Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Garage Band (iPad)

GarageBand is incredible. For a few of your finest pound sterling you get a fully fledged recording suite with a whole host of instruments and a bank of preset sounds. And the children love it. What are you waiting for?

Some songs sound like they were made on an iPad using Garage Band. Others can be mimicked incredibly easy. I'm always on the look out for these types of songs as they are great fun to use with children in school. The children get a (at times instant) feeling of accomplishment as the iPad does the hard part for you. This makes it a great tool to practice the art of performance and, as you get more skilled, composition.

I've uploaded some slides I made for you to have a look at. You can get theme here through google drive or here through the TES resources site (if you use TES you'll get the tracks embedded to play along with). 

They cover the songs 'Don't Stop Believing', 'I'm a Believer' and 'Smoke On The Water'. All you need to know is that for 'Don't Stop Believing' you need the smart keyboard, on Grand Piano, autoplay #1 at 100bpm. 

Apart from that, listen to the tracks, work out the drum beats (or a simplified version), master the guitar and bass riffs and have a great time with the children performing some anthems!

Other songs that work well but that I haven't created resources for:
And If you're feeling really bold try these (I haven't yet):
As you can probably tell, my method for finding songs that 'work' in GarageBand is to get on youtube and have a good look around.

Combine lessons spent on these songs with discussion and analysis of the musical elements we need to cover (pitch, dynamics, tempo, attack & decay, timbre, texture, silence, duration) and you'll end up with some great music lessons.

In my class, after we'd perfected a couple of songs I asked the children to experiment and make their own cover version by changing any musical elements along with instruments. We worked out pretty quickly that a nice soothing cover is possibly by using strings and acoustic guitar. How you record this process is up to you/your children but you can be very creative.

I also played around with class structure, moving from experimenting in groups to working pairs to introduce them to the basics of multi-track recording. You'll be surprised with what they come up with, I guarantee it.

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