This semester the bands have not been able to rehearse in person. As we prepared for our Christmas performances this quarter, we completed video assignments with clear guidelines (the angle of the camera, where they should sit for good audio, etc...), and we started to practice the songs in small sections throughout the quarter. Middle school students also received feedback one-by-one on Google Meet.
Whenever we were in person, we practiced together by "sizzling." This is when the students have their instruments but don't actually play them. Instead, they make an "sss" sound to articulate the rhythms and practice the fingerings along with the music. This helped Mrs. Ludwig hear where students were struggling rhythmically.
Once it was time to start recording, students had to listen to the backing track through their headphones, read their music, and pay attention to the quality of their recording all at the same time. Though challenging, this process gave students a new set of expertise that they might not otherwise have experienced. They gained a lot of practical skills within GarageBand on how to adjust recording volume levels and how to get good quality audio from their instruments with a computer mic.
Once the students finished their parts, Mrs. Ludwig then aligned all of the different recordings so that they started and ended at the correct times in relation to all the other instruments. Once this task was done, the song was sent to Mr. Ludwig, our audio-video specialist, who was able to mix the audio and add the video recordings as well. The end results are three stellar performances that showcase the passion and talent of our musicians. Click the links below to watch the performance videos.
7th Grade Band: Jingle Bells
8th Grade Band: Feliz Navidad