Composition Using Todays Technology

I am currently at the Michigan Music Conference where all the states music educators meet up for our annual Professional Development that is so very vital to our mental stability as music educators!

I am pleasantly surprised by the high number of sessions being presented about song writing this year!

One great session I attended was by John Churchill from Go Like The Wind School a Montessori school in Ann Arbor, MI. John has been doing composition with his students for like 11 years now. He’s finding great success and satisfaction in this process – satisfaction for himself and more importantly for his students/school/community.

I simply want to point you in the direction of his schools BandCamp site where they have an amazing collection of student created albums from the past 11 years! Here is John website as well-

I’d then like to mention that he is making great use of (online music notation) and also (think online GarageBand sort of service)

If you are not using these tools with your students you should be!

img_1101-2The last thing I want to leave you with is a discussion that Chris Russell from and I had tonight. Chris is actually here in Michigan and finally we got a chance to meet face to face. I say finally because we have “known” each other ever since the iPad was released and we both started blogging about it but since we live about 12 hours we have never actually met! Chris came to the Michigan Music Conference to present this year though so it’s been good to sit and talk as well as get a chance to watch him present. We also took the opportunity to record out 7th ME&T podcast while we were sitting in the same room! Look for that soon!

One of our discussions was music composition using todays technology – using tech like Ableton Live and Loops and Roli Blocks and the list could go on and on. It is such a different approach than we had back in the day we were learning traditional music composition techniques on traditional instruments. It is a great discussion to have with other music teachers!

Anyways here was my main point – put this tech into the hands of kids, give them some gentle guidance along with some restrictions (that they may or may not even realize is there) and let them go! Let them play!

To show you what can happen take a listen to this composition that was posted tonight in the iPad Musician group from another one of the people that is in my online professional development group that I will probably never get a chance to meet face to face because he is from Australia! Here is his post….

FROM iPAD MUSICIANS FACEBOOK GROUP all the way from –  Kiama, NSW, Australia

A bit of Saturday morning gadget fun. Lexington leads played by my 5 year old son, using ac sabre. Quite amusing to watch him get into it 😃

Their composition is at the bottom of this post. The two apps he mentions are….

Korg Gadget Small IconGadget

AC Sabre Icon.pngAC Sabre from  AirCraft

AC Sabre is an iPhone only app because it uses the gyroscope in your iPhone and turns it into amazing messages that then control other apps like Gadget in this case – or go watch this YouTube video the developer made about controlling the Model 15 Icon200pxModel 15 app – outstanding!

The AC Sabre MIDI Instrument and Motion Controller app  is 60% off until January 31st by the way so it is currently only $4.99!


Here is that song father and son came up with –


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