Vermont MIDI/ARTT Project (Montpelier, VT)


  Child sitting in between two adults.  A woman on the right holds a violin in her hand

Matt Burkins, a fifth-grader at Bridport Central School in Bridport, Vermont, discusses his score for string quartet with violinist Carolyn Keck and teacher Mike Close. Photo courtesy of Vermont MIDI/ARTT

Created in 1995 to help teachers meet established national and state teaching standards in music composition, the Vermont MIDI/ARTT Project in Montpelier serves the students and teachers of Vermont with online arts mentoring, collaboration, and professional development in the areas of music composition and visual arts.

In FY 2003, the Vermont MIDI/ARTT Project received an NEA Arts Learning grant of $70,000 to support several components of its project, including the expansion of the online mentoring program and student participation and continued professional development workshops at the annual Summer Institute.


Annapurna Kocherlakota, a fourth-grader at Champlain Elementary School in Burlington, Vermont, composed a piece for flute, bassoon, and cello to tell a story of a day in the life of a steam engine. Photo courtesy of Vermont MIDI/ARTT

One of the more striking aspects of the Vermont MIDI/ARTT project is the online mentoring component, in which selected mentors provide 2.5 hours of online feedback per week to posted student music compositions in the Vermont area. Through a password-protected Web site, students from 34 participating schools enjoy “one-to-many” mentoring opportunities, allowing shared learning experiences and feedback from a variety of sources. Eighteen online music mentors will be selected over the granting period, and participating students will range in grades from K-12.

The NEA grant also will supplement stipends for students to attend the annual Summer Institute, previously open only to teachers. The Institute, made up of weeklong workshops at Castleton State College, offers instruction in areas such as Photoshop, digital imaging, digital movie editing, and Sibelius 3 notation software for music composition.

(From the 2003 NEA Annual Report)