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Sound Advice for Soundtrap

Soundtrap is a piece of software that I have come to use more and more over the last 18 months. It is a cloud based DAW that students love to use. So I thought I would provide a weekly blog of Sound Advice for Soundtrap. In this blog series I will consider quick tips, ideas & projects for Soundtrap. I am a teacher using it and so the ideas I present are often ones that I have tried in the classroom.

If you don’t yet have Soundtrap, or don’t know what it is, then head to the website to find out more. And if you are wanting to get some licenses for your school then speak to Music First who will be able to help you with this.

Why do I need it?

Soundtrap is a DAW that allows your students to create, collaborate, learn and podcast. It is a piece of software that is cloud based and is therefore available whether they are at home or in school. You don’t need any hardware, although MIDI keyboards will enhance the experience. Students can log in and be part of a class so that they share their work with you. You can leave them feedback and access their work wherever you are.

Why do you need it? Well, only you can answer that question. Are you looking for a new DAW that your students can use? Or maybe you are thinking of options for home learning? It might be that you don’t have computers in your classroom and have to use a room without much music tech. Only you will really know, but I am happy to tell you what it does!

Soundtrap Editing window
Soundtrap editing window

What’s your plan?

Much as I love Soundtrap, there is no point getting it if you don’t think you will use it. Music Technology is only as good as the ideas you have for your own teaching. You can give a student the best computer and the best software, but if they don’t know how to compose then what is the point.

My first piece of Sound Advice for Soundtrap, is to work out where you will use it in your curriculum. Your curriculum needs to drive the things you purchase and the tasks you undertake. Sometimes a topic, project or lesson will need technology, but sometimes it won’t. As a teacher you need to think about this and not just get technology for the sake of it.

More than Composing

I think my second piece of sound advice is that you need to think about more than just composing with Soundtrap, it can be used for teaching. What I mean by this is that students can use Soundtrap to explore music and not just as a tool for composing.

Take Basslines for example.

You might want your students to understand how to create, shape and edit a bassline. They have been taught some basics, but you need something practical to help them make all the right connections. At this point you can create a bassline in Soundtrap and share this with students. You might include some errors, or keep it simple and “boring”. Their task is to then work with this bassline, making it more interesting and effecting, correcting any mistakes.

Create Classes

My final piece of advice is to create classes in Soundtrap and get your students organised. I don’t have many students using it, but you might have many more. Importing students information is really easy, or you can share a class code with them and a link for them to join. I always make sure they use their school email address to sign up and I like that I can keep them organised.

Sound Advice for Soundtrap

My aim with this blog series is to support users of Soundtrap and give ideas that I use in the classroom. It is a great bit of software, affordable and easy to set up. I don’t want to blog long winded projects, just quick thoughts that might be of use. If you have any burning questions, then please get in touch or comment below. The great thing with Soundtrap is that music making can happen anywhere and students are in charge!

Keep an eye out for the next blog in this series.

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