Imani Duncan-Price and MusiQuest to pilot music programme in schools
The dedicated MusiQuest team (L - R): Jacob Zax, CEO and Founder, Janelle Solomon, Project Coordinator, Ibo Cooper, Distinguished Educator, Imani Duncan-Price, Senior Strategic Advisor and Mitchell Korn, Vice President.
At the start of the new school year, eight schools in Jamaica will be the first cohort in a pilot programme to revolutionise music education in Jamaica through the online software, MusiQuest.
Spearheaded by Imani Duncan-Price and MusiQuest executives, Jacob Zax, Founder, and Mitchell Korn, Vice President, this pilot programme empowers students to write songs and learn about the fundamentals of music at their convenience, whether in the classroom or on-the-go using laptops, tablets or desktops.
Duncan-Price shared, “During my Eisenhower Fellowship earlier this year, I was able to meet many resourceful and innovative people as I sought to understand how Jamaica could establish a thriving, holistic and consistently successful music industry. One of the key areas is wide scale access to music education. Jacob, Mitchell and I connected right away and agreed we would do our best to make this pilot happen for September 2018. And here we are four months later!"
The plan is to start with eight schools, work through implementation effectively and then roll out to all primary and prep schools across the island over the next three years,” Duncan-Price explained.
“Imagine the talent that could be ignited if all 280,000 children at the primary level had access to music education. The foundation is important,” she said.
MusiQuest is a modern approach to music education that leverages technology to unlock children's creativity. Through its high quality and affordable software, students ages five to will be able to access over 40 instruments and 200-plus interactive and interdisciplinary lessons that cover 25 musical genres, history, and notation, and integrate literacy, emotional intelligence, science, history, and other aspects of the curriculum.
As the music lessons are self-contained and guided in the software, Musiquest also provides a great solution for schools that don’t have music teachers.
Jacob Zax explained, “Four of the eight schools that are participating in the pilot don’t have music programmes. They do, however, have enthusiastic teachers that want to engage their students and expand their horizons in productive ways. With MusiQuest these schools can use computer labs, or tablets as part of the ‘Tablets in Schools’ programme, to affordably offer access to music.”
Zax continued, “We really appreciate the openness of all the Principals and teachers we have engaged. They will be ready to go in September with our lesson plans and implementation guides, and we will support them all year to ensure it’s a fantastic experience.”
Jamaica will be the first country outside of the USA to pilot this software and through the Founder and CEO, Jacob Zax, this software will be made available for free during the pilot year, 2018 - 2019.
The first training session was held last Sunday, with many of the teachers who will be a part of the first leg of the pilot Music Education Programme, “MusiQuest in Jamaica”.
These schools include Rollington Town Primary, Waterford Primary, Ballard’s Valley Primary, Calabar Infant, Primary & Junior High School and Ardenne High. The pilot will also include the Randolph Lopez School of Hope and two of the Windsor Schools of Hope, which focus on children with special needs and intellectual disabilities.