Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Smart Jams: Simple Music Creation Projects for Any Class

Smart Jams is the grant funded music video project I completed with fifth graders in our district. In many ways it represents the best (and most rewarding) work I've done in my 20 years in education. 

Here is the page I'm developing for session handouts. It is the starting point for anything you want to learn about the project.

I'm really enthusiastic about the power of a music video PBL activity such as this and in just over a week I will be speaking about it at the MACUL ed-tech conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Technology has made it possible for anyone to enjoy and benefit from the process of music creation. I've been able to help elementary students through adults create simple songs and perform them in videos.

Crystal Owen, the music teacher I worked with, will be presenting with me. Besides talking about what we learned from the experience, we will keep it entertaining with live music and sample videos from our project

Our main points are that we, as teachers, must:
  • let students experience the joy and learning that results from songwriting and recording.
  • amaze students with what they can create.
  • find space in our schedules and curriculum to introduce extremely creative projects.
  • find ways to stay inspired so we can inspire.
Educators who join us will get a list of practical tips and necessary apps, programs and equipment for running anything from extremely simple projects to complex productions. Before we leave everyone will have a chance to start a song and we will make a video or two.

Please check us out on page 44 of the MACUL Program. You can download it from this page. We will be presenting on Friday morning (March 14) at 8:30 in the Riverview Room in the Amway Grand Plaza.

If you want to read more about the project, I documented the work extensively on my Music Creation in the Classroom page.

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