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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.
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!