GarageBand – More Than Just a Music App!

21 02 2011

GarageBand is a great and versatile software. One of the ways I like to use it is in a non music way. Part of our curriculum for middle school students is to investigate music history and learn about technology. Here is a fun project that covers both areas and is a great way to teach kids a little more info about how Garageband can be effectively used.

I get my students to investigate the history of the recording device. They then need to make a timeline that introduces their findings. GarageBand is perfect for this. I get them to import pictures of the inventions they want to discuss into their timeline and open a real instrument track.

They then create a script that they will read and record their voice comentary. Mix it down and save it to iTunes. From there open it in Quicktime and you have a stand alone movie that can be uploaded to YouTube or any other movie sharing site.

To share the finished work I like to post them on “posterous” . There the other students can leave feedback on other students work.

You could do almost any kind of project his way. Of course you could also use iMovie with more flexibility, but it would take a little more time.

Try it out.



2 responses

22 02 2011
Richard McCready

Great lesson idea, Brad. That’s a great way to introduce some Music Technology History into a curriculum in an appropriate way which also develops practical skills. Maybe you could post a link to one or two student examples – I’d love to see some.

22 02 2011
Brad Johnston


The students love this lesson. Sometimes they produce electronic timelines using web software called Dipity. All fun stuff. My grade 6 students are currently creating this work right now. I will send a link to finished work when done.


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