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Congrats to two of our students for winning the Altamira special prize

Harshini and Ananya, smiling at the camera

Two students of MAP Family Learning Center recently won the Altamira special prize at this year’s University of Rhode Island (URI) Guitar Festival Rising Stars Virtual Competition. Harshini and Ananya, siblings who have been studying guitar with Devin Ulibarri since 2016, received the news in mid-November that they were chosen for the special prize. As winners, they will receive a new N600 Classical Guitar, valued at $1800. We are very proud and happy for them both.

The criteria for winning the Altamira special prize is based on a mix of need and merit. According to the URI Guitar Festival website, the jury was asked to choose a “High School Division guitarist in greatest need of a new instrument.” Harshini and Ananya have worked very hard over the years and made steady progress. In fact, in 2020 circumstances required that they move out of Malden, MA, but they have persisted in their study of music by continuing their lessons with Mr. Devin online. We are very proud to have them as students at MAP!

Of hearing about their being awarded the prize, Mr. Devin said, “I’m so very proud of both of them. Their hard work and dedication over the years has really paid off. I’m excited that they were able to participate in this competition and receive this encouraging award for their effort.” He added, “I’m also very thankful to the leadership of URI Guitar Festival for their thoughtful approach to competitions, finding ways to award students for their hard work while also helping those in need of better instruments to help them achieve their maximum potential. We need more competition prizes like the Altamira special prize that Harshini and Ananya received.”

We plan to publish some more recent recordings of these two students in the near future, but in the meantime, you may hear a previous recording of her work on our blog at

Please join us in congratulating Harshini and Ananya by dropping some kind words into the comments below!

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Three Events for Teachers

Screenshot from a music+code class. Scales being shown with Music Blocks and a keyboard.

Are you looking for a fun new tool in your “teaching toolbox”?

MAP instructor, Devin Ulibarri, will be hosting a series of online talks to orient teachers with Music Blocks, which is a fun and powerful tool you can use to teach kids musical concepts.

Event information and registration is published at

  • Registration is free for instructors.
  • Access credentials will be sent out a few days before the event.
  • Instructors who complete one of these introductory classes will be eligible for stipends for referring their students to our June Hackathon ($100 for the first student and $50 for each student after the first. Limit of 5 for a total of $300.)
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Website: A New Look

kid with computer

MAP Family Learning Center began in Malden, MA in 2019, and we are very proud to still be headquartered in Malden. This being said, the coronavirus pandemic has moved us to focus entirely on online learning.

“Online” Subdomain

Our intention with the MAPFLC (MAP Family Learning Center) venture is to create a framework teaching artists could use for themselves. How nice would it be if musicians and artists had a “one-click” solution to starting their own school? (As a musician myself, I know that this sort of option would have been a very desirable post-graduation career prospect.) Malden was the first location, and I made myself the first guinea pig, working as the head teaching artist at our Malden location.

For those who may not know, a subdomain is the part of the URL before the “” (“www” is the most common subdomain). My vision as I created the website was that teaching artists could benefit from the MAP brand by being connected to our network, while still being “local”. Since the first locality was “Malden”, I made “”. I imagined a teaching artist, for example, in Chicago, would be “”.

Note to Teaching Artists: Since the website functionality is already built, it really is just a “click of a button” to start someone with their own website on We continue to work on creating our framework, but we hope that this is something that can add value to what we can do for you.

Since the learning is all happening “online” for much of the foreseeable future, we started “”. Doing this also allowed us to redo our look and feel from scratch, now that we have learned more about making a nice website.

Who made the website?

Music+Code instructor, Devin Ulibarri, in the spirit of learning new things, took it upon himself to learn how to create a website by creating Art instructor, Chie Yasuda, helped choose the theme and guide the general “look and feel” of the website.

What is the toolkit?

The website is built from WordPress, which is distributed at WordPress is free/libre software, and allows us the freedom we need to extend its functionality.

We used many plugins, such as Booking Activities, Events Manager Pro, and Newsletter to create important features that drive the website.

Free/Libre Software and Education

The other important reason why our choice of free/libre software for the website is significant is it means that any students interested to study how our website works is free to do so. Students curious how WordPress works are encouraged to first go to and download the source code, which is what the computer reads to make the website run.

Music Blocks, the tool we use for our Music+Code classes, is also free/libre. You may always download the source code from Git Hub.

If you are interested in learning more about Music+Code, we encourage you to explore our class offerings.