst™, an affordable, online practice and assessment tool offering innovative features. Accessible from any internet-enabled device, PracticeFirst allows students to practice anytime, anywhere, with instant feedback and flexibility that has never been seen before.

Implementing and Assessing the New National Core Arts Standards is Easy with MusicFirst

The new National Core Arts Standards were officially launched on Monday, October 20, 2014, after nearly five years of planning and spirited debate among administrators, educators, and art education organizations. While some teachers welcome them, others are wary of how the standards will impact their music programs.

Assessing Your Music Students in the Cloud

Music teachers have been assessing their students since people first starting teaching others how to make music. It is a part of our every day existence. Music teachers correct student mistakes, give advice, and instruct their students about all facets of music making, music fundamentals, and music history in performance ensemble, general music class, music theory and ear training exercises, or in individual vocal and instrumental lessons. Due to the ever increasing importance being placed on quantitative assessment and the need to show student progress, it has never been more crucial to music educators to have tools in place that can help them assess their students, and keep an accurate record of their progress throughout the school year. With the number of students music teachers teach per year, this task can be extremely time consuming and difficult. At MusicFirst, we know how crucial assessment is - especially in this age of standardized testing - and we are happy to report to you that the each of the products we sell can help you implement broad-based school-wide assessment for your music students and your music program.

Paradise Valley Unified School District

Joyce Bertilson is no stranger to education technology – she uses it every day as the music instructor for PVOnline, an online division of the Paradise Valley Unified School District in Paradise Valley, Ariz. Specifically, Bertilson uses MusicFirst, engaging students with affordable, cloud-based solutions.

Philadelphia School District Implements MusicFirst Online Classroom Pilot Program

MusicFirst is proud to partner with another school system to share tools that improve music education for both teachers and students. This time, we head to the East Coast to the great city of Philadelphia, PA.

Valley Forge Christian College’s Dr. Floyd Richmond Discusses MusicFirst

Dr. Floyd Richmond, Professor of Music at Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, PA, is a specialist on the use of technology in the music classroom.

Since the beginning of modern digital instrumentation and music technology, he has been at the forefront of its usage in the realm of education. Over the years, Dr. Richmond has held positions as a college professor, music teacher, worship leader, church orchestra director and choir director, using his technological expertise in each of these fields.

MusicFirst Helps Advocate for Music Education on Capitol Hill

Last month, Dr. Jim Frankel of MusicFirst joined nearly 100 music industry leaders, notable artists and arts education activists to advocate for all school-aged children to have access to quality, comprehensive school music education programs. As part of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Advocacy Fly-In, held May 22-24, the delegation met with Members of Congress and other policy stakeholders to reinforce the importance of music as part of a well-rounded education.