Lebanon High School (Lebanon OH)

  • Instructor: Will Kuhn
  • Class Title(s): Music Technology 1, Music Technology 2, Recording Club
  • Grades Levels Included: 9-12
  • Structure of NTM Class(es): Length: semester; 22 seats; all grade levels at any time; a music prerequisites.
  • Software Used: GarageBand, Ableton Live, PureData, Pro Tools, Logic, iMovie
  • Hardware Used: In the lab, Mac Mini (as of 2010 - prior was eMacs), M-Audio Axiom 25, M-Audio producer USB mic, Sennheiser HD201 headphones.  Recording studio: MacBook (pre-unibody), Alesis iO|26 interfaces, Audient Mico, M-Audio BX8 monitors, various mics and headphones

  • Class NTM Activities:  Both levels of Music Technology are highly project-based.  I try to give the students creative ways of experiencing different aspects of making music electronically.  In Level 1 we focus mostly on GarageBand and the various techniques of making songs via audio editing and MIDI.  It is not a piano class, but some basics of chord structure and songwriting are covered.  Level 2 explores the Pro audio world and the software that would be used.  For creative Level 2 projects we use Ableton Live, for teaching mixing/mastering Pro Tools, and for audio prototype design (as for games) we use Pure Data.

  • History: Our program started as an experiment when a lab became open through a few staffing circumstances.  I was asked to teach MT during the afternoon only (I taught Jr. High band in the morning).  The next year we added another period, and the third year it became a full-day schedule.  Now it is all I teach.  In 2008 I added the after-school recording club, which involves around 30 students producing full albums of student musicians.  The program overall involves over 200 students per year and has doubled the reach of our music department.

  • Success Stories from NTM Activities: Since creating the class, we have been looked at as a model for this type of class in Ohio.  In our state having a non-performance class in the high school setting be a "big deal" is quite unusual.  Other schools visit our facilities to see what they need to do to start an MT program of their own. I have had a several students go on to college for audio/media design, and a couple actually get scholarships based on their portfolio.  I see this both as good for them, but also adding legitimacy to this young program. The recording club sells CD's at lunch every year and usually sells over 100 copies of their album to the student body.  This program adds to the school culture in a way that traditional programs have not.

  • Advice_to_Others_Starting_NTM_Project: The story of 21st century music departments, especially in high schools, is going to be the transition from a total performance-basis to a program that includes music technology (and all that implies) as an equal.  Gone will be the exclusive nature of a music department, and the "harrumph" crowd of experienced band (or choir/orchestra) directors will resist this.  Forward thinking music teachers will embrace this trend, as it will increase the size of both the NTM program as well as the traditional program by way of projecting a new releveance to the student body. 
  • Date Submitted: July 2010
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