Adam Canosa, the music teacher at Hillsborough Elementary School, developed a game-based educational music app during the COVID-19 pandemic. Songcraft provides a supplement for students to learn their instruments both inside and outside of the classroom.
He said when his students use the app individually, they play backing tracks and the game will give them live feedback based on the timing of their performance.
“It supplies them with the sheet music that we're working on together in class onto the screen, and then they're gradually learning an increasing number of pitches and increasingly complex music theory,” Canosa said.
Generally, if students practice an instrument alone, it’s an isolating experience, Canosa said — they may not know whether they’re having problems.
“You really do kind of need the instructor to listen to it,” Canosa said. “That is an issue because instructors like me have very little instructional time, so giving kids adequate one-on-one time is not going to happen."
Canosa said he developed Songcraft because he wanted a tool that would allow students to have a guide that would prompt them based on their individual challenges.
Canosa is this year’s Teacher of the Year at Hillsborough Elementary. Jessica Nagy, principal at Hillsborough Elementary, said a large part of why Canosa was voted Teacher of the Year was because he created Songcraft.
“It's something that allowed teachers to take what students have learned in the music classroom and bring it into either their instructional day or indoor recess and to use it, sometimes, to motivate students, because they really love it,” Nagy said.
She also said that she would love Songcraft to be implemented in other schools in the district and to be more accessible to a larger audience.