This class is for high school students at Winnebago Lutheran Academy who want to learn how to make music on computers. We use Audacity and Garageband as our main tools, and we have fun almost every single day figuring out how to make music using audio and MIDI, but we also learn how to record vocals and instruments and even play guitar and drums if we need to.
We keep personal blogs (look on the right column of this page and click on our names) to help us remember what we've been working on, keep track of the all the decisions that we've made on our projects, and to share with our family and friends the music that we've created.
Sometimes Students Are Smarter Than Teachers
I think this is funny.
I've been teaching this Music Technology course since January 2006. One of my goals has always been to share the music that my students are writing with anyone who would like to listen. After all, what is music if no one listens to it?
So, I've been maintaining a website to house the music and this blog for my Music Tech class to write about their music. There have been two problems trying to link the two together:
Teaching kids the html code for how to embed the link in the student blog, and
Keeping a static link to my website.
Yesterday we were starting to blog about the student's application of knowledge from Dance Project 1 when one student, Ashley, said , "Mr. Witte? Is this Podcast URL field where we put the link to our song?" My jaw dropped as the light bulb went on.
You see, last year, to link to my website, I'd have to tell the kids how to embed a link in their blog using HTML code(< A > HREF ="http://www.yourdomain.com/"> site < /A> ). It was messy and involved and not as easy as some blogging sites like https://www.blogger.com/start>Google's Blogger. But we got it done.
Today, Ryan and I played around with Ashley's observation and got it to work (well, sort of). Check out Ryan O's blog and you'll see at the bottom of his latest entry "Podcast Play" and "Podcast Download".
I'll describe what we are doing so you can understand the process.
The student puts their completed song in my drop box (as a WAV, AIFF, or MP3).
I put the song file on my website under this semester's Music Technology Folder.
The student writes their blog and
opens a new tab (apple-T) in their browser, goes to my website, and finds their song in this semester's Music Tech folder, and
control-clicks on the download arrow to the right of their song to copy the link location so that they can
paste that link location into the "podcast URL" field on their own blog page that they are writing, and finally
click "request publishing" and "save".
At this point I'll approve the blog and the student should see two links underneath their blog entry: Podcast Play and Podcast Download.
UPDATE (9/13) All students have completed the linking of their songs to their blog. Check them out by clicking on any of the student's names to this right under "My Classes and Students" Try both "Podcast Play" and "Podcast Download". The first should stream the song directly through your browser. The second Should download the song as an MP3 file to your computer for you to listen to at your leisure or to put in your iPod.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF THERE ARE ANY TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WITH THIS PROCESS. JUST LEAVE A COMMENT TO THIS BLOG ENTRY. THANKS!
Dale Witte is the choir director and music technology teacher at Winnebago Lutheran Academy, Fond du Lac, WI. He has been teaching since January 1990 and really enjoys teaching students how God's gift of music works. Dale is also a church organist, piano player, violinist, and church music composer.