Valley Center Unveils Groundbreaking Music Class

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Imagine a music class with no instruments. Instead, it's all digital. Students in Valley Center are creating their own music without touching a single piano, trumpet or drums. They are creating the tunes using Mac computers and iPads.

Back in the good ol' days, students grabbed an instrument and started hashing out tunes. But in Valley Center, they're not even using physical instruments in one class.

These students are playing Jingle Bells using nothing but their iPads. Some of the students say they would have had no interest in music if it weren't for this.

"I can kind of read music now," explained Caitlin Lee. "When I hear a song, I know what's going on and I know what different instruments are playing. I can tell what time it's in. I just learn little things that I pick up on.

Sarah Wolfe wrote her own original Christmas song, including vocals on her Mac computer. Inserting each track similarly to how it would be created in a real music studio.

"It allows me to play a trumpet even though I have no idea how," said Lee. "I can play pretty much anything and it allows me to have rhythm with drums even though I can't play them on hand."

It's the first year of teaching the class. Mike McCormick started out with the idea of using Mac labs for music editing purposes. The iPads came into the equation later. young people are growing up with this technology, so why not put it to good use?

"Besides Facebook and texting, you can use your phone and you're iPad for a lot of things," McCormick said. "And so, that's what our concept was. We want the kids to know that they can create and perform with this technology."

Mr. McCormick hopes the use of this modern technology will spread to more students in Valley Center and eventually to the entire country. It's believed this is the first high school class of it's kind in the US.

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