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Metcalf school pioneers alternative music program

Dr. Kim McCord uses the Figurenotes method to teach music to students.

Kim McCord uses the Figurenotes method to teach music to students. (Photo by Tracy Conoboy/The Vidette)

Teachers from Thomas Metcalf School traveled to Finland last May and left with ideas and a new innovative approach to teaching musical instruments called Figurenotes that has begun to change the Metcalf music program.

Figurenotes uses colors and shapes such as circles, squares and triangles to denote a specific musical note. This system uses already familiar images instead of using traditional music notes that may confuse students.

“It is an adaptive approach to teaching music that was developed for adults with disabilities that was created in Helsinki, Finland,” said Kim McCord, music educator at Metcalf. “We use Figurenotes as a way to help people access learning how to play music and uses adapted instruments so they are easier to play.”

Read more of this story in The Vidette.

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