Thinking Like a Composer

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Thinking Like a Composer: Soundtrap Compositions– These lessons are designed to get the children “thinking like a composer” by composing their own pieces with the cross-platform music program, called, Soundtrap.

 

  1. Go to soundtrap.com.  There are educational and personal versions of this program.  Make sure that you attempt to login to the personal version.   The basic personal account is free, but each student can keep only five songs in Soundtrap’s cloud.  This is a workable limitation in that the songs can be downloaded, saved on the computer or CD and then erased from Soundtrap’s cloud.  Students at Forest Park have access to Google accounts, which gives them access to Soundtrap’s basic personal account.
  2. Click on Login and set up an account as discussed above:

Login with Google:

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Below, you will see you home page.  This shows the compositions that you are working on and it is where you and/or your students will need to delete the pieces, when finished, to make room for new songs.   Click on the button, labeled “Enter Studio,” to begin working on a new composition:

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Below you will see the options recommended to you by Soundtrap.  Students like to play with the templates, but the real work begins by either choosing the “Blank Page” of clicking away the options, by clicking on “X.”

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Then, click on the purple circle, with the eighth notes to see the loops that are available to your or your student’s account.

Your students will have lots of fun listening to these loops and dragging them into the studio and try them out in their compositions.

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Click on “Add New Track” and choose the microphone to use the computer’s mic to record a voice, acoustic instrument, etc.

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Picture7You may also use the computer’s keyboard as a piano keyboard.  A touch screen computer makes using the built-in piano keyboard much easier to work with.

There is much more to explore in this program and you and your students will discover them by trial and error.  A class of fifth graders makes an excellent research team!Picture6

This is one of the first activities for the year and should last at least two full weeks (four classes), followed by presentations and student self-assessments, as mentioned above.  Every student is required to fill out the following survey after this activity is completed at the beginning of the year (pre-assessment) and at the end of the year (post-assessment):

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Recorders!

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I have recorders available that third and fourth grade students can purchase for only $3.00 a piece.  I haven’t enough to sell to their siblings, so please purchase recorders only for the students from those classes.  I also will be keeping recorders in the classroom for students who forget to bring their instruments to school.

Third Graders will also be participating in a very exciting project called The Carnegie Hall – Oregon Symphony Link Up Concert.  All third and fourth grade students will be singing and playing recorder with the OREGON SYMPHONY! – More information will follow as I receive it.

Forest Park Band Program

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Dear Students and Parents of the Forest Park Community:    

Welcome to another exciting year of band Forest Park Elementary!

First Year band will meet at 7:15 AM – 7:45 AM on Thursdays (beginning on October 4th).

Second Year band will meet at 7:15 AM – 7:45 AM on Tuesday mornings (beginning on October 2nd).

There are a limited number of school instruments available to rent, including flutes, clarinets, cornets (trumpet), trombones, violins, violas and cellos.  We will ask for more instruments from the district as the need arises.

Instrument rental is $75 for the school year.  They must be returned before the summer, but we will reserve fourth grade students’ instruments for rental during the following year.  I have printed out contracts for instrument rental, but you may download the contract and more detailed information about the process from: http://www.ppsarts.com/instrument-rental-form/  Be sure to fill out the form completely and get it to me ASAP.  You may bring these completed forms to the office so that may be put in my box.

Keep in mind that you will likely get a better instrument and better maintenance for it if you rent the instrument from a local music store.  These usually rent for around $20 per month.  Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing an instrument so I may help you find the best instrument for the best price.  Often students will use instruments pass down from a sibling, parent or grandparent.  I recommend taking these to an instrument repair shop to make sure they are in working order.  Instruments may develop problems over time even when they are not being used.

Euphoniously Yours,

Dr. Bob Price

Forest Park Band Expectations

Playing a musical instrument can be fun and rewarding, but it does require a bit of discipline to be able to go beyond just playing Hot Cross Buns to being able to read music and participate in a music ensemble.  Every student will get a minimum of 30 minutes per week of instruction on his/her instrument at Forest Park Elementary.  This is not very much time.  Certainly, if a student only plays their instrument during class, s/he will NOT know how to play it even after a year of coming to class; and attempting to playing the instrument will be frustrating.  Daily practice is vital for learning to perform on any musical instrument.  The better we get at playing an instrument the more fun it is!

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All band students will use the book,   Standard of Excellence Level 1, for their particular instrument. These may be purchased through Amazon or from a local music store for less than $10.

 

The instrumental classes will provide clear instructions so that students will know what to practice during the rest of the week.  It is recommended that every student practice at least 30 minutes per day.

I also highly recommend each student taking private lessons on their instruments as time and money will allow. All of the best musicians I have met received many private lessons as a child.  Individual instruction far surpasses class instruction because the private teachers are experts on the specific instrument the students are playing and they are listening and solving technical problems for just one student at a time.  Let me know if you need help finding a good private teacher.