The End

After a long semester of packed schedules, late night classes and 7 weeks of practical experience, I have finally finished my 6th semester /3rd year of my course. Only one more year to go.

 

I have learnt so much this semester, particularly more practical and hands on aspects vs the theory side, which can be attributed to my vocal and ensemble pedagogy classes, my prac experience at NBCS, composition in music ed and (most importantly) this subject ; technology in music education.

 

I have written lots of blog posts on every class in thie subject if you want to read them below, but I just wanted to summarise the most important things (that I learnt/took away) from this course

 

  1. Blog posts : although they were annoying at times, it is really nice to be able to go back and reflect on what I learnt, and it also has allowed me to do a bit of further, deeper thinking after each class as I had to go and find extra resources etc.
  2. BYOD: as I mentioned in one of my blogs, I started with the byod program when I entered year 7 and my high school was the only school that I knew that had started to implement it – 8 years from then I think I will be surprised to find a school that didn’t implement some sort of byod program (or at least a school in my local area). This subject in particular introduced me to the idea of ipads as BYOD devices. I knew that some students used them of course, but I had never really thought about them and the countless apps that are on the Apple Store which can be used within all subjects, not just music ed
  3. The maker movement and the hands on experience: it was refreshing to have a couple of classes where we could sit individualy or with a partner and figure things out, such as the launchpads and some of the ipad apps. This has given me many ideas for future lesson ideas
  4. And finally : the project I did with K. I learnt so much during the time that we did our garageband project together, not just the countless hours that I spent on hype, googledocs and screenflow, but the time management skills and the countless failures allowed me to grow as a educator, and also allowed me to learn skills which I can use in future assignments, and future classroom lessons. Presenting our project on Friday night to future and current music educators was a wonderful experience, which left me with so much to reflect upon, as there were so many teachers from so many different types of schools that said that they could see our project working in various unique ways that I had never thought of – (i.e using our project as a resource for older teachers to learn about garageband, so they can set an assignment on recording or remixes)

 

That’s all for now!

 

I will see you again next year for more music education packed blog posts !

 

Louise

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Comp Diary:

Blog Post 1: 12/10

 

The third and final assignment for my composition in music education class consists of composing an original piece for 2-3 minutes based off the previous assignment (Baby Steps) Although I have not yet completed my baby step assignment as it is not due for about another week, I need to get started on my composition as firstly: I have no idea how to write one and secondly : where do I even start.

 

My baby steps assignment consists of composing several short ostinatos or melodies and expanding on them, with opportunities to layer and also possibly a improvisation section at the very end, but I am not entirely sure if I will do that yet. The baby steps assignment is based off a composition by Bree van Reyk called

Light for the First Time (for Small Ensemble and Auxiliary Players) and although it the piece is heavily based off expressive techniques, I have decided to base my baby steps of the smaller, more subtle elements of the piece :

 

I took my inspiration from these two excerpts from the piece, where the ideas/ fragments of ostinatos occur , specifically in the violin part.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.52.52 pmScreen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.02 pm

 

Blog Post 2: 16/10

 

I have finally finished my Baby Steps assessment resource. As I said before, I based my steps off ostinatos. Here is a quick summary of the steps that I made :

 

  1. Learning about and identifying ostinatos
  2. Playing ostinatos
  3. Looking at how we can develop ostinatos
  4. Making your own rhythmic ostinato
  5. Adding pitch to your ostinato
  6. Recording your ostinato
  7. Layering another ostinato (and recording it)
  8. Improvising over your ostinatos

 

I am now going to start making my own composition. I have decided to follow through on my own baby steps (specifically steps 4, 5 and 8).

 

Blog Post 3: 23/10

 

I just had a 5-minute composition tutorial with the comp tutor, who gave me lots of feedback. I think that even I can agree that what I put up wasn’t my best work, but I honestly don’t know what to write for. The tutor gave me some very valuable advice: go home, get out your clarinet and improvise a small ostinato that you could work with.

