Ladue Horton Watkins High School (Ladue MO)

  • Instructor:  Rick Dammers (Rowan University)
  • Class Title(s): Music Through Technology
  • Grades Levels Included: 9-12
  • Structure of NTM Class(es): The class was designed as a hands-on, technology-based music appreciation class. The first portion of the class had students explore the elements of music through familiar music. The latter half explored jazz, classical, and world musics. Each unit culminated with student projects, differentiated according to student interest, musical background, and mode of musical engagement (creating, listening, performing, analyzing). 
  • Software Used: Band in a Box, Audacity, PowerPoint, Intuem
  • Hardware Used: 12 MacBooks
  • Class NTM Activities:
  • Success Stories from NTM Activities: Music Through Technology was always in demand during the three years that I taught it. It served a wide range of students, both in terms of musical and general academic abilities. A particular highlight was the day when I overheard our football quarterback, who was examining a Bach fugue in graphic notation whisper to himself "This Bach guy is a genius".  
  • Advice to Others Starting NTM Project: Music Through Technology was both challenging and rewarding because is was different than my other teaching. The process of establishing the course required a year of not only designing the class, but also selling the idea to administration and school board.  (I was lucky to have great support). I think that student interest, and the technology itself, were the most effective selling points.
  • Additional Comments: This class was established in 2003.  It was a one semester course, with two sections of 12 running each semester. A majority of the students were non-traditional (many former band students). Many were also 'outside' musicians, who were passionately pursuing music outside of school.  This class gave a home to these students within the school music program. Projects included creating PowerPoint listening guides, daily listening journals, composition (at various levels of scaffolding), reverse engineering midi files, and recording projects.
  • Date Submitted: June 2009
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