Five grade levels within three elementary schools in the Natrona County School District (NCSD) participated in long term Ideas to Inspire™ projects during their Discover program days. The overall theme was Innovation. The goal was to develop, write, rehearse and record a song from scratch. Each school had a different take and approach to the theme. A new rock and roll instrument was introduced at each session.
Adapt to InnovateThe topic of duct tape stories was a recurring theme during our initial Oregon Trail 5th Grade writing sessions, which led to the concept of adapting to innovate. There is a sense throughout the entire Oregon Trail campus that nothing is impossible and that there is a work-around for all issues.
Process: Introduction to the project and objectives, learn about acoustic guitar, brainstorm song ideas and begin writing groups Presenters: Inda Eaton & Jeffrey Smith
- Why is the acoustic guitar so versatile?
- How is melody expressed on the acoustic guitar?
- How is rhythm expressed on the acoustic guitar?
- How does the acoustic guitar make you feel?
- Can you play the acoustic guitar and sing at the same time?
Process: Songwriting process begins, learn about the drums, review melody ideas, song structure, beat patterns and song tempos Presenters: Inda Eaton & Jeffrey Smith
- Name three drums typically included in a standard drum kit.
- What is the role of drums in rock music?
- How do the drums make you feel?
- Are there other objects that can be used to keep a beat?
- Why is tempo so important?
Process: Songwriting progression continues, learn about hand percussion, review melody ideas, song structure, beat patterns and song tempos Presenters: Inda Eaton & Jeffrey Smith
- How does hand percussion differ from the standard drum kit?
- What is the role of hand percussion in rock music?
- How does hand percussion make you feel?
- What everyday objects can be used to make a beat?
- How is percussion used to create sound effects?
Process: Songwriting progression finishes with lyrics, melody and beat. Learn about electric guitar, final editing and recording sessions. Presenters: B. Rehm-Gerdes, Jeffrey Smith and Inda Eaton
- How is the electric guitar different form the acoustic guitar?
- What is the difference between melody and rhythm in electric guitar?
- How does the electric guitar make you feel?
- Why is an amp needed with the electric guitar?
- What is an effect pedal?
Process: Listening and discussing mix of final project using digital audio software with a closer look at multi-track recording. Final synthesis of song writing and storytelling while breaking down elements of Oral Tradition, Myth & Metaphor, Music, Hypothesis & Conclusion and Signs & Symbols. Presenters: B. Rehm-Gerdes, Nancy Atlas, Jeffrey Smith and Inda Eaton
- How does our project look pro tools?
- How is mixing different from editing?
- What are the elements of our story when we step back and listen to the entire project?
- How does our project relate to our overall theme?
- What can we do moving forward to keep making creative projects?