I have been using Soundtrap in my lessons more then ever and I thought you could give “The Gift of Soundtrap” to your students! Having watched year 9 get engrossed in creating music, both in school and at home, I think it is a bit of software we all need. I have started a series of blogs looking at Soundtrap and that will continue into the new year and beyond.
The main reason I recommend Soundtrap is because it bridges the gap between home and school. I am not sure I love the phrase, bridging the gap, but I think you know what I mean. For the first time I am seeing students really making music at home. They are then bringing their ideas to lessons and they make more progress. They are also more engaged than ever and I am seeing behaviour improve in lessons. I guess Soundtrap offers a user friendly platform that they can easily get to grips with.
Once you have licenses for your students (available from MusicFirst) you can get them started quickly and easily. My first lesson is always one where students explore the software, create their first beat and start listening to loops. I want them to get to know the DAW and be able to start using it at home. But I then like to put some structure to the loops and beats and get students creating a clear structure within their music e.g Ternary Form. What you want is to make sure that they leave lesson one with lots of ideas and enough familiarity that they can make music at home.
Setting music homework is often quite tough. We want to make sure it is meaningful and builds on what is happening in class. Soundtrap is therefore a perfect way of setting homework. Creating projects that students can work on at home is possibly a good approach. It might be that set a term long composition project, or maybe homework that prepares for the next lesson. One idea is to get them to come up with a beat that you will then add a bass-line to in class.
Take the time to think through how you want to use Soundtrap for homework and then start to embed that into your curriculum. Students seem to also enjoy collaborating, and this is all possible in Soundtrap. It is entirely feasible for students to work on a group piece all from the comfort of their own home. This feature is excellent but it is important for you to guide the students in terms of who to work with – something I need to develop in my own practise.
I know what you are thinking – how can I get funding for Soundtrap? This is a problem for so many schools and I guess I don’t have all the answers. But here are some ideas:
- Ask – you never know what your head might do for you if you ask
- Targeted fundraising approach – let people know specifically what you need and what it is for
- Use the podcasting aspect of Soundtrap to your advantage. This software can be used across the curriculum in all subjects – MFL and English are particularly likely to use it. So this isn’t just about music, it is whole school!
- Look for local groups, companies and bodies that might support you. There are often local ways of bidding for money.
Here is a link to a funding document that Music First have provided to give more advice.
The Gift of Soundtrap
Hopefully you are starting to understand a little more about Soundtrap and why it is such a good option for your school. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have, just get in touch. For me, I just love seeing students being able to make music at home and in school. I also think the collaboration option is fantastic and I am going to be exploring podcasts more and more!
I recently saw this video and I thought I would leave this for you to watch. I think it sums up nicely why cloud based software of this nature is so powerful. It not only mentions Soundtrap but also Focus on Sound Pro.