FREDERICKTOWN — Fredericktown sixth-graders are meeting state standards in music in a fun way — they are creating “Garage Band” musical compositions using computers and special software.
Student composer Brad Wolford, who plays the tuba in real life, said working on the computer to create music is more fun.
“We can pick out other instruments,” he explained. “We can combine different sounds. We can add sound effects and change it up a little bit.”
Brad also likes working with another student composer.
“We can take music we both like,” he said, “and then we can help each other with figuring out where to put it [in the finished project].”
Music instructor Jessica Overholt said using the software garage band program is a way of composing for students who may not have a musical foundation such as conventional note knowledge or rhythmic knowledge. The program allows students to choose from and combine a series of what is called loops. Some are rhythmic based, some are melodic and there are various sound effects from which to choose.
“The sky’s the limit,” said Overholt. “They can have themes to their projects, like a news broadcast. The students can come up with the sounds to orchestrate the opening of a news broadcast, or a spy movie, or almost anything. They can add sound effects. They can add a cheering crowd or a booing crowd — all sorts of things.”
In addition to broadening their horizons through the musical aspect of the program, the students are learning about modern technology: Things like keyboarding and navigating through computer programs and applications.
“Also,” said Overholt, “ the kids need a different type of outlet that’s not just sitting at a desk doing math problems. They are learning intangible things. They are also learning to work with partners, being tolerant of others’ opinions and being confident in their own opinions. They are having fun doing it.”
Overholt will record each composition on a flashdrive and transfer it to a CD so the students can listen to all of the completed compositions. The students said they were looking forward to that opportunity.