(Orchestra Students Compose, Draw and Write in A Classical Music Assignment, n.d.)
Even today, music and band have typically been “listen and learn” classes. The typical assignment might include learning the names of music notes, playing the corresponding sounds on a given instrument, and if you were advanced, you might play by ear or play a faster version of a song with 8th and 16th notes. Band or music teachers may have also provided music composition sheets and assigned you to compose (and play) your music using a worksheet like an example shared above. This example shows a student artifact from a high school orchestra class. This assignment allows students to share an understanding of music notes and playing ability and is a step above memorizing and labeling notes, even encouraging creativity. Students use traditional writing to compose their music. However, in reflecting upon modern ways of meaning-making, I found an example from a California school district.
One newly innovative way a school in California has taken the traditional band class to new heights is by integrating technology into a project. This project allows students to create music and alter instrumental sounds by connecting their instruments to a digital interface and coding them to sound and operate in creative ways. Students develop an interest in the music sounds they can create, but they creatively code and build to make new knowledge, which they will eventually share with others. This video shows an example of the student artifacts, the digital interface, which they will continue to revise throughout the class.
This way of learning music moves away from the memorization and pen and paper aspect of learning music and extends it to the maker space, where students incorporate technology to create new sounds through coding and integration. Students have become active knowledge makers and display learning via the digital interface, with the auditory and visual means of assessment. I believe this is a great way to implement and integrate arts into STEM. What are your thoughts?
ISTE. (2020, January 10). Innovative designer 4c: Prototypes (ISTE standards for students) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTFzLg3dY80&feature=youtu.be
Orchestra students compose, draw and write in a classical music assignment. (n.d.). Amherst Schools. Retrieved May 15, 2022, from https://www.amherstschools.org/orchestra