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.
I've been kicking this idea around for a couple years: can the Music Tech class produce a WLA podcast? That's a "yes" or "no" question! I know the answer is "yes", but then there are all sorts of other questions.
First of all, what is a podcast? I asked my Music Tech class this question yesterday and was surprised that very few of them knew the answer or listened to podcasts regularly. I suppose the reason might be (a) not having iTunes or some other podcast source and (b) not having an iPod or some other listening device to take the podcast off the computer and listen at your own leisure. I suppose then you could think of a podcast like a radio show that you can time shift, kind of like having a DVR while watching a football game and rewinding the last couple of plays because you were out of the room when the big play happened. But a podcast can also be mobile. You don't have to be at your computer to listen to one if you have an mp3 player like an iPod.
We started brainstorming yesterday about the following questions: 1. What would the podcast be about? 2. What things happen regularly at WLA that could be reported on? 3. What kind of a podcast would the students want to listen to? 4. What kind of podcast would parents want to listen to? Some of the ideas of what could be podcast were chapel, WLA sports, and, the one I think could be absolutely hilarious, lunch! But it's hard to envision creating something new if you aren't sure what you are creating, so the first thing to do is listen to existing podcasts.
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.