River Hill High School (Clarksville, MD)

  • Instructor: Richard McCready
  • Location: Clarksville, Howard County, MD
  • School Profile: Public HS, grades 9-12 
  • Class Title(s): Music Technology
  • Grades Levels Included: 9-12
  • Structure of NTM Class(es): Full year classes in Music Technology I and II, with a GT option for a 3rd or 4th year.  Each class is 45 minutes daily, spent exclusively in the Music Technology lab.  We also take field trips to recording studios to look at professional set-ups. History: We created the Music Technology lab at River Hill High School in 2007, in collaboration with the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks.  The school uses the lab Monday through Friday for classes and for training of county Music Tech staff, Rec and Parks uses the lab for Saturday classes and summer camps.  Proceeds from the Rec and Parks program enable us to maintain equipemtn and buy cables, headphones, etc.  We were able to acquire funding through parental contributions, music booster support, and corporate sponsorship.

  • Software Used: GarageBand, Pro Tools, Sibelius, Ableton Live
  • Hardware Used: 26 iMacs, M-Audio Firewire 410, 88-key Yamaha P-70 digital pianos, M-Audio ProKeys Sono 61 keyboards, 21 Fender Squier electric guitars (2 left-handed), Roland Juno GI, Korg Microkorg, Kurzweil PC3X, Korg X50 synthesizers

  • Class NTM Activities:  The main focus of the class is creativity.  We observe examples of great creativity and success in the Music Technology field, through research and listening, and we use these as our influence. We compose multi-track electronic music, as well as video game soundtracks and movie soundtracks.  Students learn about acoustics, digital sound processing, and recording, through hands-on experiences throughout the course of study.

  • Success Stores with NTM Students: Since the Music Tech program began, we have graduated half a dozen or more students each year who have gone on to pursue composition, recording, and/or music tech at University.  Currently we have alumni at University of Miami's Frost School of Music, Belmont University, Berklee School of Music, Drexel University, Southern Methodist University, Oberlin Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Lebanon Valley College, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Indiana Jacobs School of Music, The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Studies, and several others.  

    Check out videos of student music tech projects.

  • Advice to Others Starting NTM Projects: Remember you are a music teacher first and foremost.  Your students are choosing to study music, and their chosen media is the technology.  Technology is simply something that has enabled so much great music to flourish in the last half century.  From Les Paul to Dubstep, you have a rich tradition of greatness to draw from to inspire and influence your students. 
  • Additional Comments: You can check out some of the work from the River Hill Music Technology program at http://www.mustechalley.com.
  • Date Submitted: June 2011
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