Music mixing

I’m finally getting to grips with the school music computer programmes.  It’s taken a long time.  I was just getting used to Cubase, and this year we’re using Musicmaker.  So I listened to the teacher explaining it all – she starts by demonstrating how to use it on her laptop which is linked to an interactive whiteboard so that everyone can see it – and I took notes on my phone.  Then, when all the pupils went off into small groups, I was able to help with problems.  I unashamedly look it up, I don’t pretend to know more than I do.

The afternoon group are quite different from the morning one, much more inclined to relate to me as a person than a teacher-figure.  It’s quite interesting in that respect, that the style of the class is so different.  I’ve noticed that I’m more relaxed this year, I’m finally feeling as confident as I pretend to be.

I was in a GCSE class last week, with a governor hat on (on helping days, I’m a friend of the school and unpaid assistant).  Part of the lesson involved analysis of a Moby song.  Homework had been listening to it and making notes and the lesson was writing down the analysis under various headings, without using any notes.  It was quite hard, I’d have found it very difficult.  They all dutifully set to and I went around speaking to some of them, asking questions and so on.  One lad, obviously very able, had a nice turn of phrase.  He admitted that he finds actually playing musical instruments the most enjoyable, not surprisingly.  The on-paper analysis, he said drily, is ‘not the most interesting part”of the syllabus.  I asked if it has a knock-on effect – when he listens to music for pleasure, does he tend to analyse it?  ‘Annoyingly, yes,”  he replied.  He also asked me what instruments I play – good job I had an answer for him!

I haven’t typed up my notes yet.  Must this week, it’s half term next week.  And I haven’t got a thing in my diary, except Meals on Wheels on the Thursday.  I might haul the hoover out.  I don’t remember using it this month yet, although I have washed the kitchen floor.

6 comments on “Music mixing

  1. allotmentqueen

    Mine’s not a Hoover either, but I still do the hoovering – well hardly ever actually, but you know what I mean. No point in doing it until you can see you’re making a difference.

  2. Christopher

    Just to drag the message back kicking and screaming, isn’t there some Gerard Hoffnung mini-opus for vacuum cleaner and orchestra?

    All this sounds a lot of fun, and very worthwhile, and such a commendably wider concept of music teaching than William Appleby leading Singing Together on BBC Schools Radio.

  3. Z

    AQ, it’s true. And a month’s dusting takes the same time as a day’s.

    I loved Gerard Hoffnung, Chris. Brilliant man.

    Broadly speaking, the first term is playing instruments and putting together their own arrangement of a piece of rock/pop music, the second is using the computer programme to make/remix music and the third is writing and performing their own, and then some fun things like djembe drum rhythms at the end of term.

    My sentiments too, Simon.


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