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BeatMaking Unit: Choosing Sounds 2.0

Activity Option 2

In small groups and as a class. . .

  1. Prep by setting up “stations” around the room where each hardware instrument is a station – consider running the audio out of each instrument to a headphone amplifier/splitter so that multiple students can listen in but to control sound across the room. You can then go around and plug your headphones into any of the stations. (Alternatively you can have students use iPads with GarageBand, music apps on the iPad, or web-based music apps). You also might want to have the ability to send audio out of the PA speakers for sharing across the class.
  2. Facilitation strategies:
    1. Least structured = Let students explore the sounds on their own (with very basic instructions left at the station) and scaffold.
    2. Moderately structured = Leave step by step directions at each station for students to follow. You could be as specific as asking students to select 5 or 6 different sounds, and keep track of the sounds they choose, characteristics, what they like about the sounds etc. 
    3. Most structured = Start off with direct instruction and modeling of how to select sounds with each hardware instrument. Model the process of selecting the sound, think aloud as you describe the sound, what you like or don’t like about it, etc. Then, have some students repeat the process in front of the entire class and either take turns or move to a moderately structured station approach.
  3. Explore the sounds included in the hardware instruments (or iPads) provided with the grant (i.e.):
    1. Akai MPD 226
    2. Moog Sub Phatty
    3. Novation Circuit
    4. Roland SP404A
    5. Roland V Drum set
  4. Have students spend enough time in each “station” to become familiar with some of the sonic possibilities of the equipment and then rotate to another station.
    1. If possible, identify some student “experts” who can support their peers with the equipment.
  5. Have students keep track of the sounds they like, the characteristics of the sounds, what they like or don’t like about the sounds. Consider using a graphic organizer such as a table or mind map.
  6. You might also have students modify the sounds with controls available on each instrument/device.
  7. Have students design a way to keep track of, visualize how they modified the sound, and be able to share with their peers and you. (i.e. photos, video, drawings, text description etc.).
  8. Discuss in relation to students’ music, students’ questions & perspectives, and the generative questions