Middle Schoolers Make MIDI Art, Music Videos, and More

Film scores, podcasts, pop songs, virtual concerts and more! While changing the way that we are able to make music with each other, the pandemic has also brought new possibilities and opportunities for more students. In August of 2020, Brandeis purchased forty MIDI controllers (a tiny piano that students can connect with their computers) and launched our first ever digital music production elective. Every middle school student will take the GarageBand elective at some point this year. In the GarageBand elective, students learn how to edit audio, make beats, create audio effects and unlock their sonic creativity. 

"Whether students have a lot of musical experience or only a little, GarageBand has proven to be an accessible program that allows students to be creative without being overwhelmed by the technical aspects of music making and audio production," said teacher Ari Micich.

For their final projects, students choose between recording a podcast, writing a film score, creating a song, or something called MIDI art, where students draw pictures that are then performed by a sequencer. 

Here is an example of MIDI art created by 6th grader Remie Ritz and music video created by 8th graders AJ Klein and Zach Weinberg.

The Brandeis band is also busy preparing for their spring "virtual concert" after a successful performance for the Hanukkah Celebration (you can watch the video here). Many students are enjoying time with their instruments as a welcome break from continuous computer time and work on Zoom.