TI:ME Members and non-members alike can logon to check out our free Symposium on Music Tech Pedagogy that is happening right now. I’ll be speaking at 3:00pm EDT about the types of projects I like to teach and the methods I use to teach composition to kids with little or no music experience.
I’m absolutely thrilled to be a part of this – it’s an honor to be in such great company. A quick rundown of the participants today:
Jay Dorfman – TI:ME’s national president and all around great guy from Boston U.
Mike Medvinsky – a former electrical engineer turned music teacher, who has in middle school kids making some cool things and really maker-faire kind of stuff
Bill Bauer – Bill used to serve on the Ohio TI:ME board before moving to sunny FL. He’s one of the smartest and most earnest people in the field, and his research into music learning methods in the digital age are second to none.
The other two speakers, Chris and Adam, I don’t know as well but I wouldn’t be surprised if their accomplishments are right up there with the others. Be sure to log on today to check out what’s going on right now in our field.
As part of my efforts to refine my methods for grading and giving feedback on high school music tech projects, I’ve decided to use the opportunity to make a standardized rubric for my projects. In many ways, this document is tuned to feed data into my SLO’s for the year as well.
The main features of the rubric:
- A nominal self-evaluation, simply to provide some context for the finished product
- An area for actual feedback (notes) at the bottom
- Scoring “boxes” are tuned to allow most students to fall within the “emerging mastery” category. Important if the SLO is written to require movement to a new box by semester’s end
- Max score is possible in Box 3 and 4, giving credit for both accelerated students and those clearly on track
- Low end of rubric is flexible to not totally kill the grades of lower achieving students
- Score is out of 30, balanced between technical issues and aesthetic issues
I set aside a day to present projects, during which I use the sheet to mark the grades. It usually works out to one class period as long as we keep the projects playing.
I haven’t used this yet, but it’s the best representation of how I evaluate my students’ projects. Let me know what you think of it!
Oliver Chesler has an interesting look at the Audio to MIDI feature in Live 9. He compares it to Melodyne, actually:
Whatever you think of the results as much as I love Melodyne and use it it’s not a feature built into Live therefor one step away from instant. I also don’t think you can Audio to Drums like you can in Live. The real killer feature for Audio to Midi is my own whistling or humming to create parts and ideas.
Of course, it can’t affect the audio signal with the MIDI analysis like Melodyne can, so it seems more of a songwriting tool to me. Either way, he made a cool video demonstrating the difference between the two:
Via Wire to the Ear.
In my advanced Music Tech course, I like to make the projects along with the students so we can have a collaborative learning experience. Every time I re-do a project with these kids I end up learning something new and it’s fun to share it with them – students can really tell when you’re genuinely excited about something new, and this type of teacher energy is to me much more authentic than giving the same canned inspirational speech each go around.
Anyway, the main things we explored were sampling breaks and creating the Reese bass instrument.
I called it “Peanut Butter Cup” due to the abuse of the Reese bass sound. I’d love to hear some feedback on how to make it better:
Here’s what my tracks and clips looked like in session view:
In outline form, here’s what’s going on:
- Drum Group
- “2 Audio” – these are sampled funk breaks
- “02 Funky D” – a “sliced to MIDI” version of the funky drummer, for playing on the Launchpad
- “Drum Rack” – some stronger/layered snare and bass on a drum rack.
- Synths Group
- “Reese Bass” – an Operator instrument imitating the classic detuned saw waves of “Terrorist” by Master Reese.
- “133989_2” – A Simpler containing an air raid siren from freesound.org
- “VES2 Synt” – A Simpler containing a canned sample from some CD I had
- SFX Group
- Various canned uplifters, impacts and a Jamaican guy because it’s DnB