My First Original Pop Song – Hope

Last semester I did a subject called Popular Music Studies where, surprise surprise, we looked at.. Popular Music! But seriously if you think that’s dull, I’d like for you to comment below and tell me what your definition of Popular Music is – consider that a challenge. For our last assignment in the subject we had the chance to choose one of four different options:

  1. Create our own arrangement of a song
  2. Compose an original song
  3. Create a remix
  4. Make a suave tutorial video on how to play a particular song

I actually started out (under the impression that I couldn’t write) with the idea of creating a Vocoder arrangement of King’s Kaleidoscope’s Fix My Eyes, similar in style to that song called Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap. Soooo that didn’t work out like I would’ve hoped. Basically it was a cool idea, but I couldn’t get it to sound like I wanted. I was at my mates place one Saturday night working on his dope arrangement of Don’t Dream It’s Over by Crowded House and we decided that after a bit of dinner with Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Concords, that we would try and resurrect my arrangement. Yep. Didn’t quite work either, and at about 10:30 that night we gave up and thought, ‘Why don’t we try something new?’. So we grabbed all our recording gear, my synth and his mic and went down stairs into his family room and recorded the things we could see. We ended up making a cool beat with weird objects, like a fold up chess set, a cushion, a metal peacock and (my favourite), some tissues… By the time we finished (12:30am), it was definitely time I went home and got some sleep. However, I went home with a head full of new ideas for this new creation! By the following Thursday or so I’d managed to finish my first song, which I am still fairly pleased with. I am by no means a singer or a music producer, but I think I managed to get an okay mix. Let me know in the comments if you have any expert opinions/advice on it if you like. Here’s the finished product, hope you enjoy.

Also King’s Kaleidoscope is a great band – really, really creative. Here’s Fix My Eyes, which is the song I was going to try and make a cover of:

And here’s a cover (that in my opinion is better than the original) of Hide and Seek:

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Technology in Music Ed (TME) Class 2

How appropriate for our first proper lecture/tute/thing, to be in the Mac lab dungeon, deep in the depths of the Con. I’m pretty excited to be doing lots of hands on, practical things this semester.
Today, we looked at the potential of the Apple loops in the classroom: how to use, edit, and create our own, accompanied with various teaching implications. Something that stood out to me was that it’s a little unreasonable to go, ‘Hey kids, here’s the loop section in Garageband, go make a piece’. Students are going to benefit way more through proper lesson scaffolding, in the breaking down of steps.

A cool activity we learnt about might involve breaking down a song they already know and turning it into a collection of loops for them to find in Garageband. With guidance and special student oriented learning dust, the task could be to create their own remix of the song! Resulting in beautiful arranging skills – hooray!

Loops are fun. They certainly have their limits, but I wouldn’t scoff at them. They have lots of potential.

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Some thoughts on Week 1 in Technology in Music Education:

This first video is about the saturation of media in young children and how that impacts their later life. Dimitri Christakis shares the hypotheses and findings of his research in this very interesting TED talk. He asks questions like:

  1. Is it possible to over stimulate the developing brain?
  2. Is there a problem with having too much stimulation?
  3. Does the amount of media stimulation in early life have a lasting impact on an individual’s life, and in particular, their attention?

A study of the brain in early childhood shows that it is developing at its fastest rate. Therefore it is particularly important (of course this is always important) how we look after our children during the first 2 years of their lives. The brain literally triples in size according to Dimitri – I assume he has his facts correct.

Through his study, he concludes that children who have been exposed to too much stimulation and hyperactivity (particularly in media such as the TV etc.) have troubles with attention as they grow up (and I guess throughout their entire lives as well). This has many implications for education as increasingly children will have less and less attention spans and find it difficult to concentrate.

It’s pretty interesting, I recommend you spend a bit of time watching it as my little rant on it doesn’t do it justice

Here:

The next TED Talk is by Sugata Mitra. I actually found his talk to be quite fascinating, provocative and inspiring. I’m not sure what it is about TED talks but they always seem to address large, interesting questions and ideas. I don’t have much to say on Mitra’s talk, but it’s definitely worth a watch (to the end!). He conducts his own experiments, giving less resourced people a computer and discovers what and how they learn. And the results are really, really cool.

Here’s a statement of his to ponder on: “Schools as we know them now are obsolete”

He asks, how is present day schooling going to help kids in our world?

Big ideas and big questions..

Anyways, if you have any thoughts or ideas, shoot me a reply, I’d be interested hear.

Greetings,

Nice to meet you! Clearly, this is my very first blog post, so here goes..

I have created this blog for a course I am studying at University this semester, which is Technology in Music Education (I am studying a Music Education degree). Most of my initial posts will be with uni in mind, but I hope to use this blog in the future to share things I like along with some resources etc.. We will see what happens! If you wish to contact me, please click here

Cheerio,

Jonno