O how I love to be inspired and enchanted when working as a creative facilitator specialising in music technology with Primary school children. Their clever, creative and wonderful not-too-conditioned-yet minds seem to love to learning about and appreciating the magic of music as well as making it.
In partnership with One Education Music, I have designed and deliver 6 week Music Technology and Music Production courses with Years 4, 5 & 6 (aged 8-11) in schools in Greater Manchester.
Though I do not condone the unethical manufacturing methods of Apple, this project does employ the relatively inexpensive and rather expansive Garageband on ipad app. It has proved to be accessible for just getting stuck in with creating music and also empowering enough as it covers most of the fundamentals of music production, composition, arranging and audio engineering by allowing an introduction to programming and editing loops, sampling and recording sounds, the sometimes ever so useful quantisation (cleaning up timing issues, a prevalent tool in making electronic music) and expression such as velocity (how hard you play an instrument/sound).
Taking the iconic original Dr Who Theme realised by the late great Delia Derbyshire as a starting point, the kids then create their own themes in teams, documenting the process in handmade project notebooks. They choose their own title and cover art.
Hooray for music technology now apparently being part of the National Curriculum at Primary level I say – music making involves so many technical, creative, academic and social skills and enriches education and brain development in general it has been said. And that other aspect of social and cultural stereo-typing in music and technology may just be blurred a little tincey wincey bit with increased visibility and accessibility for our future male and female music producers?