- Demonstrate several chords
- Show them the strumming pattern
- Show them the 4 bar pattern
"Ok Class, have some time to practise that by yourself or with a partner... you have 1 and a half minutes - or until my fidget spinner stops."
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: It goes for 1"30
THE CLASS TASK:
Download the Class Worksheet
Australian Film Music Composer (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Blinky Bill & Farscape) work shopping musical composition ideas and creativity with FVHS students.
Australian recording artist Lior discussing the composition process with Erina and Tammy from FVHS and listening to their work 'Migrating whales'
A photo with indie Aussie rock star Lior
Day 2: Mark Grandison and the Sydney Sinfonietta.
Task: Creating a music motif based on the compositional techniques used by Kambala music teacher Mark Grandison in his work 'Riffraction'. The Sydney Sinfonietta is sent the new music through the music program Sibelius and then transferred to the ensembles iPads via Dropbox. . The SS then perform the students works live. Below are the Fairvale compositions.
Year 12 Erina, Audrey, Year 11 Crystal and Year 9 Jessica's composition as played by the Sydney Sinfonietta.
Budding Fairvale High HSC composition major Andy Tran and his composition as played by the Sydney Sinfonietta.
Session 2: Discovering your creative process. Writing for piano and cello with Alicia Grant.
The world premiere of the motif from 'Meadow' by Andy Tran, Tammy Huynh-Duong and Christina Barood by Eleanor Betts (Cello) and Jeremy Eskenasi (Piano)
Film Music and composition workshops with Guy Gross and Lior
Guy Gross is an Australian film music composer with credits including 'Priscilla Queen of the Desert', 'Blinky Bill' and 'Farscape'. Guy spoke with students from various secondary schools about evoking and emotion and the various types of tools composers use to comment a scene. Here are aome of the quotes from the day. Some are slightly different as they were transcribed in real time but they are respectfully reproduced here.
'Create music that follows the dialogue."
'Any music you write is sending a message to the audience.'
'You can be creative but it may not connect with audience. I work mainly in styles we know and haveheard before. Own the cliche.'
'Do not be afraid of writing cliche when composing film music.'
'Ostinato is a good launch pad'
'Chromaticism is a very simple device to create interest to our western ears. Even though it has been around 50-100 years'
(Feedback to student work)
'High string tonal clusters with dark tonal low chords tells the audience you are not going to know anything about the upcoming scene.'
'You have to anchor the audience into something they can associate with. Try not to deviate too far from standard accepted listening conventions.'
re: motif development in a song: 'Be environmentally friendly. Recycle notes and motifs. Don't throw stuff away'
Lior is an independent Australian Singer songwriter who also discussed his creation, structure, planning and organisation of his compositions with an emphasis on lyric content and word painting.
'A lot of young singer singer writers have many unfinished songs because they write line by line. You need to have a reason to write and stick to it.'
'A chorus can be a snap back to reality.'
'Always start with an idea'
'For me, lyrics are king and dictate the arrangement and what comes after is the melody and then the puzzle happens'
'Songwriting is about keeping the audience engaged for the whole 3 minutes'
'Don't give the listener to much in the first part of song. Leave a few things open at the beginning of the song and then possibly have a twist in the end verse. This is called the emotional reveal.'
'A great song strikes the right balance between familiarity and surprise.'
'When you are starting to write your song, Think about what the emotive function of the song you are trying to write is?'
Question asked: 'When you write are you thinking about your audience?
Response: 'That thought does creep in. The best results from when you zone in to what you are feeling as you the songwriter. It is a Strange duality. If you move yourself when writing its great and better if that translates to audience.'
I laugh at how these 21st Century kids will never know what it was to copy tapes for friends or borrow each others LPs, Cassettes or CDs. They will never understand an un-connected, unwired world that we once lived in. #not-a-bad-thing-really
Based on the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Standards:
This is an abbrieviated list of what I would look for in your lesson. Nothing new. Just a simple summary from www.aitsl.edu.au/
I am a high school music teacher that loves to keep on top of current trends in the top 40. I also enjoy listening to upcoming bands and finding hidden gems on soundtracks that no one else may have heard. This is especially good for introducing my students to new sounds for analysis. With the invention of streaming audio and in particular RDIO (my preference), Pandora and SPOTIFY. I thought that I would blog a few tips for creating an online album that people will check out in its entirety.
