New School Year Brings New Changes

Additions to Curriculum Keep up With Technology

Garrett Scaccia

Example of the new technology incorporated into the new Music Teach class, where students are able to create music.
Bethany Straus
Example of the new technology incorporated into the new Music Teach class, where students are able to create music.

With the start of the new school year, Urbana students are seeing a lot of changes from last year. New parking policies, new security, Wi-Fi networks, and the push for more technology are just a few examples of how UHS is evolving into a more modern school. Because of this, more interesting changes are being added to the UHS curriculum. Advanced computer driven courses such as Music Technology and SAT prep are coming to UHS this year, available to all students. One of the new courses being offered this school year is Music Technology, a computer based fine arts class coming first block next semester. The teacher of the course, Band Director Michael Harrison, said to the Hawkeye “Basically [Music Tech] is a class for anyone who is interested in modern music. It’s going to be taught from a beginner level musically, so we are going to focus on electronic music, and being able to create music with a computer.” The class will allow students to partake in “dubstep or remix projects” and create music similar to the modern sounds we hear today in movies and pop culture, as well as potentially take students to local studios to get a hands-on look on how the modern music industry operates. Harrison said, “I’ve got some contacts in DC so we’ll try to work that out.” Harrison believes that the course will prepare students for “making music professionally, or not, but the experience with specific technology is going to help everyone [interested] in the field.” A reason Music technology is coming to UHS this year could be because of the recent acquisition of new hardware for the music department. Towards the end of last year, new effects processors and mixing boards began showing up in the UHS band room. Such pieces of equipment are commonly found in music studios for recording live sound or for synthesizing music in studio, both of which are skills students may learn in the new course next year. Another new class being offered this year is Personal Finance/SAT Prep, taught by Career and Tech teacher Alexa Line. The first half of the class teaches students valuable lessons in how to manage and save their own income and help prepare them for life after high school. The second half is all about preparing students for the SAT tests, and gives valuable tips on how to study and manage time during the test. This class will greatly benefit any student who plans on taking more SAT tests to improve their scores for college, because many students possess the knowledge to take the test, but many have difficulty applying their knowledge on the test.  The SAT Prep portion of Line’s class will give students the confidence they need to get higher scores on their upcoming SAT tests.