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It's been an exciting week for the Kershaw 8th grade general music classes as traditional music learning has expanded into music technology! The students have started to explore Mixcraft 6 software, by Acoustica. Mixcraft is powerful multi-track audio and MIDI recording software that has many uses. Mixcraft is designed for PC computers and is the equivalent of the popular GarageBand software for the MAC that the students have seen Mrs. Manion demo for various projects. Recently, the school purchased a site-license for the use of Mixcraft in the lab.
Mixcraft has a built in library of over 6000 pre-recorded sounds that can be "looped" to instantly create musical compositions. Students have begun to "audition" sounds in various musical genres that they like. The classes have moved from the traditional music classroom to the Media Center Computer Lab. Students bring in their earbuds to listen as they are deciding which sounds they want to use to compose their first songs.
Gradually they will be led through a series of steps to develop compositions in an organized way and with increasing complexity. Acoustica has provided the students with discount coupons for 50% off the software if used by March, making for great gift giving possibilities! Mixcraft offers a free download and 20 day trial period. Many of the students were so excited about the new projects that they ran home to download it and get started! One student came back with three songs he composed overnight! In Technology class, the students wanted to "do music class" not "technology." This is something that is not often heard being said by 8th graders! Of course, they are combining the two!
Mixcraft brings music making to a new level that beginners and professionals alike can grasp. Beginning projects do not require reading traditional music notation. However, as students progress they will want to begin to add their own vocalizations and instrumental performances to their tracks. Doing so will require a higher level of musical knowledge.
Students have varied musical tastes and are learning to appreciate each other's views. Some want to compose jazz, some hard rock, heavy metal, dub-step, country, pop- you name it! Mixcraft composition allows their own identities and creativity to shine! Students were excited to learn that Mixcraft can also accommodate video input and be used to create movie soundtracks. Look for student compositions to be featured on our webpage in the near future and at the Spring Concert!
This blog will be used for class updates, lists of assignments, links to music and technology events in our area and other news from Mrs. Manion's World. It is designed as an aid and may not be up-to-date. It does not replace attention in class.