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VH1 SoundKEY Lab at 197 Kings Highway Academy




For many years, SoundTree has been a partner, supporter, and advocate for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation. Save the Music partners with public school districts to donate grants in the form of new musical instruments, technology, equipment, and resources for music teachers and school leaders. These connections enable us to establish strong relationships with the schools we do business with, and it is not uncommon for us to continue to support these classrooms for many years.



P.S. 197 Kings Highway Academy in Brooklyn, New York is a perfect example of our work together to help provide music technology in a classroom to inspire and engage music students and teachers with new tools to create and grow. The original grant for the school was in 2004 for a 16-station keyboard lab, and after almost 20 years of successful use, they were ready for an update; but this time the school was ready to invest rather than rely on grant dollars to continue to support the program!


Fast forward to 2023, the teacher who won the VH1 grant originally contacted SoundTree for help with a complete classroom overhaul.  We worked together to find a solution that provided her with a new GEC5 Lab System, SoundKEY keyboards, headphones, and furniture, all at an affordable price that fit the school’s budget. Our Education Technology Specialist was there every step of the way to help guide this teacher by selecting music technology that best suits their classroom curriculum and help her communicate most efficiently with her students in the classroom.


Ultimate Lab Request:

  • Must have a way to seamlessly communicate with the class

  • New, budget-friendly keyboards with a great keybed and simple user interface

  • Headphones with microphones at each station

  • Furniture to create a great learning experience

  • As few cables as possible for easy installation and less mess




With all of the must-haves nailed down, and a tight budget to follow, we knew the SoundKEY keyboard was the best solution for this classroom setup. The teacher was looking for the ultimate educational keyboard lab that could easily be added to over time, and the GEC5 Lab System paired with the SoundKEY keyboards was the perfect solution. In addition to the built-in GEC5 technology that makes the SoundKEY the most affordable lab keyboard available, it serves as a standalone digital piano with twenty (20) built-in sounds and onboard speakers. If you have access to devices or computers, the SoundKEY can also act as a MIDI controller when plugged into a laptop/computer/tablet making it the ultimate all-in-one keyboard for any music program. Couple this with the fact that the SoundKEY needs only a single CAT5/6 cable to connect to the GEC5 Teacher system, you get a fantastic all-in-one solution that also makes for an elegant lab with limited cabling, keeping the custodial staff happy during their annual summertime cleaning.


It was a pleasure working with the team at P.S. 197 on this SoundKEY lab upgrade. If you are ready to build a new lab or upgrade the current classroom you are teaching in, please take advantage of our free consultation by requesting a quote and contacting one of our Education Technology Specialists today!

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