Track 1: In this day and age it should be a killer - 'the single'. I hate having to search new bands online album for the single and in this day and age it should be right in the 21st Century listeners face (or ears). It should be a tune that says 'this is our band! This is what you are going to get."
Most people will always click on the first track of a new artists album. In the first week of its release it is always the one that seems to get the most hits with streaming audio sites.
Track 2: should not be too much different to the first track but it may be slightly less catchy or not as commercial.
Track 3: This could be the artistic one or even a filler. But it must still be relevant.
Track 4: has to bring the listener back to what it knew before. It needs to relate to the first few tunes.
For the rest of the album you can tease and experiment with your listener but somewhere down the album track listing needs to be a well placed 'gem'.
In say an 8 track album track 7 would be important.
Track 8 could also be anthemic.
Just my thoughts and opinions on marketing your music in 2014.
PAPERLESS STUDENT WRITTEN RESPONSE FEEDBACK WORKFLOW.
1. Explain everything. Take pics of student responses (quality not good enough on ipad2 so use a newer ipad). Set the pages up on slides, 1 slide per photo
2. Explain Everything - draw on - annotate- voice over the student written response. While recording scroll brought slides.
3. Connect iPad to itunes.
4. Search your ipad APPS tab in itunes and find the EXPLAIN EVERYTHING tab - save the .xpl files to a folder on the MAC
5. Buy EXPLAIN EVERYTHING Compressor for $14 on mac. Why? so you can do a batch convert and you are not stuck with waiting for each file on the ipad.
6. BATCH CONVERT all .xpl files to MP4
7. Upload all the MP4s to youtube. (You can export from the iPad app to Evernote, Box etc... But you have to wait each time - quite long time. So that's why I bought the Explain everything compressor in the MAC STORE (for work flow)
8. Paste links and marks and anything else into a personal evernote file for the students. I also add the original photos from the response for archiving and for students to see and also add the AUDIO FILES (.mp3) associated with the aural music exam.
9. Share the whole evernote notebook with whatever staff you need to.
10. Do it every assessment task and build up the work samples. Shareable this year, next year whenever.
There is a lot of talk by record companies and in the media about the phasing out of CDs and DVDs and a move for streaming services like RDIO, PANDORA and SPOTIFY to take up the distribution of music through apps and the cloud.
As a music educator I worry....
I love that when I have a 'Hot little CD' in my hand I can rip a track, edit it up and then teach my Aural or Musicology lesson with a good quality recording and have the 'snippet' I need prepared & ready to go.
As a music educator, how will I edit down the small parts of a tune we need to dissect, discuss and analyse the Concepts of Music? How else can I maximise my teaching and students learning?
With a CD, my students can carry out their Musicological research with a simple three step process; Rip, Edit, Burn.
As an educator, how will I create an Aural Appreciation example if I have to negotiate around 'Rights management' and copyright protection on cloud bought Mp3s or streaming links?
The lazy teachers and students and the ones that do not care about sound quality will lean towards the YouTube downloaders; those are the little sites, addins and program's used to rip the degraded audio from a YouTube clip as an mp3, mp4 or FLV.
As a busy music teacher, I use these You-rips often when starting to write out the selection of tunes and charts chosen by my 30 odd music students in a short time frame. I often set the performance task for each term in week 1 and then have to help students get organised and chart out these 30 tunes in two weeks as the students need time to start learning the tunes.. Big job right?
So, when I need to actually learn the tunes properly I buy the track on iTunes or CD. Also, If I really like the tune or can see that I will be recycling it with other students in future years and the tune has that foreseeable longetivity and musical value I am quite happy to fork out the $$$.
Thinking back to 1985, when I was 13, I would save up my allowance and buy a tape for $9.99 or, if I had spent it all, a cassette single for a lot less. I would do this religiously every two weeks. I would also go bargain hunting through record shops and tape bins in every suburb I ever passed through. There was always an 'Easter egg' or two to be had in Kmart or Target stores.
