Pretty amazing project, I’ve only dipped my toe in. almost 30 year’s ago I watched Toto the Hero at the movies. It had a great theme song. Over the years I forgot the film’s name about 10 years decided to find the song. Much googling (I was looking for boom) and I eventually found it on Youtube. Today I found it again but sung in English.
I am sure there are a lot more educational used for this amazing collection of digital music.
NB the archive has a nice WordPress embed:
[archiveorg 78_boum_charles-trenet-trenet_gbia0122226a width=640 height=50 frameborder=0 webkitallowfullscreen=true mozallowfullscreen=true] I set the heigh param to a bit lover than the given 140.
I am Rosslyn Lee and I am the Digital Skills Coordinator for North Ayrshire Education. Part of my job is to support staff and pupils in our schools with all aspects of digital learning and teaching. I became a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert in 2017 as I recognised the value to my professional learning as well as my training role. Completing courses on the MEC is a great way of keeping up to date with O365 developments as well as providing me with opportunities for professional learning, not available elsewhere.
The North Ayrshire Music Service consisting of 23 peripatetic instructors has been and continues to be very successful in delivering music instruction across the authority. North Ayrshire young musicians regularly achieve great success at the Ayrshire Music Festival as soloists and ensembles. There are two authority ensembles who take part in the annual National Concert Band Festival, again achieving success within Scotland as well as at the national finals.
The Music Service has used a phone app for several years to distribute information to pupils and all staff have their own laptop to digitally record pupil achievements. Microsoft Office365 through Glow is the platform that the Music Service utilise. Use has also been made of a staff Sharepoint site for a number of years. This is maintained by the Music Service Admin Officer. However, the current COVID-19 crisis has had a huge impact on the delivery of their service.
As a forward-thinking service, Ronan Watson, the Music Service Manager started to look at how instruction could be delivered remotely. I worked with Ronan to help develop their use of Microsoft Teams, a blog, a Sharepoint site and a You Tube Channel. Two of our instructors recently achieved Certified MIE status as they see the value in this type of professional learning which will help support their work now and in the future.
MUSIC SERVICE BLOG
The blog is public facing and serves to provide information about the Music Service to parents.
The Sharepoint site was set up to give primary pupils access to resources and to allow staff to communicate with them about their tasks. The site contains a document library for each school with folders for each instructor who works with that school. These folders contain uploads of music, links to the Music Service videos on You Tube and soundtracks as well as records of work for pupils in the school.
YOU TUBE CHANNEL
The You Tube Channel was set up as unlisted to allow the instructors to upload videos of themselves demonstrating instrumental techniques to pupils. As neither Stream or video conferencing with pupils is possible using Teams in Glow, a solution was required to provide some visual instruction and it was felt that You Tube was the easiest option to share these videos.
Several months before lockdown, I was asked to look at Vscene, video conferencing software from Ajenta, as a way of delivering Advanced Higher subjects and also to facilitate lessons to Arran High School, our island school who have challenges around staffing as well as access for staff. Indeed, in January this year the ferry service was severely disrupted for most of the month. Vscene seemed to be an ideal solution for us.
Due to COVID-19, I decided to trial Vscene with the Music Service and they are piloting it until the end of June to assess its suitability. It is highly likely that music tuition will continue to be delivered virtually to pupils, whether in school or at home, for some time yet as schools attempt to keep numbers in their buildings to a minimum to comply with social distancing rules.
A few of the staff also use Teams to communicate with pupils. Here pupils can find files of music they require as well as upload their own practise audio files.
One of the instructors, Fiona Ramsay, has created three Teams for her clusters and communicates with her pupils by posting announcements regularly. None of her pupils had ever used Teams before lockdown and it has taken time to persuade some of them to engage, however she is making progress and they are now posting questions as well as uploading their work.
Fiona also makes up Microsoft Form quizzes for the pupils and has a channel to support pupils using Teams. The ‘Ask Mrs Ramsay’ channel avoids the general channel from becoming cluttered.
Feeling that pupils were becoming more comfortable with Teams, Fiona recently started to use OneNote. Pupils sections include their Practise Diary where they can upload their audio files and receive feedback privately.
Remotely delivering a practical subject like music has its challenges. However, the North Ayrshire Music Service has risen to these challenges and is striving to maintain its delivery of music lessons to pupils to as high a standard as possible. These methods will never permanently replace face to face tuition but serve to deliver music instruction to our pupils in the best way possible, given the current circumstances.
