STEAM

Tennessee Music Programs Produce Digital Works

Students in music programs across Williamson County use music production software to compose original works.

Music classes in Williamson County in Tennessee are nearly silent. Instead of playing instruments, students are using computers in music class to compose songs, podcasts and more, in an effort to learn production skills that are used in today’s music industry.

Heritage Middle School is the youngest of several schools in Williamson County to have a digital music program that uses computer software. Students in the program create digital music products by utilizing MIXCRAFT, music production software, and MIDI keyboards that plug into the computer to create melodies. The program allows students the opportunity to publish their works.

According to the digital music course description, works will be created using the following methods:

  • Organizing pre-recorded music loops;
  • Creating unique music loops using virtual instruments such as synthesizers;
  • Recording and importing live music performances;
  • Improvising melodies using virtual and acoustic instruments;
  • Creating and incorporating audio and video clips;
  • Re-mixing existing works; and
  • Producing podcasts.

Larry Dickens, a band teacher who leads Heritage’s music digital music program, told the Tennessean that he started the program four years ago when he was looking to teach music beyond traditional avenues. “Most music is digitally produced today,” he said.

Heritage is one of several schools in the county with a digital music program. Renaissance High School has a recording studio and offers courses that teach audio production. In addition, Page Middle School has a music technology program.

Further information about the computer software is available on the MIXCRAFT site.  

About the Author

Sri Ravipati is Web producer for THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at sravipati@1105media.com.

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