Celebrating Teachers

Cecilia Roudabush Director of Education and General and Adaptive Music Teacher for 32 years in the Iowa City School District

Celebrating teachers who are returning for the 2022-2023 school year now, and those who already have weeks under their belt, is a joy for us at New Harmony Line! Many of the teachers we are in contact with enjoyed a little bit of summer time to reconnect with family and friends, travel and organize that garage but were right back on the websites looking for quality activities to engage their students with long before the school year started. Hopefully, this is the year that COVID takes a backseat to singing, dancing, playing instruments, listening to new and well-loved music, and students creating their own!

Recognizing how far we’ve come

Tod Machover works with a student who is composing with Hyperscore at the whiteboard in a classroom in Armenia
MIT Professor Tod Machover and (then) doctoral student Peter Torpey work with a student who is composing with Hyperscore in Armenia in 2012.

Who would have imagined that this event in Armenia, held 10 short years ago, would further the mission of Hyperscore becoming a web-based music composition tool for students all over the world? We are celebrating teachers like Professor Tod Machover who inspires students every year at the M.I.T. Media Lab where Hyperscore was created. Accordingly, we celebrate the contributions of his students Mary Farbood, Egon Pasztor, Kevin Jennings and Peter Torpey in creating, designing and improving the simple to use, yet musically complex, Hyperscore. New Harmony Line is thankful for its rich, historical foundation which started, of course, with creative students in a classroom!

Celebrating teachers who led the Beta pilot

New Harmony Line could not have launched the web-based Hyperscore with MusicFirst in May, 2022 were it not for the 17 teachers who tested our tool in their classrooms. We wish the best new school year to national and international music teachers Mike, Kylie, Pier, Dirk, our 3 Rebecca’s, Frederico, Diane, Elisabeth, Debra, Jaclyn, Caroll, Odysseas and Jonathan (who found us at TMEA in February and never looked back!). I can’t wait to write a blog about our Speech Language Pathologist, Lisa, who is a musician herself and led her Students with Autism to write their yearly opera using Hyperscore during our pilot! Special thanks to Jenn for sharing her music room with me for an informal study on the Social/Emotional Learning states of 3rd grade students learning Hyperscore (exciting data coming soon!).

Every teacher returning to the classroom deserves thanks and recognition for the work they do to foster student joy for learning. New Harmony Line wishes you a wonderful 2022-2023 school year!

Students manipulate the handheld electronic devices that will be used to make music for the Toy Symphony
2020 Toy Symphony Workshop

Play the Rainbow!

Cecilia Roudabush, Director of Education


Have you ever had a chance to play the rainbow? Rainbow-colored instruments have been around for years, none more popular these past few years than Boomwhackers. If you didn’t already know, Iowa native Craig Ramsell, a classical guitarist with a B.S. and M.S. in Management from M.I.T., created the plastic tubes that have become legendary in music rooms across the world. When I was a long-term general music substitute teacher this past May, 2022, we couldn’t keep ourselves from “talking about Bruno” and playing along with the fabulous video from Swick’s Classroom on YouTube!

Traditional or block note head

Whether you are using 8-note diatonic handbells, an outdoor Cavatina or Boomwhackers, New Harmony Line wanted you to have the opportunity to guide students to compose using the colors of the rainbow. With this in mind, CTO Peter created a super-fun Setting that features rainbow-colored lines. You can use the traditional note head or the block note head, which I prefer visually for the colored lines. Try out both settings with your students and let us know your favorite!

Chording accompaniments

When you compose with the rainbow setting, you can easily create melodies. However, don’t forget one of the best features of rainbow-colored instruments which is chording! This video features the chordal accompaniment for the chorus of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from the movie “Encanto” using the block note head:

We hope you will enjoy this new feature. We’d love to hear from you if you, or your class, writes a “play the rainbow” song!

News Resources

Hyperscore Office Hours

Cecilia Roudabush, Director of Education

Hyperscore Office Hours are an ongoing support offering from our team at New Harmony Line! We meet the first Tuesday of every month: 7:30 ET, 6:30 CT, 5:30 MT and 4:30 PT. Register on our website by clicking on the “Events” tab on the home page top toolbar, then clicking on the next upcoming “Office Hours” event:

Or, you can register directly by using the link below:

Meet with any, or all, of our staff

Executive Director June Kinoshita is our impassioned visionary. She brought Hyperscore back through Kickstarter and private donors so that everyone in the world with access to a device and the internet could make music. Chief Technology Officer Peter Torpey used Hyperscore before he ever came to the MIT Media Lab and became the wizard behind the curtain. Peter implements updates and improvements, moving the software to the Web while also guiding the construction of the Educator Version.

As Director of Education, I got to use my passion for, and knowledge of, 15 years of Hyperscore in the classroom to guide the web-based Beta pilot. Currently, I assist teachers, write National Core Arts Standards curriculum, suggest ideas to Peter, sing the praises of Hyperscore on social media and assist June in letting the world know it’s out there at Conventions.

How may we assist you?