I've been reading. Of course, there's never a time when I don't have a book on the go, but that's fiction. As it's Lent I've tried to be a tad more disciplined, and to that end saved up a book that I bought some months ago. At the time, I posted online that it had been a bargain - and it was: it cost me about £70 less than its published price. Saturday's Silence is an academic study of my favourite poet's work with reference to Holy Saturday, the day between Good Friday and Easter Day. And when I embarked on the introduction, I found myself nodding in agreement with much that the author had to say, about poetry in general and Thomas in particular. And it's not that I've stopped agreeing as I move through the body of the argument - quite the reverse.
I'm struck by how intense, line-by-line scrutiny of a poem kills that poem stone dead. This isn't a new thing floating into my consciousness - it's something I was terribly aware of when I was teaching English lit, and especially teaching poetry. But in my latter, more experienced days, I had learned the trick of teaching the "how" rather than the "what" - teaching the basics of poetic understanding* via snippets of examination so that the individual pupils could do it for themselves, and reach the point where it would be in the first instance instinctive, even if further study produced deeper and more detailed appreciation. It was that approach, I believe, that had S4 boys (15-16 years old) learning and loving poems by not only Thomas but also John Donne, reciting them off by heart and lovingly examining what it was that had so attracted them.
I've never really stated all this on paper before. Perhaps it's struck me as blindingly obvious without my labouring the point. But why I'm doing it now is because I've linked it in my mind, thanks to Richard McLauchlan, with religion, with faith itself and the nature of faith.
Think of all the tedious sermons you've listened to in your day. (Obviously, I'm addressing a somewhat targeted audience here - you know who you are...) Do you ever consider, perhaps when you give up actually paying attention, what's wrong with them? I bet some of them at least were lectures, telling you what words in the bible signify in terms of what you, the punter, ought to believe. Lectures, instead of actual communication, kill faith as dead as academic study kills a poem.
I'm not going to chase this further. I want to emerge with today's little epiphany which is probably more of a realisation of something I've known for decades.
Prose can kill.
Which is why poetry is important, why the practice needs to be done to acquire the eyes with which to grasp it. Which is why I approach faith as the poet, or as the lover of poetry who spots symbolism at a hundred paces. Which is why music is so important. Which is why it was a combination of music and poetry that brought me to faith.
I'll finish the book. It's had the merit of taking me to revisit some dearly loved poems, to feel once again the sudden stab of recognition that Thomas's last lines can so often create. But it's the poetry that matters.
*I'm talking here about such technical features as caesura, enjambement - all the stuff you make a part of your perception so that you don't need to think about it.
Supporting the development of literacy in the classroom with GarageBand iPad app
GarageBand is an iPad app which has a host of uses for recording audio, which can include music in a host of different ways. But here’s how GarageBand can be used specifically to support the development of literacy in the classroom.
The how-to guide below provides the steps for learners recording themselves speaking using the GarageBand app on an iPad. A teacher can vary the steps depending on the purpose of the activity – so learners may start off needing to write a short story, or a poem or a conversation between characters, a report, or whatever is undertaken in the class.
It may be that learners have to retain key information, and the process of working sufficiently with a piece of text in order to prepare for recording it, then going through the recording process, then manipulating that recording (refining or editing or adding backing tracks), then sharing and listening to that recording, may help the learner engage more fully with the text, absorb it and make it their own, so they may be better able to recall that information if required to support their learning.
The outcome is that this chosen piece of writing is to be made into an audio recording to be shared with others. Whether that’s simply played back in class or shared with a wider audience online as determined by the learners and their teacher.
Knowing that their work will have a wider audience than their teacher changes the dynamic for the learner.
The resulting recording can have unwanted silences or other sounds edited out as described below, before the audio recording is shared with others.
Or as exercise in listening one group of pupils might record the words of a well-known piece of text being studied in class, but with the words in the incorrect order for another group of learners to use GarageBand to move the recordings of the words around until they are in the correct sequence.
So how do you use GarageBand to record and edit the spoken word? Follow the steps below, and then adapt the activity to suit the learning needs.
Recording learners speaking using the GarageBand iPad app
1. Click on + at top right in GarageBand Recents screen to begin a new recording
2. Choose Tracks tab along the top
3. Slide from the screen left to right until you see Audio Recorder choice
4. Now click click on + at top right
5. On the next screen click to the right of Section A where it says 8 bars to change to automatic by changing the slider to show on position for automatic
6. Switch off metronome icon so it does not show blue
7. Click on the input settings icon to the left beside the word “IN” and slide the button to the right beside the word “Automatic” to switch this on
8. Switch the view to show the tracks by clicking on the icon to the top left next to the down arrow
9. Then click record red button, wait for the audible clicking and on-screen countdown before speaking.
10. Once you have finished speaking, press the white square stop button to halt recording.
11. Press the white triangle play button to play back what you recorded.
12. Double-clicking on the blue audio track will reveal a range of choices for editing that recording, whether cut, copy, delete, loop, split, rename or (from the settings option) adjusting the speed or even reversing the recording.
