It was an absolute pleasure to spend the morning at Fairfield Primary School in Penarth, teaching two iPad lessons to their Year 5 pupils.
I teach at St Cyres School which is an Apple Distinguished School where every pupil has their own iPad, so for the new Year 7 pupils arriving in September there is a big change in the way they learn. Therefore I feel it is important to spend time with the primary pupils to ease the transition between schools.
With the recent focus on creativity in the classroom, I decided to focus my lessons at Fairfield on creating their own music compositions using GarageBand. Fairfield does not have their own iPads so I took enough along with me to allow every pupil in the classroom to create.
I only had forty-five minutes with each class and after giving a demonstration of the app on how to use it for live performance and composition, I set the pupils the task to create their own mobile alert tone using Apple Loops.
Due to Apple Loops being high quality professional sounding audio samples, they allow all pupils to create whatever their musical ability may be.
The thing that always impresses me when using Apple Loops with pupils who have never used GarageBand before is the speed and how little time is required before we see results. Also, the use of the iPads and GarageBand in the classroom is very engaging and all pupils at Fairfield Primary worked very hard and well together on this task.
I gave each pupil a time limit of fifteen minutes to compose their ringtones. They had to consider the choice of instruments (timbre), the arrangement (texture) and ensure their loops all work together in pitch and rhythm. After the fifteen minutes was up I was so impressed to see that every pupil had a product that would work perfectly well as a phone ringtone or an iPad alert tone.
I was even more impressed with the fact that this was the first time some of the pupils had ever used GarageBand and they really seemed to understand and adapt to how to use the app.
At the end of the session, every pupil was so keen and excited to play their compositions to the class which then allowed for classroom discussion and peer assessment. The pupils were very proud of what they had achieved and were able to discuss the successes of their finished compositions.
If pupils who have never used GarageBand before can create a piece of music within fifteen minutes, imagine what the quality of work will be like in Year 7 or even GCSE and upwards.
This goes to prove that whatever your musical background or ability, everyone can create!