We have covered a range of topics in our previous Office Hours, and are always open to discuss whatever our users may have questions about. To name a few examples, in our first session in August, I worked with a former student teacher. She will be implementing Hyperscore across her K-8 classes to build a spiral curriculum base for the National Core Arts Standards lessons I am writing. We will be posting these on our Resources for Educators page and hope to see them in our MusicFirst Hyperscore Classroom. In September, we focused on the “inverted pedagogy” philosophy that undergirds Hyperscore’s role in the classroom. Our October meeting featured Patrick Esarey, a masters student in music therapy at the University of Iowa, who shared the findings from his pilot study of Hyperscore in third grade classrooms and discussed ideas for future research.

By all means, please let me know what you would like to discuss in future Hyperscore Office Hours. We will start with any general questions at the beginning of the hour if you are unable to stay for the discussions portion. Consider joining our Facebook discussion page, “Teaching Hyperscore: Let’s Discuss” to keep the conversation going! Happy composing, and we hope to see you at Office Hours.


Music Technology: Teach Composition Using Hyperscore!

Cecilia Roudabush, Director of Education

Virtual Summer Conference 2022

Music Technology was the topic of choice for our submission to the New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA). The sessions were held Wednesday, July 27th and Thursday, July 28th in conjunction with MusicFirst. New Harmony Line submitted a pre-recorded session, “Hyperscore: A New Way to Teach Music Composition Using Technology”. Attendees received handouts with all of the resources linked and a free MusicFirst trial version of Hyperscore to go in the Swag Bag.

Presenting inverted pedagogy (compose first then teach the concept) was the newest challenge in the half hour presentation. I will keep practicing that wonderful pedalogical idea, but I think it went well and teachers will definitely want to try out the methodology. “Kings and Queens” took another starring run as the student example of what a 2nd grader can accomplish with time in the music room to be creative. Hopefully, conference participants were inspired to start or rejuvenate their composition unit!

Happy new school year!

What an excellent way to get teachers across America excited to get back into the music room and provide music technology outlets for student creativity in the coming school year! Thank you NJMEA and MusicFirst. May it be the first of many opportunities to share Hyperscore with music teachers guiding their students to compose this year and beyond!

This image features head shots of the two main presenters in the summer conference session, Amelia Nagoski and Denise Gagne.
Summer 2022 Conference Virtual Session
This image lists the conference session titles and who is presenting.

Win for the Week for Student Composers!

Cecilia Roudabush, Director of Education

F2F Foundation Music Summer Camp

Win for the week? Yes! New Harmony Line successfully completed our first youth cross-country camp Hyperscore lesson with Vel Lewis’s F2F (Faith to Form) Foundation in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022. CTO Peter and I were able to Zoom with Vel and the camp attendees, presenting the elements of music using Dr. Jennings “inverted pedagogy” of composing first then exploring the concept. Because Mr. Lewis was teaching theory at the camp, we presented numerous concepts including relativity to middle C and scales in the melody sketch window grid, rhythmic values and timbre in the rhythm sketch window and combining intervals into chords and creating form in the harmony sketch window. I especially appreciated the visual that Peter created featuring the piece “Take A Look” in Hyperscore as well as in printed notation.

We Got By With a Little Help From Our Friends

We would like to thank Megan LeMaster at the Harris County Public Library Administrative Offices in Houston, Texas for loaning us enough Chromebooks for every camper to have a device to compose with during the session. Special thanks to John Harbaugh, Branch Manager, for facilitating the handover and return with Vel’s team through the West University Branch. It took a village!

“Take a Look” in Hyperscore notation
pg. 1 in Standard Notation

Anyone. Everyone!

Cecilia Roudabush, Director of Education

Meet Dr. Roque Diaz, Ms. Daria Adams and GSHARP

While researching a topic last week, I followed a link to an inspiring article from Dr. Roque Diaz, the Senior Director of (DEI) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Arts and Culture Consultant at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. The center cultivates “an inclusive community where all people and music styles are welcome.” Classic fM Digital Radio’s article features the comments of Dr. Diaz, Daria Adams, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra violinist, and Grammy Award-winning musician GSHARP as they discuss the changes in how/where/whose music is being performed in the Twin Cities as a result of discussions triggered by the murder of George Floyd. 

GSHARP said “…making music has always been about using your emotion to talk about something that’s bigger than…” just being entertained. Why not lower the ticket price so anyone can attend the concerts?  Why not feature under-represented Black, Hispanic, LGBTQ+ and female composers?  Why not have the orchestra play in restaurants and churches in the community? What exciting ideas for anyone and everyone! The article is billed as a 9-minute read, but Dr. Diaz, Ms. Adams and GSHARP’s words will have long-lasting impact on, and support our, continuing mission regarding who enjoys and makes music:

If reading this article inspires you, it’s important to take the time to click this link from the article 9 Black composers who changed the course of classical music history and watch the YouTube video below featuring violinist Randall Goosby sharing information on four Black composers everyone should know. I was thrilled to see that I knew some of them yet dismayed that, even after a 32-year career teaching music, I did not know them all. Like the interviewees in the article suggest, we can all do more.  Toward that ideal, New Harmony Line is hosting our first camp presentation July 20th with Vel Lewis’ F2F (Faith 2 Form) Foundation for at-risk youth in the Houston area. We are lowering the barriers for the camp attendees by making composition accessible for children with a free subscription to Hyperscore and training on how to compose.  May it be the first of many such empowering opportunities!