13. To edit out unwanted silence or noises between speaking then when you double click the track, slide the timeline arrow above the track to before the unwanted sound, choose split from the menu when double-clicked on the track, and pull downwards on the scissors icon which will appear. Repeat this to split after the unwanted part of the recording, then double click this unwanted section and cut it or delete it.
14. Using this process you can cut and paste sections, phrases or individual words or sounds and move elements around.
15. Click and hold any track and choose to redo if wanted
16. Once you’re happy with your recording then click on the downwards pointing arrow at the top left and choose “My Songs” to save this recording and return to the list of any other recordings
17. To name this recording simply hold your finger on the recording icon for the recording you’ve just made and choose rename from the menu, give it a new name and click done.
18. To share this recording elsewhere or with others then hold your finger on the recording icon for the recording you’ve just made and click on the sideways arrow until you see share as an option and click on that.
19. Choose “Song” so that this will convert the GarageBand file into an audio recording which can be played back by others without the need for the GarageBand app.
20. Select the level of quality you wish than click “share” so that you can then choose how you wish to share it, whether by airdrop to another iPad or saved somewhere else of your choosing.
21. You can even save it to this iPad just into iPad Notes so you can keep it beside typed text without having to have an internet connection to share elsewhere – you can still share this note and the recording later elsewhere.
Do you want to add background music to the audio recording of spoken text?
GarageBand has a host of inbuilt musical instruments available from which to choose to create a musical backing track to your audio recording of the spoken text. You don’t have to add this but it can add another dimension to the recording, especially if the recording is to be shared elsewhere. Also, as the musical background track is being added, the learner once more listens to the text to which the background track is added each time adjustments are made.
You don’t need to be able to play the chosen instrument, or know much about music, since GarageBand includes options for using neat auto-creation wizards. For this guide the steps will show how to add a guitar backing track.
How to add a guitar backing track to audio recording of spoken text
Open the audio recording of spoken text you previously created in GarageBand
Ensure you are viewing in track mode (click on the track icon to the top left next to the downwards pointing arrow).
Click on the + symbol to the bottom left to add another track.
4. Slide from left to right until the guitar choice appears on screen
6. Now click on the icon which looks like a volume control dial at the top right
7. Click on the “Autoplay” dial so that the choice dot aligns with number 4 (you can make a different choice as you wish).
8. Try out creating music simply by clicking in turn on each chord to hear how it might sound. When you are ready to record the music simply click on the red record button, wait for the countdown, and then start playing your choice of chord buttons – note that you will hear the previously recorded audio recording of spoken text played back so that you will be able to match your guitar chords playing with this recording, and click on the white square stop icon to finish recording.
9. You can click on this guitar track to choose from the menus as to whether to delete and try again, or split and cut elements. You can adjust the relative volume of this track by sliding from the left and adjusting the volume control there.
10. Once ready to save and share this recording click on the downwards facing arrow at the top left
Looking to learn how to use more features of GarageBand iPad app?
Click on the link below for a free online manual on the Apple support site which guides you through every aspect of using the GarageBand app on an iPad
The video below “Beginner’s Guide to GarageBand for iPad” on the excellent Technology for Teachers and Students YouTube channel provides an introduction to using GarageBand on an iPad, including a host of tips and suggestions for using different features of the app.
Apple Teacher classroom-specific guide to using GarageBand
Click on the link below to sign up for the free Apple Teacher programme. This comprises standalone modules, one of which covers the use of GarageBand in a classroom setting
I came across this interview with the Fabulous Janelle Monáe just after the OER18 and FLOSS UK Conferences, when thoughts about openness, privilege and whose voices we allow to speak were very much at the forefront of my mind, and I really loved this quote:
“We have to really think who we’re endorsing, we really have to think about what it means to freely think, if it’s at the expense of the oppressed.”
I’m taking this quote completely out of context, but the point stands I think.
“I’m a free thinker and here’s a free thought: I think that if free thinking is rooted in the oppression of minorities, of black people, of the LBGTQIA people, of immigrants of women, then I don’t fuck with your free thoughts.”