 

This is what I came up with:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.07 pm

I then extended it through layering (exactly like my baby step number 7)

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.15 pm

I am now going to work on this, and see how far I can extend it.

 

Blog Post 4: 25/10

I have changed around my comp a little bit, and have decided to put the first section in unison, then develop the ostinato into more of a melodic line (starting bar 5)

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.22 pm

I then repeated the motif again, with the intention of now adding a brand new section to it as a B section. I have also started to add bass notes on the Clarinet 2 part, to experiment with what I could do as an accompanying part. I probably wont have this on here by the end result, but it is good to experiment.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.28 pm

Blog Post 5: 27/10

 

 

I have now added an extension of the melody through experimenting with off beat and on beat pairs of quavers. I did this to add a slight off the beat/jazzy feel which I may possibly extend to changing time signatures or possibly experimenting with rubato – possibly something with off the beat looping, but I am not exactly sure yet.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.33 pm

Blog Post 6: 28/10

 

I decided that the last part of the comp was a bit to slow, and I wanted to stick with a fast tempo and a constantly moving pace throughout my work. Keeping with the theme of composing ostinatos/melodies and layering/developing them (from my baby steps.) I composed another descending line to be my next motif /melody

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.38 pm

 

I got this idea from this piece: as I was browsing through scores and youtube videos of clarinet duets

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.48 pm

I have also started to look at some other pieces for inspiration. I know it’s a bit late – but better late then never. I found this piece whilst searching for inspiration on youtube and decided that I really liked the first 45 secs of it and then from 1:10-35 (before it turns all jazzy) and there are several things that I could pull out from it :

which are :

  • The low pitched quaver movement
  • The flowing higher pitched melodyScreen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.55 pm

 

  • The intertwining of parts (1 clarinet has the melodic movement while the other has the long notes – then it switches to and forth)Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.53.59 pm
  • The simple yet beautiful melodic movement with the simple accompaniment

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.03 pm

Blog Post 7: 30/10

 

I have changed my mind (yet again) and I have decided to base my composition off a basic ABA structure, with a fast section at the start, followed by a slower section in the middle, then the first section returns. I did this to show the different tone qualities that a clarinet can produce.

 

In this screenshot, you can see that I have started to compose a slower B section, which I did by making a rhythmic ostinato by using crotchets and minims. Then I experimented with pitch using my clarinet . i will now start to figure out how my sections will connect.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.09 pm

Upon researching for inspiration I also found a few other pieces, which I could pick apart. I took inspiration from this piece:

which features a very slow section and then a faster quaver section.

 

I also looked at this for inspiration as the both of the clarinet parts at the start look like they could have been inspired by ostinatos (just like in my baby steps assignment)

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.14 pm

I also found a very similar piece which does nearly the same thing :

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.18 pm

Blog Post 8: 01/11

 

Here is a overview of my whole composition so far. Since I last wrote on this blog, I have tried to connect the B and 2nd A section. I have also added some more low notes (just like what I did at the beginning) to begin to show the full pitch range of the Clarinet. I think I will also take the slow part up an 8ve, to show the range but I have to figure out a way in which the two parts wont sound completely separate.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.22 pm

Blog Post 9: 3/11

 

Yesterday, as a part of the course (and the assignment) I presented the 2 minutes of my comp to the class to gain feedback. This is a summary of what I got back:

  • Nice melody – catchy and sounds nice on the clarinet
  • you could add some articulation and dynamics
  • I don’t know if you’ve made the decision, but it feels like clarinet 1 has more material and clarinet 2 is like the countermelody/accompaniment figure.
  • The interplay between the two parts is fun.
  • Add more range of the clarinet
  • Add more diverse motivic material, it all starts to sound the same towards the end.
  • Lovely energy! Make sure you mark up both parts with lots of dynamics, articulation marks and gestures. Writing for 2 parts is actually much harder that writing for 3 because harmony. So, you need to make up for that by really exploring the full range of the instruments, and the different timbres they can produce (or, add in a third instrument!).
  • You set up the great energy at the start, but the middle section around bar 29 really loses it, and even when we come back to the more rhythmic stuff we’re a bit flat … again, I think you can get this back by really thinking about texture and timbre!

