Garageband is a great app that I think any student or teacher using an iPad should consider buying. It is a multi-track audio editing app that is as robust as you will ever need (unless of course you teach audio production). Later this week I will be posting a new page full of Garageband resources for teachers, students and learning. For now, you can get your brain juices flowing by reading the list below, watching the embeded ‘how to’ videos,  and then go start playing with Garageband yourself!

Download Garageband from iTunes here.

1) Create Soundtracks/Scores to Your iMovie Project – if you’re not already making iMovie projects with your students, you should read ’13 Ways To Use iMovie in the Classroom‘. A great example of creating your own movie score or soundtrack is available here on youtube <

2) Teaching Dance in PhysEd -  Dance is sometimes a difficult unit to teach because students aren’t interested or are embarrased or just to shy. But when you get students to create a song in garageband (this can honestly be done in 45 minutes or less), not only are they willing to dance, they will do it with excitement. The Physical Education consultant that I work with, Mark, has been doing this lesson in a variety of schools with much success – teachers and students rave about the lesson long after Mark is gone.

3) Podcasts – Use garageband to create podcasts. This can be a teacher creating podcasts for class or school updates, or for students to host their own regular podcast. custom rings

4) School Announcements – There are so many fun sound effects and audio loops built into garageband – consider using it is a way to spice up your schools morning announcements over the PA

Check Out This Introduction to Garageband Video

5) Poetry or Slam Poetry – A popular event in english or language arts classrooms is poetry readings and slam poetry. Students could use garageband here in a number of ways. They could create instrumental music as background audio to set the mood and tone of the poem. They may even use garageband to record themselves reading, and listen for feedback to so that they can read their poetry with the perfect expression in their voice.

6) Counting in Early Math - There is lots of counting in music, so for our early learners you could get them to sing, clap, talk or mix music together, making the practice of counting and skip counting much more interesting!

7) Forming Conversations in a Target Language - This is a lesson I found online. Put in a bunch of pre-recorded audio tracks as ‘pieces’ of a conversation – all recorded in the target language, say, spanish. Have students rearrange the spanish recordings until the conversation makes sense. I think this would make for a really fun activity!

8 Doing Voice-over for a movie trailer – you know how movie trailers always have that uber-deep voice? Well, you could use the voice recorder in garageband for similar effects, creating a telephone sound, chipmunk, dreamy, and others.

9) Document and Assess Oral Readings/Performance – For students who are being closely monitored or receiving some sort of reading intervention or speech therapy, consider tracking student student oral reading and performances with garageband. In one project you could have the recordings of students spanning an entire year to track progress and have something to celebrate

10) Feedback in Music Class - Vocal training, instrument training – a lot of times we don’t realize what we’re doing wrong until we hear a recording of ourselves. Students can learn to reflect and give self and peer feedback through the use of garageband. They could even use the multi-track feature and have one track of a professional or the teacher peforming a song or riff, and the next track could be of the students’ own performance.

Learn About Jam Session for GarageBand


11) Interviews – Students might do interviews for a number of reasons (target language, history class, identity & family projects, whatever). With the garageband recording they can easily cut and edit the recording to just show the parts of an interview they want to use/talk about.

12) Teacher Self Reflection – As professionals, it can be helpful to listen to ourselves teach and interact with students. We can gain a lot of insight into ourselves as teacehrs. You may find out you sound harsher than you think, or you are softer and less assertive than you had hoped. Maybe you say ‘like’ or ‘um’ a LOT! studying composition/structure of song/music theory and chord progressions.

13) Mood and Tone – In a film studies unit or course when talking about mood and tone, students could create music that would elicit different types of emotions.

How To Plug A USB Mic Into Your iPad

14) In  Guitar Class for FX - Now, an iPad isn’t exactly an inexpensive FX unit, but if you already have them AND you have guitar players in Band or maybe even a dedicated guitar class, I recommend that you pick up a guitar connector (like this one that I have). I can plug my guitar into the iPad and have access to a number of different FX pedals and sounds.

I’m sure there are many more ways to use garageband, so please share what you’ve done in the comments below!

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