Apr 16 2008

Differentiated general music lesson: Enhanced Podcast in Garageband Part 2

Thanks to Matthew Needleman and his latest posts about differentiation for the inspiration behind today’s post. This combined with my use of Garageband in the music curriculum made for a great part 2 to my post about enhanced podcasts.

*NOTE: my apologies to those of you reading my blog in a feed reader. I have noticed that when I post podcasts and other media into an edublogs post, it doesn’t show up in Google Reader and you may need to follow a link to my blog to see the posted item.


As a music specialist, the challenge to create differentiated lessons for grades K-5 can be daunting. On some days I have seven preps and using technology with a seventeen year old general music curriculum is a trick.

Here is a general music lesson from the popular “World of Music” curriculum published by Silver Burdett & Ginn that I differentiated across several grade levels (citations are at the end of the post). Using Garageband, you can easily enhance and update a music listening lesson with an audio-visual component for today’s digital learners.


We start with a second grade listening lesson that uses a chart with pictures to help students follow along with a wild Shostakovich “Polka”:


Using a digital camera, I imported the pictures from the textbook into Garageband along with an mp3 of the music to create an enhanced podcast with pictures that would appear as the music was being played:



Here is where the differentiation comes in: for Grade 1, I play the Garageband project with the pictures and a “call” track I created announcing the instruments as they appear:


Click the “audio mp3″ box below to hear how this sounds:
Polka with call track

For Grade 2, we use the student text to follow along with the music; and then we play the Garageband project that looks and sounds like this below:


For Grades 3-5, we can start having kids choose pictures as they listen to the music and drag them into a podcast track with markers:


Or differentiate even further by giving students a podcast track with no markers:


Another lesson using the same “Polka” appears in a Grade 3 listening chart with more sections and different pictures to represent the music:


Here is what that lesson looks and sounds like using more detailed descriptions:



I hope you can see how it is possible to take a typical listening lesson and use Garageband to create a visual and audio experience for general music students. Most of our kids find it hard to listen to extended periods of music. A visual component may provide the interest needed for an extended piece of music. Differentiating the lesson with various levels of participation from grade level to grade level is also achieved. My fifth graders actually create a listening lesson for my younger students using this process by choosing their own music and pictures.

Citations for textbooks:
World of Music Grade 3- (green book)
Listening Guide #4
“Pizzicato Polka” from Ballet Suite No. 1
Palmer, Mary. World of Music. Morristown: Silver Burdett & Ginn, 1991.

World of Music Grade 2- (red book)
Polka page 102 Listening Chart
Palmer, Mary. World of Music. Morristown: Silver Burdett & Ginn, 1991.

Citation for muisc:
“Polka” from the ballet The Golden Age by Dimitri Shostakovich

Related Posts:

Enhanced podcasts with Garageband: part 1

Getting your Garageband podcasts to work with Edublogs and other video hosting sites

Garageband Tip01 of several: Burn to CD without using share to iTunes

“Not that loop again, and again…”: Using Garageband responsibly to create music for your digital projects.

Garageband Tip: Musical Typing

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Differentiated general music lesson: Enhanced Podcast in Garageband Part 2”

  1.   Mathewon 16 Apr 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Not sure which is more impressive…your creative usage of garageband or the differentiation.

    On the subject of differentiation you hit the nail on the head in that everyone is included in the same activity but they participate slightly differently.

  2.   Russ C.on 08 Mar 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Wow…I didn’t know you could do that with Garage band. Thanks for the tutorial!


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