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songsmith use- education???? (Migrated from community.research.microsoft.com)

    Question

  • musichollie posted on 01-28-2009 1:24 PM

     I am just downloading the trial now, so maybe I'll answer my own question.....  I teach elementary music and always have students writing their own songs on their own- and I have done a unit in the past where kids wrote their own songs, based on my parameters.  I'm wondering about your ideas:

    1.  How could I encorporate this program into my teaching

    2.  Would you eventually consider doing a site license?  (my IT department is very tight on this- legitimately so- and would NEVER allow me to download this many "trial" programs for an entire computer lab)

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:32 PM

Answers

  • Beta replied on 11-21-2010 2:12 PM

    I must disagree.

    This program allows you to intervene in the generated harmonic model. You can change any chord.

    Let the students to be dissatisfied with the generated. Let them to experiment.

    (Sorry for my English)

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:32 PM

All replies

  • dmorris replied on 01-29-2009 3:32 PM

    First of all, let me say how fantastic it is that you're incorporating songwriting into your curriculum; this is no easy task, and you're leading the way in what I think is a great direction for music education.

    Another exciting area for music education where I see opportunities here is chord theory, and pop song structure in general.  Music curricula often presents music as a series of notes, which is one way of thinking about it, though as you know many pop-oriented musicians think of music more as a sequence of chords, where the actual notes and instrumentation are filled in by a performer's intuition and personal style based on those chords.  (I'm in that category, BTW... I know my way around theory pretty well and have a very basic ability to read notes, but I'm much more fluent and flexible with chords.)  This has traditionally been very difficult to communicate in early music curricula.

    I'm not saying that Songsmith is the magic answer, but I definitely see potential for using Songsmith as a tool to (a) encourage songwriting and creativity and (b) allow students to think at a chord level (as a complement to traditional note-based instruction), and see how chords fit together and turn into accompaniment.

    So I'd _love_ to hear about experiences you might have using Songsmith in the classroom, and would be happy to brainstorm with you about how to implement lessons around Songsmith.

    Regarding educational site licensing, we haven't done this yet with Songsmith, but I'd definitely like to speak with you more about possibilities.  This is an application that I'd love to see Songsmith used for, so I'll do everything I can to help. I will mail you offline to follow up on that.

    -Dan

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:32 PM
  • eyeman replied on 01-31-2009 7:04 PM

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:32 PM
  • musichollie replied on 02-02-2009 9:38 PM

     Please understand that I plan to use this as a tool for one specific purpose in one lesson to enhance the lesson.  My students DO love music- they sing well and often, they dance and study Beethoven, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, jazz, world music, and American folk songs.  AFTER my oldest students sing, discuss, and explore jazz, then they can write their own song based on a 12 bar blues pattern.  After their songs are written, it would be quite a motivator for them to "play" musically with their own compositions.  I would NEVER use this software for any grade younger than 4th and I would NEVER allow any technology to replace my pedagogy and years of education and experience.  You are certainly welcome to your opinion, but do not judge so quickly.  After returning to my job 2 weeks ago, trust me- my students are more musical than most, even with a sub for half a year!

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:32 PM
  • rhythmchanges replied on 03-04-2009 10:34 AM

    mischollie, don't let people that are extreme in their purist and narrow philosophy sway you from using a tool like Songsmith in your class.  I teach elementary music and I am going to use it in many of my lessons.  Off the top of my head, it could be used to teach major/minor tonality, form, lyric composition, rhythm, and style.  Furthermore, I will use it with Kindergarteners through grade 5.  If i still taught high school, I'd use it there as well.  Out of curiosity, why are you so steadfast in not using it in the younger grades?

    I'm sure that you address the aesthetics of music in many ways and using a tool that is automated doesn't negate that.  Also, even though it is mechanized, it does allow for upper level thinking.  There are many opportunities to use the program to reach beyond the knowledge/comprehension levels of learning and move all the way through to evaluation.

    I would also be interested in obtaining some sort of site license if one should become available!

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:32 PM
  • Beta replied on 11-21-2010 2:12 PM

    I must disagree.

    This program allows you to intervene in the generated harmonic model. You can change any chord.

    Let the students to be dissatisfied with the generated. Let them to experiment.

    (Sorry for my English)

    Thursday, June 02, 2011 8:32 PM