 

 

I an going to respond to this feedback in small chunks. I am firstly going to look at what I could do with the second slow section. I decided to take the notes and make another fast section with it. This is what I came up with so far:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.30 pm

I then decided to see if I could make a new section of the piece that was inspired based off the starting melody. I did this through taking the very first section and then creating a faster counterpart. I don’t know if I will keep this but it is good to experiment.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.33 pm

I then expanded the ideas more across both of the clarinets:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.38 pm

Here is a overview of my piece so far:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.42 pm

Blog Post 10: 06/11

 

After going over the feedback that I gained from my peers, I have decided to experiment more with the pitch range of the clarinet. Instead of using that fast part that I just made, I have decided to experiment with the lower range of the clarinet, particularly with the lowest note of the clarinet (low E) I got out my clarinet and went back to my baby step assignment and I improvised this small melodic line /ostinato, which I like a lot better than what I had written down before

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.47 pm

I then expanded the melody I created, and experimented with a way that I could connect it to my first section (see the highlighted part). I will now look at how I can expand this throughout my piece.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.51 pm

I have also started looking at some more inspiration for my piece. I found this piece:

…which has a constantly moving quaver figure in the second clarinet part, which switches to the first clarinet part whilst the second clarinet has the melody. This is sort of similar to what I already have, and I will explore this further in my own comp.

 

Also, I really like the contrast between the low pitch range of the 2nd clarinet vs the higher pitch of the clarinet as I have also started within this in my own comp, I think I will keep it and expand on it.

Blog Post 11: 09/11

 

After reflecting back on the feedback that I got from my peers, I have decided that I will add a 3rd clarinet part, to focus more on harmony and add more intertwining of parts.

For now, I have put a couple of low notes in the 3rd part, to fill in the rests from the melody. I think that I will keep the 3rd clarinet in the lower octave as I would love to experiment with contrast of pitch octaves across all the parts.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.54.56 pm

I then added in some low notes to experiment for the rest of the piece.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.00 pm

 

Then I started to experiment with basic rhythmic ostinatos in the third clarinet part (just like my baby step assignment)

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.05 pm

Blog Post 12: 10/11

As I was looking at my comp, I came to the realisation that I was stretching my material too far and that my clarinet 2 part was basically in unison with clarinet 1, and clarinet 3 was the ostinato backing figures. Because clarinet 2 was so similar to clarinet 1 I decided to go back to my original idea of having 2 clarinets. Because I previously had the issue of clarinet 1 having all the glory of having the main part. I have decided that I will let clarinet 2 have the main part in my second section. I also did a little bit more of experimentation with rhythm for my clarinet 2 ostinato part.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.09 pm

Blog Post 13: 12/11

 

I have worked a little bit more on my 2nd part of my ABA structure and I am now looking at how I can connect the 2nd part with my final section/coda. The highlighted section of the score shows how I have created a long D with a rhythmic attack to connect the two parts, however I am not sure if I will keep it – but it is a good starting point.

 

I also added some more ostinato inspired rhythmic patterns from bar 45 in the 2nd clarinet part. I have also decided to keep the last 2 bars of the piece in rhythmic unison, to reflect the unison segment at the beginning of the piece.

