It’s always amazing how one little idea can turn into a whole new life style for one classroom. You make one small change thinking nothing is going to become of it but in reality the students can take that one little idea to new heights and create a whole new motivation to bring more music in to the school.
As some remember from a previous post, I decided to start up a recording space in my classroom.
Cleaning out the closet was the easy part. After cleaning, I set an iPad with the recording app Pocket Wavepad and had the students record their final result to their Silly Rap Rhythms. After I had finished with these projects at both schools I thought it would be time to close up shop on the studio thinking no more would come of it. I really was truely wrong with that thought. It seemed the recording studio had brought about so much buzz that would just not go away. I had students begin to come up to me right and left asking for permission to record a song they had been practicing or one that they had been WRITING. I had to keep it open! It would just not have felt right if I hadn’t!
When letting students into my closet to record, rules had to be posted in there. We came up with them as classes before for our projects so I took the top 3 that really covered everything and posted it in there:
1.) Be Safe- Do not touch anything other than the recording equipment and your things, stay off the shelves and keep off of the boxes on the floor.
2.) Be prepared- Rock stars are ready to record before they head into the studio, have your song written and practiced before you record!
3.) Be Respectful- No one likes a Diva, work together if you’re with a partner, and be respectful of the equipment, yourselfs, and eachother.
If students followed these then the studio stayed open, and most of the time it did, I might have had one or two people I kicked out of there for fooling around.
Students are required to check with me to make sure they have a finished song before signing up for the room. It becomes fun for me to give them advice on their tune and help them with lyrics and melody along the way. I always tell them “You come up with the ideas, I just help you elevate them” they always need to come to me with something down on the paper before we go on. When they are ready for sign up my sheet is posted next to the room door and looks like this:
Name Class Song Title Time to Record (Not during class) Need a CD?
(Can I use?)
Students know I can’t allow them to disturb another class so they must come in during one of my prep times or before or after school. I am only there for technical emergencies as well. They know by now how to work the recording equipment and should not need my help unless the iPad goes boom or something terrible like that.
After they are done they leave, I take the sheet and recordings at the end of the week and using file sharing on iTunes I take the songs and will put them on cheap burnable CDs for those who request them. They also answer the question on whether or not I may use there song for things as school events and conference presentations. I never use faces or names so most are ok with it. I am working with our principals to possibly turn this into a CD program for next year and use CD sales as a fundraiser for the school.
Aside from having budding songwriters and hard core musicians walk in and out of my classroom at all hours of the school day, I also began using it to record students for assessments as well. My fourth graders have been working so hard on their recorders, they jump at the opportunity for me to be able to hear them one on one!
Do you have a space to record in your room?