What Is In Tune?
In Tune Monthly is now a digital, interactive and streamed magazine published eight times, every 30 days from late September through late April of each school year. The process for subscribing and the cost of subscription can be found here and by clicking on the “subscribe” tab on this website’s home page.
Although In Tune is written on a fifth grade reading level for middle and high school music students and those interested in the music world, its concepts range in sophistication, in consideration of the wide range of student involvement with music throughout the age group.
Every issue of In Tune seeks to present content about a broad array of music subjects explaining in simple terms how music and the music industries work. Because there are so many subjects to address, each offering tends to be limited, attempting to serve as a jumping off point for further and independent study.
Every issue of In Tune seeks to offer a balance of subject matter as well, between levels of sophistication in our copy, to the coverage of musical genres, instruments and equipment, theory and technique, music creation, technology and recording, rights, music media, higher music education and careers, and so much more. The idea is to engage students and advance the idea that there can be vocational and avocational opportunities in music over a lifetime, and that their discovery can be rewarding. Ultimately, In Tune seeks to promote continued music education and suggest to students that they can be involved with music as singers, instrument players, listeners, creators and businesspeople.
In Tune History
In Tune was created in 2003 by Irwin Kornfeld, Angelo Biasi and Will Edwards. Kornfeld had been an Associate Publisher of Billboard magazine and a Vice President of the Billboard Music Group. Biasi had held a variety of positions in music media, including a stint with the Billboard Music Group’s Musician magazine, and Edwards owned a recording studio in Miami. The digitization of music creation and distribution in the late 90’s was becoming a phenomenon and the three partners decided that the next generation of music students would require a new and different source of information and education to take advantage of new opportunities.
It was decided that In Tune should use a distributed circulation method whereby teachers would purchase multiple copies of the printed magazine, or “sets” for their students. To keep subscription prices low, In Tune offered advertising placements to musical instrument and equipment manufacturers, many of whom used the magazine to reach young musicians and music students. An In Tune Teachers Edition was created, printed, wrapped around and stapled to one student copy of the magazine per subscribing educator. These pages contained stories about the educational value of In Tune student content but also stories about the way the profession was changing with the music industry and the times.
After a few years, an arrangement was created whereby NAfME teachers would receive one complimentary copy of the magazine each month as a way to present the idea of using In Tune as a reading resource to music students. An In Tune website was created, and In Tune Partners began publishing books. The company also chosen to create printed publications for other organizations and began publishing magazines for Drum Corp International, WGI Sport of the Arts, The Walt Disney Company, and NAfME itself. Kornfeld created a sister company, called Westchester Media to publish a quarterly magazine for ASCAP, and helped create and attract sponsorships to the three-day annual songwriters’ conference called The ASCAP EXPO. These activities continued throughout the decade and into the next.
In Tune Partners experimented with the creation of a music festival and Westchester Media eventually got into the concert business. The company’s work with the ASCAP conference led to assignments in conference sponsorship and logistics for CD Baby and TAXI. In mid-2019, a digital edition of In Tune, at first delivered via an IOS app, was streamed using a robust platform that allowed the integration of audio and video. As teachers and schools began to rapidly transition educational resources online, In Tune’s streamed digital edition began to grow. At the start of the pandemic In Tune offered all educators free access to the digital edition, and because of delivery issues complicated by school closings and uncertain timeframes for re-opening, the print edition of In Tune went on hiatus and new pricing for digital subscribers was offered.
Over time, the “custom published” magazine ceased. Westchester Media’s concert and conference businesses have been stilled by the pandemic. In Tune has expanded its support for its client Etymotic Research, now managing the sale and marketing of Etymotic’s hearing health products for schools, teachers and students. And, the popularity In Tune’s digital edition remains strong. Today it is still our company’s main focus.
Why Teachers Should Use, and Why Students Should Read, In Tune
In Tune is a tool that facilitates cultural diversity, a spirit of inclusiveness and honors responsible experimentation with a goal of personal and positive discovery. We are each of us different, and as young people grow and develop, they can only make choices from the options their friends, families, educators and communities present. In Tune exists to present a multitude of options for musical study and pursuit.
The American education system allows precious little time for arts education. Ensemble teachers have always had to rely on families providing their musicians with private instruction and by definition work within a “one to many” education model. There just isn’t enough time during the school day. cover the waterfront of ideas, music history, music technology, music creation, etc., and lead a band, orchestra or choir. Even general music educators have to make choices as to what to teach given the panoply of subjects that could be taught. Distributing copies of In Tune allows the educator to underscore most music subjects with readings and suggested activities. It also allows students to investigate subjects that can’t be covered within the curriculum.
In Tune’s uses its images and copy to offer examples and as such choose to include content appropriate for classroom learning. Our goal isn’t to be comprehensive, and just because an artist or song is popular in the moment isn’t a reason to include it if it’s lyrical content, or the behavior of the music’s maker falls outside of standard that is uniquely “In Tune.” We sometimes have to make considered judgements as to what is appropriate and what is not, and we have not been perfect in that judgement, but we work hard and care very much about being topical, relevant and appropriate.
Students have always found a wealth of material about music they might not have come upon otherwise. An In Tune goal is achieve a certain serendipity, hoping to surprise and delight our readers. In Tune tries to “pull the curtain back,” explain how things work, where they’ve come from and how they’ve evolved. We define terms and make few assumptions about prior knowledge. We know that our readers only a few years apart in age can very different levels of musical experience. We know that they come from the full spectrum of cultures, economic environments and community sizes. It all plays into the mix of stories in each issue, and an inherent desire to offer something for everyone each month.
In Tune Extras
In Tune’s brand-new streaming platform now offers a narrator function. Readers can listen as the magazine is read to them. Those that require or desire a printed version can access unlocked pdfs of a single printable page, full story or full issue. We’ve upped our use of video, infusing our stories with clickable screen grabs and links to clips that enrich In Tune’s text. As in the past, readers can move their cursors to the upper left-hand corner of any screen and access the In Tune Archive, allowing for access to all issues published within the year. Also, In Tune is available on via any device that can access the internet, regardless of platform or browser.
In Tune books are available in the In Tune Store, our new Etymotic hearing health program offers free educational materials, and discounts for educators who wish to protect young musicians ears from cumulative and irreversible noise induced hearing loss. As it has over the years, In Tune plans to continue to develop and innovate in service of young musicians and music educators everywhere.