 

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.13 pm

 

Blog Post 14: 13/11

 

I have decided to keep the descending scalic figure inspired motif for my second section, and I have expanded it throughout the middle part of my song. I moved some parts around (so I added in a extra empty part so I don’t loose anything and I have some space to experiment with) and I have given the bottom clarinet the main melodic line (at the bottom) I also decided to see how I could add the ostinato rhythmic figure into my comp (see bar 29)

This is a overview of my comp so far:

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.34 pm

Blog Post 15: 14/11

I have spent a bit of time filling in the spare parts. So far all I have added is a unison section and then a long note descending line over the top (to see what I like best or to see if I could possibly make a mix of the two parts)

 

I then split the descending melodic across the two instruments and continued with my previous idea of having one line stop as the other starts, to create a ongoing melodic phrase. I also added some rhythmic ostinato parts on the spare (top) part, to see what I could do when the 2 parts aren’t playing the melodic idea.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.44 pm

I did this by first creating this rhythmic ostinato (just like my baby steps):

 

Blog Post 16: 15/11

Here is a full version of the score so far – I think that I am coming to the end of it. All I need to do now is go over everything, fix up some dodgy notation, fill in the middle section and add lots and lots of dynamics and expressive techniques. However, I think that I might play through the comp on my clarinet once it has finished and add the techniques and dynamics as I am playing – so I can logically see where they should be placed. The next step is filling these in, then recording !

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 9.55.52 pm

Blog Post 17: 16/11

 

Setback! I have managed to injure my hand involving an unfortunate incident whilst making tea at my Saturday morning coffee shop. I was hoping to record my comp myself, but now its too late for me to do that and I will have to ask a peer or one of my students to do that. However I can still go through and half play my comp, so I can place all the dynamics and expressive techniques into it – so not all is lost.

IMG_4667IMG_4668

 

Blog Post 18: 16/11

 

Recording complete!

 

Today I sat down and recorded my comp with one of my year 11 students. I borrowed one of the zoom recorders from the library and I bought a sd card to use, and it worked great!

 

Since some of the rhythms are a bit tricky it did take us a while (and I have 21 audio clips to now go through) but in my opinion, anything is better than the midi files on Sibelius.

 

Overall this has been both a very challenging and rewarding experience. There are so many things that I would change if I started again, but I am happy with what the final score is, and I am happy with how often I incorporated my baby steps into my assignment, and how multiple steps are reflected both within the piece and in the process of the piece (i.e improvising over ostinatos or improvising with the ostinatos to create a counter/part b ostinato)

 

Blog Post 18: 16/11

 

Recording complete!

 

Today I sat down and recorded my comp with one of my year 11 students. I borrowed one of the zoom recorders from the library and I bought a sd card to use, and it worked great!

 

Since some of the rhythms are a bit tricky it did take us a while (and I have 21 audio clips to now go through) but in my opinion, anything is better than the midi files on Sibelius.

 

Overall this has been both a very challenging and rewarding experience. There are so many things that I would change if I started again, but I am happy with what the final score is, and I am happy with how often I incorporated my baby steps into my assignment, and how multiple steps are reflected both within the piece and in the process of the piece (i.e improvising over ostinatos or improvising with the ostinatos to create a counter/part b ostinato)

Untitled

Project Blog Post #13

 

WE HAVE FINISHED

 

After a long and exhausting semester and probably about 100 hours (im not exaggerating ) of work on this assignment we have finally got it up and running !

 

Our lecturer was the absolute biggest legend and allowed us access so that our project could be placed onto his website for everyone to view.

 

There is a link to it right HERE.

 

We still have a couple of tiny, tiny, tiny things to upload (ie. The first link has the wrong tutorial on it, but we have asked the lecturer to upload a new source that we have given him) but I can finally say that we have finished and it has been well worth the hassle and I am extremely proud of K and I for achieving and creating such a complex project.

 

I have a couple of resources that I made to go along with my blog posts that I will make in a googledrive here. I have made videos of me recording the tutorials, using ScreenFlow to edit, crop and export the videos etc. Check it out!

 

I will do one final post on here after K and I present our project to the world on our presentation of learning night.

 

Goodbye GarageBand, Reflector, ScreenFlow and all the other programs that we used for our project, thank you for all the things you have taught me and the many, many hours of trial and error that made this project as amazing at is is!

