Attempt #1 for my student inquiry :

My plan was to introduce kids to the voice recorders and have them make various recordings that they could later edit into pieces.  After some very basic instruction about how to use the recorders, students were able to make a variety of recordings, but I did run into issues.  Students were trying to record very long samples, or they were having difficulty uploading and organizing their samples.  After we were able to get all of the sounds onto the computers and I showed students how to use various filters and editing tools to create their piece of music.  Most of the groups were able to edit and move around sounds within a set form, but none of the groups pieces were really coming together…  I thought about what was going on, and I thought that the challenge was time related because of activities surrounding state testing…  when I realized the real issue was the fact that I had missed critical step in the music making process – I forgot to discuss purpose!  I had assumed that the students would automatically know what they wanted to communicate in their piece…  which didn’t really work.  We lost several class periods to activites and then the quarter changed and the students moved  on to their next class…

So what now?  I stewed about how much of a mess this project turned up to be – and how I felt that I didn’t provide students with closure because we had to basically abandon the projects mid-stream.  A lot of the issues were time related, but now I have had some time to revise, reflex and now I am ready to revisit…  What am I going to change?

Attempt#2 almost ready for lift-off!

Since purpose was such a issue with the last attempt, my plan is to combine this project with the Protest Music unit that I was working on.  I am going to have students research a variety of songs whose purpose was to voice a cause or historical perspective.  Then I am going to ask students to research a cause or historical perspective of their own and create a statement about their cause using a variety of recordings and sound editing techniques…hmmm….  I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