The Power of Digital Storytelling with Music

My daughter is in Year 1, she's 5 years old and loves learning. She has a passion for creativity and doing things in her own way. Each half term, we are sent a new set of homework for her to complete. These are open tasks that can be interpreted in any way parents see fit.

Homework sheet for Year 1 showing a range of tasks by week.
Y1 Autumn Homework Tasks

I was particularly excited this half term by the "Music" task. As a lifelong musician and Music technology teacher - this provided a chance to really develop these skills with my daughter. She loves music and is exposed to a wide range of music on a daily basis. This task would allow her to combine this passion with her schoolwork - an amazing opportunity.

We started by learning the story of "When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears" and discussed the story and morals/themes within it. I then let her decide how we should present this homework. We discussed a few ideas and what we could do - no bad ideas, just a free flow of thoughts. She decided she would like to create her own version of the story, through song. And off we went...

We started in Logic Pro X in the loop library - auditioning drum patterns, talking about baselines, adding melodies and playing with percussive elements. We spoke about structure, production, instrumentation and the emotions the samples made us feel. A lovely moment of father and daughter learning, together. We set out a basic layout of the track and then recorded "When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears" using the inbuilt microphone on my iMac, which in turn developed her reading and literacy skills. We listened back, critiqued her performance and evaluated her speech in a supportive and fun way. Even taking a few moments to re-record for a better performance and celebrating outtakes!

We spent the afternoon arranging the track, popping in and out to it - adding effects, changing arrangement, adding new sounds and most importantly encouraging play and creativity. She thrived on this task, leading her own way to a shared outcome through digital storytelling. You can watch a play through of her track below....

  


As a parent, these types of homework tasks are amazing - allowing children to have a differentiated path to a shared learning outcome. Freedom of choice in assessment is critical for children and embellishing this at a young age is vital for lifelong learning. A supportive and forward thinking school that recognises that not every child learns in the same way and one that encourages creativity, individuality and celebrates this is amazing to be a part of. She is so proud of her work, the skills she has learnt and has enjoyed showing her friends and family this track.

Digital storytelling through Music is an incredibly powerful tool and the results speak for themselves. Whether in the classroom or at home, the endless skills children can develop through these tasks is incredible. Although this task was created on Logic Pro X, this can easily be applied to other Music creation software such as GarageBand, which would achieve similar results.

Here's to the next homework task! 

Tagged in: Literacy, Music, Logic, GarageBand, Creativity, Mac, iPad, Primary Education, Assessment, Critical Thinking, Differentiated Instruction, Family Engagement, Innovation in Schools, Age: 0–7 years

All Comments

Posted on October 01, 2022

Love the idea of creative choices in homework tasks with parents!

Pretty impressive piece of homework! Thanks for posting!

Posted on October 02, 2022

This is fantastic, Chris! 🤩

What a great example of digital storytelling through audio recording and music!

I love how her teacher has given choice of both task and format, allowing student voice — in more than ways than one! — to come through in such a creative and impactful way!

Wonderful work from your daughter (and you!) and an inspiring example of what homework can and should be!

Posted on October 10, 2022

What a wonderful project, Chris!  This one just really ✅ all the boxes for me: digital storytelling, student voice and choice, literacy, early learners, creativity… and music creation.

I love how you’ve scaffolded a Logic Pro X project perfectly for your daughter, letting her choices clearly come through. You said it best, “Freedom of choice in assessment is critical for children and embellishing this at a young age is vital for lifelong learning.” I couldn't agree more!

Thanks for sharing!  Would ❤️ to see how others can bring this idea into their classrooms, maybe with GarageBand? Chapter 1 of the Everyone Can Create Music guide (available on Apple Books) has great instructions for getting started with the Audio Recorder and adding additional sounds.

I can’t wait to hear what story your daughter records next. And, if she’s taking requests…🐷🐷🐷🐺.

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