Sutton Music Service’s mission, is to provide access to musical opportunities in all their forms, for every young person in the borough.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and resulting restrictions, required the Music Service to carefully look at how it digitally engages with children and young people. For most traditional musical activities, the preference will always be to have face-to-face rehearsals. However, the development of our digital pedagogy has created some exciting new opportunities in the past year or so.
At the start of the summer term, we launched our Beginners Online Music Production course using Microsoft Teams. We had a great response to these lessons, and the students have enjoyed learning the basics of Music Production. We started by looking at using Soundtrap, an online music program, to create some initial musical ideas. The students then developed these ideas into a complete piece and were excited to share their work.
Music production is the process of developing, creating and refining music for public presentation. It is seen in all elements of music – from song writing and composition to recording, sound design, mixing and mastering.
Soundtrap, the software used in this course, is a web-based Digital Audio Workstation. It allows students to create music with virtual instruments, record their work, use audio effects to enhance their pieces of music and much more!
The students have learned many skills such as composing music, mixing audio, and adding effects to audio and basic recording techniques throughout these sessions. Each week, we have focused on a different element of Music Production: composing melodies, synthesizers, drum machines, microphones, and basslines.
It has been great to see the students improve each week, as they become more comfortable within Soundtrap. Throughout these sessions, peer evaluation has been very important. We have encouraged students to listen to each other’s pieces to give feedback critically, which has been a very useful way for the students to understand better what makes a good piece of music.
It has been an excellent way to introduce more young people to music, and it is positive that they would like to continue using Soundtrap to create original music.
Here is an example of the students work on our SoundCloud page.