A Techno-Music Lesson

We had 4 sessions on Music and the final one focussed on using ICT! Which was very exciting because I LOVE THE INTEGRATION OF MUSIC AND ICT.

I really enjoy listening to music, playing music, singing music and performing music. I am a guitarist, a singer, a saxophonist and an avid GarageBand-ist. Fortunately, at the beginning of the lesson, I could use GarageBand, as I’d brought my laptop along and everyone was encouraged to use Audacity.

I don’t really like the interface of Audacity as much as GarageBand, because, in my opinion, I think it looks clunky. GarageBand has a cool, modern look and I find it a lot easier to create a decent bit of music on it than Audacity, which has so many ridiculous buttons which don’t really make much difference.

Here is a ridiculous video I made about 5 years ago now (originally I wrote 3 years ago, but the video said I uploaded on 2008. Wow. Time flies). The song I created using loops on GarageBand and based the song around the ‘Downtempo Sexy Bass’ loop, which you can hear throughout the song. It was a lot of fun but it really does not make any sense.

I hope you enjoyed that little nugget of happiness! I think this kind of thing might be both fun and entertaining in a classroom environment – making music then creating a music video… There’s also an app for that – VidRhythm <– this app is seriously so much fun! You just record what the app tells you to using whatever you want (I used mainly voice) and it turns it into a cool little video! I wish I had an iPad…

So anyway… we were introduced to Tiger in a Tropical Storm by Rousseau. I recognised it from previously lessons I’d attended for other subjects – it’s quite a widely used painting. In groups, we had to create a sound landscape to represent the painting. This means to create lots of sounds at the same time to create a ‘landscape effect’ and represent the painting as we saw fit in a musical way. Here is our finished product!

I think it’s very tigery myself. Created by myself, Katie Stanbrook and Bethany Mendham – upcoming experimentalist artists! Watch out…

Recording voices on Audacity or GarageBand can be really helpful for children, as they can come to terms with the sounds that they can make. Music making, too, is a great expression of creativity that children can immerse themselves in, so I think sound landscapes provide a great opportunity to enhance learning.

We moved swiftly onto working with iPads, and looked at Music related apps which we could use in the classroom. First of all, my group looked and experimented with VidRhythm, and after that Virtuoso.

Virtuoso is a great free iPad app: it is basically a transportable dual-layer keyboard, and could be used in the classroom to get the children started with playing some music! GarageBand for iPad is very similar, and both are great to inspire children to get playing.

I also looked at the Drum Kit app for iPad. I’m not really a drummer so haven’t played around with a drum kit before, but the app gave me that experience to explore the different sounds that the kit makes. I think it is also important for kids to explore that aspect of the drum kit, as they may never get the experience to explore a real drum kit – but who knows. This app could be used in an Early Years setting for a Phonics session, as children can explore the sounds that each piece of the kit makes, and part of Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds is to learn about all the sounds made by the things around them.

Here is a selection of reviews I found for different musical apps on the iPad.

That’s all from me today.



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