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This page will be dedicated as an open-source forum for sharing innovations in music education.

STEM School & Academy has been working on a new vision for music education that utilizes real-world approaches to teaching music.

We have networked with successful programs like ArtworxLA, SpyHop (Salt Lake City), Foundry10 (Seattle), and Youth on Record (Denver), to develop alternatives to traditional and often outdated approaches in music education.

Students learn piano, guitar, technology and music theory and then synthesize knowledge and skills in order to improvise, create and perform. 

So far our approach has exceeded our expectations.  An outline of our core curriculum can be found on our STEM Music home page. Specific objectives and units can be found on the subpages at the bottom of the home page. 

Detailed weekly lessons are on Google Drive Documents. 

Our room has six digital workstations with the following:

       Ableton Live 9.2
       Sibelius 7.5              
       Scarlett2i4 - Focusrite 2x4 USB2 Audio Interface & iConnect4+
       Keyboard (synthesizer) Impulse49 - Novation 49-Key 8-Pad  Controller               
       Microphone E835 - Sennheiser Handheld Cardioid Mic
       HD280Pro - Sennheiser Closed Studio Headphones

We also use iPads / TheGigEasy w Airturn / a few Zoom recorders / MM8 - Yamaha 88-Key Synthesizer / AT2020 - Audio-Technica Cardioid Condenser Microphones / 20 nylon string guitars / misc. percussion instruments / upright fretless bass 

Our methods also are inspired by key concepts from the Venezuelan program "El Sistema."   
  • We arrange our music to fit the specific technical ability of each student, therefore allowing beginners to play with advanced students.
  • NO EXCLUSION - 100% of the students participate. Music is for everyone, not just the privileged minority.
  • Social - Students work in groups and the learning culture is a priority. 
  • Music is an essential part of the greater community and should bring joy to all.
  •  GOAL: Changing, supporting and influencing the social and emotional lives of young people
"When children are playing music together, all the differences in class, race, everything - they disappear. 

They don't exist anymore. 

For a child, it gives the message that unity and harmony in the world are possible, that war is not necessary." 

Tricia Tunstall, Changing Lives (2012)

Another successful strategy is "Community Connections." Connecting our curriculum with real-world musicians, composers and people in the music industry has already resulted in a collaborations with Emmy award winning composer Charles Denler and musicians such as professional guitarist Alfredo Muro.

Below are links to a few Ableton Lessons we use at STEM. Ableton Templates associated with the lessons also can be found below.

Gregg Cannady, D.M.A.
Music Instructor
STEM School

I IV V I Chord Progression.sib
Gregg Cannady D.M.A.,
Nov 16, 2015, 2:20 PM
Gregg Cannady D.M.A.,
Nov 16, 2015, 2:14 PM
Key of A.sib
Gregg Cannady D.M.A.,
Nov 16, 2015, 2:22 PM
Gregg Cannady D.M.A.,
Nov 16, 2015, 2:18 PM
Quarter Notes.sib
Gregg Cannady D.M.A.,
Nov 16, 2015, 2:22 PM
Gregg Cannady D.M.A.,
Nov 16, 2015, 2:19 PM