My tape collection was so massive that I had two large bread trays from the local fish and chip shop under my bed housing all my tapes. They were all catalogued and in alphabetical order. For diversity, I borrowed random wild card tapes (and later CDs) from the local Bankstown Library.
In the 'Noughties' and 'Youtube generations' I have noticed that my students, simply go straight to YouTube and rip the song.
It's the sound source of choice. It's free. Or is it?
For students, especially low socio economic ones, it's accessible and it's only limited to the amount of data your connection has left for that month.
If I had .99c for every time a student said 'sir I can't download my song at home as I have been capped' I could open an online music store ... hang on? ...hasn't someone already done that?
Students don't always realise that by spending that .99c they ultimately have the tune for life - the bread tray in the cloud. Well, for as long as Apple and iTunes exist in any case.
They also don't realise that bandwidth downloads = indirect $$$
Q. who paid for that free download?
A. Mum and Dads 'net bill (maybe a good numeracy exercise in the next NAPLAN test).
Students! Have you calculated how much you are paying for that 'so called' free YouTube rip. You are not paying iTunes you are paying your ISP instead.
Where were we? ... oh yes ... We cannot use 'YouTube downloaders' or 'Mp3 rippers' in a music classroom. The sound quality is just not good enough.
It concerns me that students are used to degraded sound quality too. They don't know what a 24bit recording sounds like? They are used to that squashed distorted bass and hissy compressed highs. We are creating a generation of uneducated and illiterate listeners .... or are we?
One advantage of degraded and easily shareable small sound files is that the 21st century music student and listener have access to a much wider listening repertoire than I would ever have had in the 80s. I had to use the second TV set (black and white) and adjust the aerial to tune into "Countdown" at 6pm every Sunday night on ABC to catch the following weeks Top 10 and find out who was number 1 - no iTunes Charts then! I also watched "Rage" and Donnie Sutherland's "Sounds" for my popular music weekly dose.
Back to 2013, It's about the choice of YouTube track too. I often hear English and History staff (amongst other subjects) complaining that students don't know how to find quality resources and struggle to differentiate between quality websites and articles. It's the same with music and the 21C musician or listener. They need to be shown how to find a quality arrangement or performance of the tune they wish to perform; not a bad 'cover version' by a 9 year old kid who has a great Dad with brilliant video editing skills.
I recently did some method lecturing at University and most of the Bachelor of Music and Post Grad students were doing Micro-teaching sessions (peer lessons) using YouTube as their primary audio source. It had to be educated out of them even at the Tertiary level. How can you teach Aural by using a degraded film clip? Isn't it all about the audio?
Try putting a CD in your car radio on the way to work tomorrow and compare it to a streamed version of the same song. You will realise just how much of the top and bottom end of a song you are missing.
So, off the track a little, but what next? What will my 22nd century classroom sound like and how will I prepare my audio files at high quality for classroom analysis? Will I be able to? Maybe I need to stock up on CDs and put them in the cellar with the gas masks and water bottles.
I don't know. But I sure hope the CD and DVD/BLURAY formats hang around for a little bit longer.
Maybe we will be streaming WAV files in 2020? Wouldn't that be awesome?? Better upgrade that NBN and stock up on those external hard drives though.
External hard drives of endless WAV files seems a great option, however, Mr Windows, Mr Western Digital or Mr Apple need to create a USB Speed and HD speed that can cope with these large files. We are still waiting for hours to copy large files across onto our computers. It's one area that has not seen too much commercial development over the years.
Hey, maybe it's coming, I just need to be patient. It was only back in 1998 that I was waiting 1-2 hours to burn a CD at 1X and got excited when I upgraded to a new 2X burner for a few hundred bucks.
1998 feels like just yesterday but I just realised it was 15 years ago.
Those of you already using Weebly will say: "So?"
Greg Thwaites. Head Teacher of Music (Caretaker of Performing Arts and Languages). Husband, Father and trombonist. Integrator of Technology into all parts of teaching. Life Long Learner