Music Technology Lessons
Lessons © K. Garrett, www.musictechteacher.com
The 2nd through 5th Grade students receive one 40 minute lesson per week.
After studying MIDI and Sound Waves, students want to know the
process of making a CD. There are many ways to make CD's.
The following is the method that we use for making CD's
from the students' MIDI compositions.
*Students will complete their own composition (ABA song
form, C Major scale, 32-60 measures) using the keyboard and
sequencing software on the computer to playback the song.
continue working on pp. 22-35 or more in the Alfred Basic Piano
Library Level 1A (varies based on student level).
*To complete one or more Lessons in Music Ace 1.
*To complete one or more quizzes on our web site and report
scores to the teacher.
*To complete a study on how to transfer students' compositions
from MIDI file to CD Audio files.
Alfred 1A Piano
Books, keyboards and related equipment, computers (with
or without Internet access), printer, Sibelius or Music Time Deluxe
and Music Ace 1 software and teacher's manual, music mixer,
CD-R disks, necessary audio cables for transfer of music
from keyboard to mixer / computer, Data Becker Music Center
software. (2006 - We have changed to Sony's Acid Music Studio for editing software.)
Review the differences in MIDI and sound wave files.
MIDI files have to be converted to sound waves using a
mixer and other instrument, such as a keyboard, to record
the file as a sound wave into the computer before it can
be recorded to a CD.
Students will start by saving their MIDI composition onto a floppy disk.
We will take the disk with the MIDI file and insert into the floppy
drive built-in to a General MIDI keyboard. We do this because
our computer cannot have two different MIDI/audio software programs
open at the same time by our sound card. The keyboard is connected
to a small mixer which can (more adequately) control the volume
of the keyboard going into the computer. We will use a recording
program, such as Music Center (Data Becker) or Acid Music Studio (Sony) to
record the music into the computer as a wave file from the keyboard.
Students will hear the composition as the keyboard sounds when
it is playing (as opposed to hearing the sound from the computer's
sound card). We will use Music Center to 'trim' any extra sound
before and after the song, leaving 2 or 3 seconds of silence at
each end of the song. We are now ready to use our CD writer to
save the wave files to a CD-R. We will make an audio CD, not a
data CD. Audio CD's can be played in a regular CD player or on
the computer. Students will create and print labels for their
CD and will take them home to give to their families. Please note
that after their 'first CD' is created and taken home, the excited
students will want to make one each week. (See pictures below
of keyboard / mixer / computer connections.) As of 2006, we use Sony's Acid Music Studio to edit wav files and convert files to MP3's.
students to notice...
-What kinds of music would you classify your song? i.e. modern, jazz, classical,
-Does your CD sound differently than you thought it would sound when you
recorded the MIDI file?
-Does your song have any patterns or sections outside of the ABA form?
-What student created your 'favorite song' in your group? Why
did you like it?
-Are sound waves larger in file size than MIDI files? (Yes, much
-Why would it be difficult to place the wave file (instead of MIDI) on
our web sites?
-Why should we use the mixer to connect the actual sound from the keyboard
into the computer?
-What will your next song include that you didn't have in the first song?
i.e. percussion, other instruments.
-Did you notice any dynamic changes to your first song? (No) Why? (our
keyboards do not have touch sensitive keys).
Becker Music Center Software
Students should complete their first compositions in ABA
song form discussed in previous lessons. The composition should
have notes in the treble clef starting with Middle C or higher,
and use notes in the C Major Scale, 2 staves and 32-60 measures.
We will use many of these compositions on our first CD's. Our
next compositions will call for dynamic changes and a percussion
Ace 1 - Students will continue to progress at their own
pace through the lessons on the computer. Teacher will assist
with students and their questions. Some students will have
completed Lesson 6 or higher by this time. Worksheets and
lesson benchmarks are listed in the Teacher's Manual for
the Music Ace software.
Basic Piano Book 1A - If time allows, students will work
individually on pages 22-35, with assistance and demonstration
of notes and technique by the teacher. The teacher will follow
the lesson goals and procedures as outlined in the teacher's
manual for the Lesson books.
on musical skills through some of the quizzes and games on
the Music Tech Teacher Quizzes
and Games pages. Choose games according to the skill
level of the students.
student compositions in MIDI or Scorch (Sibelius) form on
the 'Student Work' pages of this
will be able to successfully perform all of the exercises on
pp. 22-35 of the Piano Level 1A Lesson Book.
will complete their first music composition in ABA form, using
the treble clef and notes of the C Major Scale, 2
staves, the General MIDI sound sheet, no longer than 32-60
will successfully complete Lesson 6 or higher in Music Ace
1, and will print a Progress Report of their work to give to
the teacher and to their parents.
will be able to describe the process of taking their MIDI music
composition and convert it to a CD Audio file. Some of the
students will assist the teacher in completing the process
of creating the CD's and making labels for their first CD creation.