(GREAT FALLS) East Middle School students invited Great Falls Public Schools Foundation board members into their music classes Tuesday to showcase the new technology they received through a grant.

The East Middle School (EMS) ‘Music Technology Lab’ grant acquired $18,500 through the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation, which announced $174,000 in teacher-initiated grants.

With the money, the music department was able to transform the music classroom into a lab. Thirty brand new computers were purchased, old equipment was fixed, and a new music education software program was installed.

“We come in here and incorporate online programs to help better our understanding. For instance, we’re talking about the note identifying program. It helps us vastly start to learn what notes are compared to where they are on the staff,” EMS 8th grader Treyson Tuss said.

Tuss plays the flute and says the program has helped him better understand music.

“The composition is nice just being able to learn other instruments and other melodies and things that you might not be doing in band or orchestra,” Tuss said.

The Great Falls Public Schools Foundation has granted 34 teacher-initiated grants, which vary from putting more books on shelves, new technology in classrooms, to even mannequins to teach CPR.

Students say the new music lab is not only a great way to learn but it is fun.

“I come to school partially just to play my cello. It brings joy, music brings joy to a lot of people,” EMS 8th grader Noah Roberts said.

Roberts and Tuss both say they enjoy using the programs outside of the classroom in their free time.

“It’s another aspect of music that kind of helps you shape your understanding of music theory a little better,” Roberts said.

“I personally like, especially in these programs, just being able to kind of look forward to deepening our understanding with music and composition and even making our own compositions. It’s kind of this nice creative way to make music,” Tuss said.

East Middle School music department teachers submitted the application and received additional funding through truck raffle proceeds, other fundraisers, and district support.

All grants were awarded through donors.


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