I recently visited Cogan Primary School in Penarth to lead a Year 5 lesson on GarageBand. The pupils were set the task to create their own composition using Apple Loops and then share the finished piece with the class.
During the first part of the lesson I demonstrated GarageBand and the capabilities of using it as a live instrument. The pupils were very excited and engaged to play high quality sounding guitars, drum kits, strings, piano and other popular instruments. Using the iPad as a live instrument works very well within a primary school learning environment as the 1:1 device is small, portable and doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture in the classroom, unlike a piano or real drum kit.
The second part of the lesson was spent using GarageBand for composition and the use of Apple Loops within GarageBand highly engaged the pupils. The professional quality sounds and loops allow them to instantly become record producers, with the ability to export their multi-track compositions as MP3 files that can be easily shared with their friends, family and the world through social media platforms. The use of Apple Loops has an instant impact as the pupils see and hear results straight away.
After only twenty minutes of creating music all pupils had a composition to share with the class. I offered the pupils the opportunity to AirPlay their compositions and I was very pleased when every single pupil put their hand up. They were all very confident and proud of what they had created and each composition sounded professional and was a pleasure to listen to. This definitely proved the positive impact on learning that iPads have in the classroom.
Visiting Cogan Primary made me realise how important iPad transition projects are. If we can start teaching the primary school pupils the apps that are used in secondary schools, this will have a huge effect on their abilities in Year 7 and just imagine what they could achieve at GCSE level and upwards!
Even though it was unrelated to GarageBand, a primary school visit would not be complete without me taking the drone for a quick spin! Click here to watch the video