I was so very, very saddened to hear of the death of Scott Hutchison, singer and lyricist of Frightened Rabbit today. I only came across the band a couple of years ago but I was deeply moved by Scott’s songs. He was a phenomenally talented writer and his songs uniquely captured the struggles so many face with alienation, depression, isolation and addiction. Scott faced all these demons in true Scottish style; with scathing wit, self-effacing humour and heartbreaking poetry. Seeing the outpouring of grief today, it’s clear that his songs helped many people who couldn’t find the words to speak for themselves.
I saw Frightened Rabbit play live a couple of times, I heard them bring the house down in Barrowlands in December 2016, and just a few months ago I squeezed into a rammed Academy for the 10th anniversary tour of The Midnight Organ Fight. One thing really struck me about that last gig, half way through the set the band played Poke, a very poignant, very grown up song about the kind of break up we’ve all been through. What was really striking about that song, on that night, was that the sound of the audience singing suddenly changed and for those glorious 3 minutes it was the voices of all the women in the crowd that raised the rafters. I think I may have shed a tear, I’ve certainly shed more that a few today.
Rest well now Scott and keep yourself warm.
Frightened Rabbit, Barrowlands Ballroom, December 2016. CC BY, Lorna M. Campbell
Chrome Music Lab is a free online music creation webtool from Google. It is described as “a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments” and can be used on any web-connected device through most Internet browsers, so it will work on desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone (just note that it does not work on Internet Explorer).
You don’t need to sign up for any account, you can just start creating right away, and exploring different features of music, and linking to other areas of the curriculum. These can be used in open-ended ways but direct links can be made to link to the science and mathematics of sound/music through practical activities looking at sound waves, vibrations, oscillations, or to artists like Kandinsky and relationship to shape.
Each tool is visually very user-friendly and younger users could simply explore by trial and error and still gain a lot from experimenting. For those who wish to explore further they will find each tool has a wide range of permutations to be adaptable for different ages, stages and learning outcome desired.
Join P4 students from Law Primary for some very loud music, as they learn about the thunderous Taiko drums of Japan. Get your earplugs ready as we get a demonstration from the Tsuchigumo Taiko Group. This highly physical form of music is guaranteed to leave you energized and upbeat.
After the demonstration you will get a chance to talk to the players and students from Law Primary to put your own questions.
I teach at the school attended by Roddy Frame of Aztec Camera and the reason I make that clear from the start is that ‘We Could Send Letters’ was the song to which I first properly listened to the lyrics, a song probably written when he was there. Indeed, in many ways, the album ‘High Land Hard Rain’, followed closely by ‘Rattlesnakes’, ‘Swoon’, perhaps the first Smiths album, saw the beginning of a love affair with words. It seems strange that I reflect on the fact that my life long love of words does not originate in a lifetime of reading great books but I suspect it’s true.
Before that I’d mostly listened to my parents’ music and, believe me, I thank them for that. Endless country albums, Elvis, Buddy Holly. Latterly Simon and Garfunkel. Flicking through piles of LPs, listening to everything; in the process inadvertently developing a wide ranging knowledge of music. LPs meant you pretty much had to listen to every song. However, while we decry the lack of attention span and awareness of great music in our young people, we have collectively ruined music for them. Young people don’t listen to albums any more. They choose only their favourite songs to download. Why listen to a whole album? But we criticise them for that even though it wasn’t a teenager who invented the iPod.
And their experience of TV and cinema is similar. Download only the programmes and movies you want to see; no more sitting through boring ‘black and white’ snorefests on afternoon TV. Those advances in technology have provided such a plethora of choices that it becomes almost impossible to distinguish between the good and the bad; all choices are merely choices. But we criticise young people for that even though it wasn’t a teenager who invented Netflix.
So perhaps school needs to be a place with fewer choices. Not ‘no choices’ but fewer and of greater quality. Like sending a reluctant reader to the library without your assistance or advice, kids don’t always have the knowledge or experience to make the best choices for themselves. Like my parents’ collection of LPs, perhaps we should parachute them into an environment filled with greatness; the best books, the best music, the best movies, the best art, the best everything. Maybe then, their choices will always be good ones.
Roddy Frame wrote those wonderful songs when he was teenager in East Kilbride, walking the corridors of my workplace (although that’s technically a lie as we’ve moved in to a new building but bear with me). Listening to his lyrics now merely confirms the greatness of his work. I’d like to think hearing them when I did changed me forever, along with the records I inherited. Passing on the best of the past so that our young people can appreciate their present and cope with their future should be the goal of education.
School should be a place where the only choices available are not merely good ones but great ones.
‘And now the only chance that we could take
Is the chance that someone else won’t make it all come true.’