 

 

Lecture 12: Final provocations

 

Todays lecture was the last lecture of our Technology in Music Education course and also the final lecture of my 6th semester of my degree. Looking back to the beginning of the semester and what I knew, I feel so much happier and more experienced with technology in the classroom and I really, really, really appreciate all the practical and informal learning aspects that were within this course (they weren’t just educational, they were fun and almost made me feel like a kid again.)

 

Whilst the lecturer did do a final lecture about the course, I want to talk about the very ending , where we talked about mindfulness, organisation and stress levels. This semester I will admit that I definitely have not been the most organised with my assignments, as having the 7 week block of prac in the middle of uni has really thrown me off.. especially with basically all the assignments for the semester all being due in a 3 week block, however I pushed past it and I am very thankful that K and I completed our assignment for this class during our prac experience block.

 

One important time management tip that I learnt from this lecture, wasn’t actually a tip – it was a program that the lecturer uses called Wunderlist (see a link here)

 

Which helps you break down your tasks into smaller chunks, making you work more efficiently. I also love the super handy element of putting in reminders or pushing back tasks to further dates – as it is something I do all the time, and I always forget to write them down. I will be downloading Wunderlist before my exams and I really hope that it will be a massive help now and in my future.

Lecture 11

Todays lecture time was dedicated to spending time on our assignments for the course. As my partner K was in the other class, I attended the last 30 minutes of her class to work with her as we double triple checked everything (and we found a few mistakes!) and we also discussed how we were going to present our project in the presentation of learning night.

 

Lecture 10 : Mix up Mash up!

Todays lecture flowed on quite nicely from the one that we had earlier in the week as we went a little bit further into the world of DJ’s and technology in the music classroom.

 

Todays lecture was the last official one before we have the next few lectures to work on our projects (to fix up the nitty gritty things and for K and I, figuring out how we are going to present our project) We reviewed the course and what we have learnt and took one last final look at how we can be creative with technology, and how technology can be creative in the classroom.

 

Following on from the previous lecture, we discussed the great things DJ’s (and their technology) can do, but we also discussed issues such as copyright and authenticity and how they play a part in the role of the DJ and how they create their own work.

 

We had a close look up at the role of mash ups in DJ territory – which took me back to an assignment in year 10 where I had to take a film clip and use garage band loops to make a mash up of audio. I highly doubt that is till have it but if I do ill put it at the bottom. I thought that this idea would be a great, fun, entertaining and interactive way to start to gradually introduce composition within the classroom, and is definitely something that a multitude of years and levels could do.

 

I have linked a couple of mash up videos that I liked below of a couple of mix up-mash up videos some DJ’s/producers have made to show the variety of work that can be produced:

 

 

Lecture 9: The place of music in 21st Century Education

Todays lecture was all about technology (of course!). I will admit it wasn’t quite what I was expecting but I thoroughly enjoyed both the lecture side (because it was interactive which I love!) and the practical side.

 

The main focus of the lecture was basically how music technology is allowing us (and students) to view, experience and immerse themselves in a massive array of musical styles and skills, sometimes with literally just a couple of clicks on a phone or keyboard.

 

I learnt a lot during this lecture about DJ’s and how they relate to the music education world. As I just came from a very technologically based music classroom from my prac experience, I am familiar with a lot of the equipment that DJ’s use (such as launchpads etc) and how they can be used within the classroom, but due to the hectic classes and both the HSC trials and official HSC, I never got a chance to sit down and experiment with how all of the technology worked. I was really happy when the lecturer brought all of this equipment to the classroom for us all to try and experiment with, as it did give me a bit more context in regards to my prac school and made me appreciate the experience that I had a LOT more. I have found a few videos for you here if you want to see how a Launchpad works and all the super cool things that It can do for you to see (that I saw during the performances at my prac school) with a few other videos on how they can be used with iPads (think back to the BYOD blog post that I did not too long ago)

 

 

 

 

 

Also here is a super cool fact that I learnt during the lecture: the opening beat track of Rihanna’s song Umbrella is actually a sample from track on GarageBand!! Check it out here.