Teacher Review for GarageBand

Thinking Beyond Composition: Great for Ensemble Skills!

Christina O.
Classroom teacher
Clear Spring Elementary School
Clear Spring, United States
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My Grades 4, 5, 6, 7
My Subjects Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Individual
Practice
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
ELL
General
Low literacy
How I Use It
I have used this app two different ways in my elementary classroom: for student creation and for instrumental practice. For student creation, this app was used to modify and redesign a composition project. We had worked on composition projects in the past, but being able to hear as my students composed, was the greatest feature for them. Not only were my students able to select a variety of instruments, they were also able to record themselves to add into their composition. In terms of instrumental practice, I performed and recorded each instrumental part of our concert songs into Garage Band. From there, my students were able to either play along with the entire band accompaniment or isolate their individual part. This provided a decent correlation between pedagogy and technology, while working towards the content of playing an instrument. While there are other apps and resources that are similar, this app has been a perfect addition to my classroom.
My Take
This is a great app for developing creativity and ensemble skills. Students are given a great deal of freedom in creating their own compositions. The downside is that the teacher truly needs to set high expectations. Students will want to play with this app if not given the appropriate direction. Although students can transfer their work out of the app, it is limited and there is no possibility for collaboration among students. This tool is fantastic at developing ensemble skills though. Students have the ability to play-along with an entire band accompaniment or to isolate their individual part. This makes it a valuable tool for elementary beginning band and my classroom.