I thought this program was pretty darn cool. It sounds like what they’ve been doing for the past few weeks is having musicians of different instruments come in, and record some stuff. I guess they talk about their instrument and life as a musician. Then they all laid down tracks in the same key at the same tempo.
Now that there are plenty of different things to choose from – different drum kits, brass instruments, vocals, electronic sounds, strings, and such – all the tracks were set up in GarageBand so the students could go through them and decide what they wanted for their song.
Some people were going after more of a techno feel. Some were going for more acoustic. It was incredibly cool to see the ways different people could take the same options and make things that were totally different.
Then, once the students had their jumping off point, they got to write their own part for their instrument that they’d add to make the song even more their own.
Before we even started working in Garageband, the afternoon was started off with the people running the program telling the high schoolers about a couple of song contests they could enter. I thought that elevated everything to an even higher level of awesomeness. ‘Cause not only are we gonna make some music here. We’re gonna have a goal to add to it.
I also thought something that was quite interesting was that immediately after the contests were introduced, the first question (phrased exactly like this) was, “Can we collaborate?” The first instinct wasn’t to try to one-up everybody else in the class. It was to work together. I thought that was probably a testament to the kind of program Lauren and Harley are running.
(Don’t get me wrong. I’m slightly obsessed with competition and being the best… I still thought it was nice though that the students wanted to work together.)
And I’ll pick up here next time.