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Tapping into your musical/improvisational ideas and skills for my classroom!



Hello Live Looper List!

This is Margaret here, I chime in from time to time and am very much looking forward to Y2K8 this October!

In order addition to working as an artist, I teach high school. This is my second year and my bread and butter, the good news is that I love my job. I am designated as the sound production and digital arts instructor. My school is founded on project based learning, it is free to students and functions as a charter school. If you are curious about the school, here is the link:

http://www.hightechhigh.org/

So, why am I reaching out to you all?

Basically, I have free reign with my curriculum. I am about to start a 10 week class with a group of 25 tenth graders. I want to focus exclusively on sound, listening and musical movements (no visual content). I plan on screening lots of documentaries and presenting listening exercises for exposure and dialog. Additionally, I want to have morning group improvisational exercises. Maybe 5 minutes or so of performance, then record it and play it back to class. It assumed that most  (maybe all) students have absolutely no musical training thus the goal is to create exercises where success is easy for the newbie. It is also assumed that these kids definitely will have moments of shyness and/or pressure to be cool thus  anything that goes too far might be rejected.

Here are some ideas I have for tools (suggestions, recommendations based on super low budget please):

- Having the students craft very cheap tonal single notes from pipes for a tonal tool and having them create an atonal percussive instrument (like shakers).

- Sending an audio out from every classroom computer/midi controller to a central mixer for computer based sounds improvisational exercises.

Now exercises: this is where I need alot of help with:

- I am  thinking of hybrid versions of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCZEckS5X94

And just to throw one more curve ball out when considering this course, I am no musical expert and have been getting by  with production more than musicianship for my work.

Ok, so there it is! I am looking for your input on listening exercises (musical and purely sound-art), instrument construction, improvisational warm-ups and even performance or recording projects.

Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you all!!!!!

http://margaretnoble.net/