Composing New Possibilities for Music Education: Carnegie Hall Takes Score of Open Resources

A new study by ISKME shows that music OER have the potential to engage learners in new ways of knowing and learning, especially for teachers and teaching musicians who do not have access to adequate curriculum materials.
NEW YORK - March 21, 2013 - PRLog -- Driven in part by changes in technology and student expectations, the landscape of music teaching and learning is rapidly transforming. Against this backdrop, music educators—especially in underfunded schools and in light of new Common Core State Standards—are increasingly searching for quality materials and professional development opportunities. How can music educators and students address these shifts and resource needs? According to a new study, one answer may be found in freely available, flexible, adaptable music education content, or open educational resources (OER).

To explore the current state of K-12 music OER, the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), in collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute ( recently released “Composing Possibilities: Open Educational Resources and K-12 Music Education (” This study examines the music OER landscape, the audiences that music OER serve to benefit, and the extent to which existing music OER collections support classroom teaching and student learning. For content providers, the study also outlines the opportunities and challenges inherent in OER development.

Informed by ISKME’s prior research, “Composing Possibilities” includes a review of educational literature and an in-depth examination of 10 freely available, online music education collections, as well as interviews with 17 individuals working in the music education and open educational resources arena.

The study showed that music OER have the potential to engage learners in new ways of knowing and learning, and to meet educational gaps—especially for under-resourced schools, and for teachers and teaching musicians (key user groups) who do not have access to adequate curriculum materials. The study also highlighted the critical role music OER can play in helping educators document and share teaching practices, thereby supporting knowledge sharing and professional development. This aspect of OER was found to be especially helpful for teaching musicians who may need support in selecting literature and writing curriculum, and for music specialists and classroom teachers who may face challenges in meeting music education and other curriculum standards. According to interviews conducted as part of the study, the ability of OER to be adapted, reused, remixed and modularized to fit with existing curriculum, can help teachers meet these standards—as well as support them in their efforts to tailor content to meet learner needs.  

Although the music OER landscape is still emerging, on the whole, the study revealed an opportunity to leverage OER to support student learning, enhance teacher professional development, and strengthen networks of educators. To find out more about the potential of music OER to impact the future of music education, read the study from ISKME and Carnegie Hall in its entirety here ( (

The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (, an independent non-profit research institute established in 2002, is a pioneer in knowledge sharing and educational innovation. Dedicated to the study, spread, and strategic use of knowledge management in education, ISKME helps schools, colleges, universities, and the organizations that support them expand their capacity to collect and share information, apply it to well-defined problems, and create open knowledge-driven environments focused on learning and success. In assisting the K-20 education sector, ISKME also helps philanthropic organizations and government agencies examine and improve their own and their grantees’ processes for continuous improvement, evaluation, and learning.

About Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute
The Weill Music Institute creates visionary programs that embody Carnegie Hall’s commitment to music education. With unparalleled access to the world’s greatest artists, the Weill Music Institute inspires audiences of all ages, nurtures tomorrow’s musical talent, and harnesses the power of music to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives. An integral part of Carnegie Hall’s concert season, these programs facilitate creative expression, develop musical skills and capacities at all levels, and encourage participants to make lifelong personal connections to music. The Weill Music Institute generates new knowledge through original research and shares a wide range of free online resources with educators and music lovers around the globe. More than 400,000 people each year engage in the Weill Music Institute’s programs through national and international partnerships, in New York City schools and community settings, and at Carnegie Hall.
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