Whitnall High School (Greenfield, WI) updated

  • Instructor:  Michael Hayden
  • Location: Greenfield, WI
  • School Profile: Public HS, 9-12 800 Total Enrollment 
  • Class Title(s): Music Production & Industry I & II , Rock Band I & II
  • Grades Levels Included: 9-12

  • Structure of NTM Class(es)Music Production & Industry I & II. Each of the two MPI courses at Whitnall High School are one semester long. Music Production & Industry I teaches fundamentals of music and composition. Students explore various web based looping programs as well as programs such as GarageBand, Audacity, and Ableton. The course is project based and students spend the majority of their class time creating music. In Music Production & Industry II, student expand on their music making abilities and focus more on developing individual compositional style and musical voice. 

    Rock Band I & II Rock Band provides all students, regardless of ability or experience to learn about music, primarily through rock n roll, form jam groups, create music together, and put on four shows during the school year. Additionally, each student learns the basics of live audio and general sound mixing principles. In Rock Band II, student expand on their developing instrumental technique and branch away from cover songs to writing original music in their jam group. 

  • Software Used: GarageBand, Ableton Live, Audacity
  • Hardware Used: iMacs, Samson 49 MIDI Controllers, Focusrite 2i2 Interface, Korg NanoPad, Several Electric Guitars/Basses, Yamaha Electronic Drums, JamHub Green Room, Mackie 1402 & Midas Verona 320 Mixers, Shure & MXL Microphones, KRK Rokit 8 Monitors.

  • Class NTM Activities:  Music Production & Industry I. This one semester course is designed to give students the opportunity to create, produce, mix, edit, and engineer music through the latest digital recording and sequencing technology. As a result of this course, students will develop creative and critical thinking skills, along with overall musicianship that is showcased through music compositions, reflections, and creative listening projects. assignments. 

    Music Production & Industry II. This one- semester class builds on the skills and techniques developed in Music Production and Industry. Those enrolled will refine abilities in songwriting, audio editing, engineering, and music producing. Students will continue use the latest digital recording technology (GarageBand, Ableton Live, and Audacity) to create unique music compositions. 

    Rock Band I & II Rock Band is designed for students who want to develop music making skills and develop music literacy using primarily rock and pop music. Hands on instruction will be given on guitar, electric bass, drum set, keyboard, and vocals. Students will develop skills on each instrument, create ensembles, and explore music performance. Finally, All students will learn and experience live audio basics. 

  • History: The Commercial Music Program at Whitnall High School began during the 2013-2014 school year will a single course in digital music. Due to the success the initial offering, WHS has expanded to offer two levels of digital music making (music production & industry I & II) and is currently offering a semester long rock music experience course appropriately titled Rock Band. Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, Whitnall High School will continue to expand the non-traditional music courses by offering an additional Rock Band II class. This is due to the popularity of the courses in the initial two years. While students in all courses have a wide musical background, most are taking their first music class in high school. 

  • Success Stories from NTM Activities: In the first two years, the commercial music program at Whitnall High School has attracted over 100 new students to music. Many students are also choosing to take additional courses in digital music as the school creates them. This shows a great desire to have this relevant type of music experience continue. Several students will be pursing college degrees in music industry/music production fields at two and four year schools. Additionally, a few students in Rock Band have started to make music together outside of the school day. 

  • Advice to Others Starting NTM Project: Start small and use what you have already. You can start by building a digital music composition unit into your performance ensemble classes. There are also numerous free, web-based recording and sequencing programs available. These can be used with your school computer lab and with many types of tablets and smartphones to create music. 

  • Additional Comments: Our students will be excited about the opportunity to create music outside of the traditional orchestra, choir, and band classes. Don't worry about knowing all the ins and outs of various programs. Your students are great teachers and you will love learning and experiencing music creation in a new way. For more information about commercial music at Whitnall High School visit http://goo.gl/10yc5A. 

  • Date Submitted: August 2014 (Updated November 2014)
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