Mix up. Mash up- Week 11

Online culture is significantly changing how children conceive and interact with music. As a result of this, educators can take advantages of the interest and expertise children develop in the bedroom/ garage in the context of the music classroom!

Today, Dr. Humberstone focused on looking at the ‘how’.

  • How do children conceive and interact with music on a online format and,
  • How can educators implement student’s interests in a music classroom?

To unpack all these concerning questions, Dr. James Humberstone first introduced us to Groove Pizza, io808.com, DM1 and the Launchpad.

Groove Pizza- Techno
  • Groove Pizza

Groove Pizza is an online circular rhythm app that creates unique and interesting beats. It uses shapes such as triangles and squares, angles and various preset patterns (jazz, rock, Afro- Latin and techno to name a few) for students to recreate their own beat pattern. Personally, I strongly encourage students to use this web- based app. It requires no previous knowledge and is suitable for all ages!

  • io808.com

I found io808 a little hard to use. There were so many buttons, turners and rhythmic devices at the bottom of the screen that I felt confused and had to try moving different things to see what everything did. According to Dr. Humberstone an io808 used to cost $4,000 on eBay and now, it’s for free on the web! I also came to know that it was originally used to replace drummers in pop songs. Very interesting!

  • DM1

Don’t have a drum kit but have a few iPads lying around in your music classroom? Don’t worry about it! DM1 a music app (used only on iPad and iPhones) offers students to select and create their own rhythmic pattern! 4 main sections which are unique to the DM1 are the step sequencer, drum pad, mixer and fx trackpad! This allows students to play, record, distort, modulate and transform the beats that they have made with just a tap of their finger! Want to do something more than just making beats? The app also offers students to add a baseline, chord and melody over the beat that they’ve created! You can also share your work with the whole class on a live forum! How cool is that?!

  • Launchpad

Launchpad is very similar to the DM1, except it offers a range of various sounds and effects in its library. Whilst using it, I found that Launchpad was a great way to use for looping and for DJ’ing. In other words, it’s great to use as a platform for making and remixing electronic music. I would strongly recommend teachers and students to use Launchpad as a starter in their lessons.

LaunchPad on iPad connected to the pad

My thoughts

All these apps provide students to learn and create music by simply trying them out- seeing what works and what doesn’t. The music making process they do at home is in fact not any different with what they do in the classroom. After all, it’s fun and is a process of informal music making!

After learning about all these extraordinary apps, I could definitely see myself using these apps in the classroom and implementing them from time to time in my classes. I strongly believe that these apps will tap students creativity, music composition skills and develop their appreciation to music technology in the future.

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