About this workshop
Acid Music Studio is a flexible, easy-to-use music software program and has lots of possibilities for curriculum integration in the middle school. From arranging and composing with loops and recording your own original material, to remixing, podcasting and storytelling projects, there’s something for everyone.
Who is this workshop for?
This course is best suited to music teachers of middle school students.
There are no pre-requisites for this workshop.
Workshop length and delivery
This workshop is available in a full-day (6-hour) or half-day (3-hour) format. It can also be adapted and delivered lecture-style.
Preferred full-day format is as follows (the start time is negotiable and breaks can be adapted to your school day timetable):
- 9am-10.30am Session 1
- Morning tea
- 11am-12.30pm Session 2
- 1.30-3pm Session 3
The half-day workshop is a 3-hour session with a 15-20 minute break in the middle. Workshop content will be reduced to allow for the shorter time.
- Hands-on workshops: computer lab or laptops – preferably one per person
- MIDI keyboards optional
- Software required: Acid Music Studio (or Acid Pro)
- For the presenter: data projector and speakers, a table, access to a powerpoint, wireless internet access if possible
The full-day workshop will be broken into 3 parts:
Session 1: Composing the Blues
Using the 12 Bar Blues as our basis, we’ll learn how to start a new project and use loops to construct a blues bass line. Discover how to transpose and edit audio and create a fade-in and fade-out. Learn how to record your own MIDI keyboard part and create a drum part from scratch using samples. Explore song form and extend your song by copying, pasting and varying musical material. Learn how to add an audio track so you can record voice, guitar or another live instrument. Save your project and share/export the final product.
Acid skills covered include the following:
- how to start a new project
- how to change project settings
- how to navigate the Explorer tab, audition and use loops
- how to create your own original drum patterns from samples
- how to add MIDI tracks
- how to change instrument sounds
- how to record from a MIDI keyboard
- edit MIDI parts
- how to use the Chopper
- how to export your project
Session 2: Remixing
This session will begin by looking at arranging techniques and compare multiple versions of a single song. Remixing is a great way to teach students arranging techniques – such as layering, changing key, altering tempo, incorporating different musical styles, harmonies and texture – using technology. We’ll create two different remixes: import a classical-style MIDI file and transform it by chopping up the parts, copying sections, adding a backing in a new style and altering instrumentation. Then, in the second project, create your own remix of provided audio stems (the separate instrumental and vocal tracks from an existing recording) and spoken word.
Acid skills covered include the following:
- importing MIDI files
- editing loops
- beat-mapping audio loops
- selecting and changing instruments
- adding effects
- fade-ins and fade-outs
- volume and panning envelopes
- recording voices
- mixing skills
- saving and exporting projects
Session 3: Radio shows, podcasting and digital storytelling
Podcasting and radio shows are excellent group activities that allow students to research a music topic and present their findings as a radio show. Students can take on a range of tasks: researching, scripting, narration, creating or finding background music. Discover how to record narration in a busy classroom and how to edit the results. Add in some intro and outro music and create fade-ins and outs. Discover ways you can expand your content library with a range of free music and loops that are copyright-free or Creative Commons licensed – useful for both podcasting and remixing projects. We’ll also look at ways you can combine your Acid project with images or video to create enhanced podcasts or digital stories.
- Full workshop notes provided in a digital format (PDF)
- Useful links to follow-up reading and videos where applicable
- Professional development certificates for all attendees (provided upon request)
I’m interested in this workshop. What’s next?
1. Check the Upcoming Events page for scheduled public workshops.
2. Book a workshop for your school (minimum booking 3 hours). Contact Katie to arrange a time.Make workshop enquiry
Online Course Version
An online course version of this workshop is in development. More information will be available soon.