News Uncategorized Watch

Transforming lives through music

by June Kinoshita

At New Harmony Line we are dedicated to transforming lives through music. Whether you are young or old, tapping into your inner composer and expressing yourself through music is not only a lot of fun, but we believe it can enhance your life in many ways.

Last month, our co-founder, Tod Machover, had the opportunity to speak at the global Wellbeing Summit in Bilbao and present some of his current thinking about the role that creativity, arts, and technology play in promoting human health and well-being.

In this video of his talk, Machover cover some highlights in his Media Lab group’s work in music and health, and also in community building through collaborative music projects. The video ends with a glimpse of the newest City Symphony project on the theme of healthy communities that they are planning for Bilbao. You’ll see a snippet by a 10-year-old Hyperscore composer and hear how a couple of Machover’s Media Lab graduate students took his idea and fleshed it out. Hope you enjoy it.


Inverting the Pedagogy: the Hyperscore Difference

To utilize Hyperscore’s full potential, Dr. Kevin Jennings of Dublin, Ireland, urges music educators to “invert the pedagogy” when it comes to introducing children to composition. Watch:

Inverting the pedagogy means allowing student composers to create purposefully first, then discussing the musical rudiments present in their creative work afterwards. Dr. Jennings, part of the original Hyperscore team at the MIT Media Lab, encourages teachers to start by asking a student to place that first note in the Melody Window. Ask the student to process: Do I like the pitch? Do I like the length? Do I like the instrument choice? If I change it, do I like it better? Why or why not? With experimentation and reacting as the key, students would learn to build a composition. Moving forward purposefully with each successive note allows the student to become a creative composer!

Hyperscore as an alternative to traditional notation

Most interestingly, Dr. Jennings believes that the visual representation of music in Hyperscore bypasses the need for understanding standard notation first in order to be able to compose. In Hyperscore, student composers can visually see the difference between a quarter note and a half note. They can see, and hear, that a note is higher or lower than another, composing intuitively as they manipulate their musical choices. Should instruction move on to include the music staff, the visual mode lends itself to greater understanding of the complexity of standard notation. As students react to, and discuss what they are hearing in their compositions, the teacher can introduce musical concepts and terminology (“that’s called a major third”).

Sage on the stage or guide on the side? Inverting the pedagogy helps to connect with students

In this inverted pedagogy, Dr. Jennings states that the teacher becomes a “guide, mentor, partner, co-creator/co-conspirator” in the student’s process. As a teacher myself, I find that there is no greater joy than to hear students talking to each other about their composition process or sitting at a computer with a student and pointing out rising sequences that they instinctively placed into their piece because they liked the pattern and wanted to hear it again, but in a different way.

Do you want to gift your students with the opportunity to create music purposefully? Dr. Jennings encourages you to follow the advice of Canadian Professor of Music Theory Charles Morrison and “be a guide on the side, not a sage on the stage”–Hyperscore empowers you, the teacher, to be that guide.

See More:


Teachers can try Hyperscore for free!

Music teachers can try Hyperscore for free through our partner, MusicFirst, the leading learning management platform for K-12 music education. Wile away a hot afternoon with some cool composing fun and dream up exciting teaching possibilities that Hyperscore will open up for you this coming school year.

With your free Hyperscore trial for teachers, you will receive emails from us with tip videos to help you get up to speed quickly. We’ll show you how to navigate Hyperscore’s simple, graphical interface. We’ll walk you through how to build melodic motifs and percussion patterns. You’ll learn how to use these building blocks to create complex and interesting compositions. You’ll also have access to our teaching modules that you can copy and personalize for your classroom.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I have used Hyperscore in the classroom for 17 years and it has transformed me as a teacher, and continues to do so as I learn more about the full capabilities of this wonderful tool. I look forward to answering your questions or helping you to prepare your students to become original composers in 2022-2023! Contact me at:


Got 10 Minutes to Cheer on a Student Composer?

Our YouTube channel is poppin’!! I have successfully uploaded 26 of the 32 student compositions from my K-6 substitute music teaching gig last month. I’m in contact with a handful of students who may be getting their permission forms in yet, and then I’m going to tie the bow and call it a win! Thank you to my colleague for choosing me to substitute teach her precious students and to ask for Hyperscore to be their task! It was a wonderful challenge after 15 years of using Hyperscore with only 7th graders.

If you’d like the opportunity to let the K-4 students know that you appreciate their willingness to try something new, and their creative endeavors, hop on over to our YouTube Channel and put a “like” on their videos. From the alternating steady beat kindergarten pieces to the complex harmonies of the 4th grade creative pieces, there is a lot to gather about the ability of a novice composer to make music without the theory getting in the way!

Click here to ENJOY! (and like!)

Empower kids to tell their stories through music.