As the music leader at my school I was on the look out for some training that would give me some ideas that I could use in my own teaching and pass on to other members of staff. Thanks to twitter I came across a course called Finding Your Voice, run by Musical Futures. You can find out all about them by visiting their website for yourself (and I recommend that you do) but given the course outline it seemed perfect for my needs.
Today I attended this training and was not disappointed. They gave us loads of practical tips and activities to try in our schools but also a range of different ICT that they use to support Music teaching. This was particularly helpful for schools with limited resources and budgets. Again, check their website for the resources, including some excellent vocal warm-ups, but I wanted to use this post to share some of the ICT used and suggest some that I use already.
LOOPY – app
Loopy, as the name suggests, is used for looping sounds. There are a few looping apps available for iOS but this one is particularly child-friendly. I’ve long since been a big fan of Keezy, but Loopy offers quite a bit more. Unlike Keezy, Loopy allows you to actually loop, making composition easier and you can also get a rather handy metronomic count in. Create music by layering looped recordings of singing, beatboxing or playing an instrument.
A top tip is to go to settings and switch the ‘monitoring’ and ‘live input recording’ to off before recording, in order to avoid feedback. Loopy is available from the from the App Store for £2.29.
We all worry about how we show progress. James Emberley, the secondary music teacher who delivered the Musical Futures training, presented SoundCloud as part of the solution. It is an online audio distribution platform that enables the user to upload, record, promote and share their originally recordings.
Record at the start of a scheme of work as a baseline and then record again a few weeks later. Hey-presto PROGRESS recorded, without the need for the student to write anything down. If you record using the free AudioCopy app, you can upload directly to SoundCloud.
Launchpad – by Novation – app
I have been using Launchpad for a while to create compositions across a variety of genres including Hip Hop, Trance and Drum & Bass. You can build layers and make arrangement without the fear of going out of time.
We’ve used it this year with our Year 3s as accompaniment to their performance poetry. It’s been great for teaching the children about tempo especially, but also dynamics, structure and texture.
As I come across more apps and tools that I particularly like I will update this post, but for now, here are some other apps worth exploring. GarageBand, Drummer (by Keezy) and the guitar and piano apps by Smule. While these other blogs have more useful suggestions Musical Futures and a couple from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.