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GarageBand, not GarbageBand

Page history last edited by Carol Broos 9 years, 9 months ago

Garageband and Podcasting Made Easy

ABC's of GarageBand



It's all about ME!!!

Global and Interesting Links:


k12online conference

Global Education Ning

Global Us

Next Vista for Learning


Handout - GarageBand_article_CBroos.pdf


Fun site - http://baroque.me/



  • Garageband is part of the iLife suite of programs on the Macintosh.
  • The beginning non-musician can easily over-create the composition.



Crayon Story

If you use a box of crayons to draw a picture, you wouldn’t use the every color and cover the entire page, leaving a lot of “white” space actually improves your picture. You should have a lot of  ‘white space” with using Garageband.


  • Rests are as important as sounds.
  • Be selective and make sure you “love” the loop.
  • This takes time to listen to the loops.
  • Decide what mood you want to convey and stick to it.



Three Levels

   Level One

  •     If it looks organized, it sounds organized.
  •     Do not use the word “good.” Good has a non-descript meaning.
  •     Students should use words that accurately describe the musical idea.
  •     Students are excited to have others listen to their compositions with suggestions given to the student.
  •     Try to suggest one or two musical ideas for every composition.


  Level Two

  •     Repetition, dynamics and/or left/right ear.
  •     Use headsets, to accurately hear the separation of the stereo sounds within the composition.
  •     By deleting and repeating some loops, students hear a major improvement.
  •     Students need one loop that is the main loop; call it the “anchor” of the piece.
  •     Main loop can be any loop, but more often it is drums, bass, or piano.
  •     By keeping a small number of “favorite” loops within the piece, creates a mood or overall feeling of the composition.
  •    The traditional idea of an AB or ABA song does not work for movie scoring.
  •     Moods are what you are trying to create, not an organized classical composition.
  •     You should use notation software like Sibelius or Finale if you are composing a classical composition.
  •     The musical rule is every time you repeat you change something.
  •     You cannot easily change the tempo, but is takes many steps.
  •     Save the Garageband piece at two different tempos, edit them in Sound Studio or Audacity.
  •     Drag and drop the entire song back into Garageband.
  •     Dynamics and pitch are easily done and most students choose that.
  •     Use correct arts vocabulary right at the beginning, it develops a knowledge base that helps the students use correct musical terms   
  •     Upon establishing the use of vocabulary, a database of arts vocabulary is needed.
  •     Have a laminated sheet for students to use and students will question some of the arts vocabulary words.    
  •     You can find “arts vocabulary” www.carolbroos.com, please download it and change it to your specific needs.



 Level Three

  •     individual preferences.
  •     Students compose their own loops or add a vocal track.
  •     Composing your own loops is done by using a MIDI keyboard or by using notation software.
  •     Students also add pictures to their compositions and now the file is considered a “podcast.”



Simple Tips


By adding a vocal track (track>new track>real instrument,) be careful to have headsets on. If you don’t, the computer will double record your voice and the loops, you will have a weird echo of your voice and the Garageband song. Having headsets on and using the built-in microphone, only your voice will be recorded. A simple tip, but well worth the effort.


It is important that students listen to a lot of Garageband songs to differentiate between what they like and don’t like. As students listen to more and more songs, they ask, “How do you do that?”


Music is highly subjective; students are taught to have an open ear/mind and must have other students listen to their compositions to offer suggestions. This is where the composition process really is electrifying. You will see students go from station to station, listening and offering suggestions. It is a very stimulating time in the MIDI classroom.


Posting is a validation of composing. The students run home and listen to their compositions and comment. I review commenting procedures in class, so everyone is aware of the rules: first names only, with positive comments or I delete. I weed and feed the website on a daily basis..


Having podcasts part of the music curriculum has transformed the entire school, it is easy and with a little work, very exciting.




Student files on



Alien Attack Fourth grade - first GarageBand song with a theme


Jazz Fifth grade - first GarageBand

Holiday Fifth grade - Using a movie from Sibelius

Burger Blast Sixth grade - Screen shots of Inspiration, with a story and a song

Sammy and Olivia Play Fifth grade - piano only, recorded, then placed in GarageBand


The Three Pigs - Sixth grade, stories with piano keyboard

The Pencil Sixth grade - Using Flash and GarageBand

The Need for Speed Sixth grade - ELL student, drawings in flash

Turtle Dove Sixth grade - Sibelius and GarageBand

Dance Sixth grade rap

Presents Sixth grade - Piano Keyboard, story, and GarageBand


Max and Ryan - Fifth Grade - Flash, composer project

The Wedding - Fifth Grade - Flash, composer project


GFIII  - Sixth grade - GarageBand, Flash, iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie


3rd Trimester Eighth grade - composed own loops on keyboard - NO piano lessons


Spring Storm - Music Composition and performance




Number 47 - Eighth Grade - Flash, Piano Keyboard, GarageBand



Teacher Files



Sunset Ridge Teachers - two day workshop

     Quadratic Formula

     Mr. Bean






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