A music class at Heritage Middle School has no instruments, noise, or voices, as the kids producing digital music only need computer software.

Kids Producing Digital MusicAbout four years ago, the school’s band teacher, Larry Dickens decided to teach music through non traditional means. Today he leads the school’s digital music program.

“Most music is digitally produced today,” Dickens said.

After plugging in their headphones, students load professional music production software MIXCRAFT.  They can then create their own compositions by layering different sounds and instruments that are preloaded.  They also use MIDI keyboards that plugin into the computer, creating their own melodies.

Just as he would with a traditional music class, Dickens considers the style, instrumentation and length in the student compositions.

Much like a traditional music class, Dickens evaluates student compositions for style, number and types of instruments and length. In both of the students’ tracks, there are clear repetitions of melodies, transitions to different parts of the song and layering of instruments.

“I used to think a long time ago that being in a band made you creative,” Dickens said. “Really, these kids are learning a skill. This class allows them to create music.”

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