Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Maker Music Possibilities With Garage Band

I am Aware of My Limitations...

I am a musically illiterate individual. Well, maybe that's too harsh. I have an appreciation, I can maintain a beat, but I don't play any instrument... outside of a stereo.

Recently, I was called by a teacher to do a "GarageBand project". Once I helped to narrow down what curriculum outcomes she hoped to explore, we determined that I would come in to assist with Music class (gulp!) with a group of grade 8's (gulp! gulp!)... Music class? Me?? Well that's the point of this post, you don't have to have any musical experience, if you have GarageBand. Anyways,  I was actually pretty excited, especially after watching +Ryan Hicks video where he uses GarageBand with the iPad, "Creating and Learning with GarageBand". Honestly, I felt a little inspired and empowered that I too, could be a musician.

Photo Credit: C. Strife via Compfight cc
So to get ready for the presentation, I played. Yep, played with GarageBand. I was a little familiar with the program, but thought I should review the functions. So on-line I went and immediately I found some great resources. One video was created by a young kid, at MsNJProductions, who has excellent videos with GarageBand worth checking out! Anyways, as I played with the software, I decided that I should perhaps try to compose a song using the loops and layer a few tracks. I even decided to use my kids in my song (mainly because they insisted on dancing right beside me once they heard the beats). It turned out to be kind of a fun project for my family, and it really only took about 20 minutes to compose a tune. A tune of which I now have ingrained in my mind, because I've played it so much for my daughters.

Anyways, today I conducted my session with the grade 8's and kicked it off with the video from French rapper, Stromae, "Alors on Danse: How it was made" where he goes through a brainstorm process where he layers music via Garageband. Initially I was a little worried the kids would be turned off, but they actually liked it. After discussing how software can let all of musically illiterate become musicians, and letting the students hear my tune that I created - they were actually pretty motivated to get started. We then briefly reviewed how to use GarageBand via the software on the Macbooks, and by then, the kids were really chomping-at-the-bit.

The rest of the session went well. I demonstrated my keen knowledge of how to write a rap from a traditional Christmas song, and wowed the kids with my rap-writing knowledge... Actually I read up on it and discovered that in addition to great resources for GarageBand, WkiHow has excellent resources for writing raps, "How to Write a Rap Song" (not that I would know an "excellent" resource for writing a rap). I almost feel like I owe a thanks to the web and wiki-based community, WikiHow... Whose mandate is, "We're trying to help everyone on the planet learn how to do anything."
Yes, I feel like I can do anything... even write a rap song...
Photo Credit: Pedro Vezini via Compfight cc

Side note...

Here is my lesson that I created using our division's interactive software, Mimio Notebook, that I converted into a PDF, so I could upload to Scribd and add to this post. Scribd is another great tool for embedding docs into blogs and websites.

1 comment:

  1. This is so great! Congrats to you Jenn for venturing out:) Also, thanks for posting the link to Ryan's video. Missed that one when he first posted. Great resource:)