When you think of middle and high school band, you probably envision many students playing their instruments in a large group setting, learning the music together.
At Johnson Creek, choral director Brandon Jensen and instrumental music director Dominic Gischia have been incorporating technology into their curriculum to improve their programs. Recently, the district purchased some iPad minis, along with the “Blue Snowball,” a higher end recording microphone. This allows students to record themselves practicing their parts individually or in small groups. The instructors then use Google Drive to collect all of the student recordings, in which they are building a student music portfolio. Students then have the opportunity to critique their work, as well as look back over the years to see improvement.
The iPads also allow the students to record with Garage Band. This would allow them to record multiple tracks with multiple instruments. In the future, the instructors are looking at making a small recording room with higher-end microphones and equipment that will allow students to record full songs as a small group.
Next year, a course titled “School of Rock” will be offered. The plan is to have all students compose and record their own song. A music video may not be out of the realm of possibilities with this course.
To keep up with what is happening in the JC Band program, be sure to follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/creekbands/