Three elementary schools in the Natrona County School District (NCSD) participated in long term Ideas to Inspire™ projects.  The overall theme was Our Place in This World.  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 each session. Transition was the theme for Oregon Trail.  The 5th graders made a mural with Paul Taylor about Transition, Predator to Prey, Day to Night and Seasons.  We used the mural as a compass in our writing groups and the students wrote about the transition from starting at a new school and moving on to the next place.  Their song is:  ‘Our Place in this World’.
©2014 Ideas to Inspire

Project Timeline

fender american deluxe jazz bass
Process: Introduction to the project and objectives, learn about the bass, brainstorm song ideas and begin writing groups Guest: Curt Mychael, from Los Angeles CA (College: Berkley School of Music) Key Concepts:
  1. How is the bass different from the guitar?
  2. How does the bass help to tell the story?
  3. How does the bass make you feel?
  4. Can you play bass and sing at the same time?

Parts of the Drums
Process: Songwriting process begins, learn about the drums, review melody ideas, song structure, beat patterns and song tempos Guest: Jeffrey Smith, from Milwaukee WI (College: University of Milwaukee) Key Concepts:
  1. Name three drums typically included in a standard drum kit.
  2. What do you use to play the drums?
  3. How do drums make you feel?
  4. How do the drums help to tell the story?

percussion - the cajon
Process: Songwriting continues, learn about percussion, multi-track recording and song structure Guest: Jeffrey Smith, from Milwaukee WI (College: University of Milwaukee) Key Concepts:
  1. How is percussion different from the drum set?
  2. How does percussion make you feel?
  3. How does percussion help to tell the story?

electric guitar
Process: Solidify lyrics, learn about the electric guitar, choose melody and song structure, record vocals and instruments Key Concepts:
  1. How is the electric guitar different from the acoustic guitar?
  2. How does the electric guitar make you feel?
  3. How does the electric guitar help to tell the story?

melody music
Process: Writing groups, learn about editing, mixing, listen to finished song

Project complete! Song Premiere: "Our Place in This World"