Let’s talk about ‘that’ experience and outcome; the one that is so rarely met in its entirety due to “Music Technology”.
I remember being introduced to Sibelius – a program for musical composition – when I was studying music, but rarely, if ever, did I get to use music technology creatively, let alone to experiment with (and therefor, learn through play) music. However, as technology has evolved, so has our ability to create and experiment with music through technology.
This term, I have planned a progressive music technology lesson series with P6 and P7/6, so look forward to blogging about how that goes towards the end of the term.
Everyone Can Create: Music
Being an Apple nut, I think it is always inevitable that I will talk about their products first – however, when it comes to music technology and education, I truly believe that they are leading the way. I was thrilled to be at a conference recently where they revealed Apple’s latest series of teacher guides: Everyone Can Create. Available in the Apple Book Store for free, these books cover teaching expressive arts with iPads, and how iPads can truly transform children’s ability to learn creatively.
I have already read ‘Everyone Can Create: Music’ and have really been impressed with it – indeed, I am basing the P7/6 and P6 lesson series for this term on it, and I can’t wait to explore the other ones.
Find out more about the ‘Everyone Can Create’ series here.
I couldn’t recommend the ‘Everyone Can Create: Music” enough, and I genuinely believe that it will transform your teaching, and confidence in teaching, music.
Everyone Can Create: Music is based on using GarageBand. I realise, initially it is a daunting app. I started using it a few years ago and quickly stopped as I didn’t get it. Now, however, I use it with P2 upwards. Once you get past the initial fear of what everything does, you soon realise that it is not only one of the best apps for creating and recording your own music, it is also right up there for creating a virtual band and playing instruments in a classroom. For children in councils/schools that are investing in 1-1 iPads, GarageBand becomes a tool for your children to enjoy exploring and understanding music as well as creating their own compositions. As there is a huge amount to GarageBand, next week I will do an in-depth guide to using GarageBand. In the meantime though, I recommend reading, or at least glancing through, “Everyone Can Create: Music”.
Audacity is a free open-source program for PCs and laptops that (with a microphone or other input device, or by downloading and inserting audio [be aware of copyright laws when doing this]) allows you to record and edit your own music in multiple layers, or tracks. This allows children to better understand how music recording works.
It can be a bit tricky to get sued to at first, but there are many online guides to using Audacity.
Here is a great YouTube video on how to use Audacity for beginners by Mike Russell:
There are other apps; a search for ‘apps for composing music’ for example bring these to you. Some that come highly recommended (I don’t know if they’re free/paid though) are in this blogpost
Sorry it’s been a short post today, but it is the first of a number that look at creativity on the iPads. Next week I will bring you an in depth guide to using GarageBand and look at how I’ve used it with children from P2 upwards.
I hope you have a good week