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Music Creation

Music has always been a huge part of my personal life and over the past year I have seen firsthand that music motivates students.

Technology has made it easier than ever for any student to express himself or herself musically.  No other project I have found so perfectly addresses content area standards and 21st century learning skills as a music video project can.


Smart Jams Music Video Project

In August, 2013, I received a MACUL grant that funded a music video project for 5th graders in my district.  The grant requires me to post about progress and to present the results at the conference in March, 2014.  This page of the site will be the home base for that project.  Here are the posts related to our work.

Want to create songs and music videos in class?
Here is my list of video tutorials and a general outline. Teachers and students in grades 6 - 12 should find it to be useful working through the process.

Looking for Sample Projects?
I posted four of them on my Examples from the Smart Jams post. You'll be able to hear the best songs and I also posted one example I finalized with WeVideo (most were done with iMovie).

And here are all the songs as audio files in a SoundCloud playlist.


These posts document our pilot with over 100 5th grade students
Here's the equipment we purchased with the grant money.

These posts document the work I did with Crystal Owen on our Perimeter and Area Song we made as a sample.
  • The full version, edited with Corel Video Studio.  This will be the sample we will show first when we start the project on November 12.
  • A much improved second draft, though the video still could use a lot of work.  This was created exclusively with apps on the iPad.
  • The first draft (also created on the iPad)

These are my posts or other resources I compiled previously

The basics:
  • This post sums up a method I use to create original songs and videos in about three hours at the most.
  • The main idea behind these projects is to encourage learners to make something that involves passion and creative expression, publish it and learn from it so they can do better next time. 
  • It's easy to spend a fortune on good equipment, but in all my efforts with recording I keep it simple.  Even a mediocre musician like me can get a lot of mileage out of free online resources, Audacity for recording and Gsnap for pitch correction.  You'll probably need a mic and headphones too, depending on how you plan to perform and record.
  • GarageBand for the iPad is amazing.  For several months I thought of it as just a tool for sketching song ideas.  Lately I have been using it to record short songs like some of those shown below.  I use the iRig Mic Cast microphone and iRig guitar interface with it for recording.
From other posts:
  • An overall plan for creating music in the classroom - This was written in the summer when I had some untested ideas.  It still serves as the outline for the projects I have done with students.
  • My example of a math music video - When I told students about my ideas, some were afraid to sing or perform on video.  I made this video as an example to encourage them to take the step.
  • Scientific Method Rap - This is one example from my first effort to assign a music video project.  The post is the best example here of what worked from start to finish in the classroom.  I did about eight hours of work on this after the students finished, just to see what was possible and how much work it would take.  
  • Another rap - This example also came out of the class project above, but without my additional editing.  
  • Kevin Honeycutt - Since I first came across Kevin's conference session in 2011 he has been an inspiration to me.  I love how he inspires students to be creative and get their ideas out there.
  • Music Video for Tech PD - This is a song we had some fun with for a PD session.  I was encouraging teachers to put some passion in their work and to do something new.  This song was a result.  It also serves as an example of what can be done using just the iPad for recording.

1 comment:

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