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Where to start with technology - have £1000 to spend and want to wow the kids!

Discussion in 'Music' started by asdmumandteacher, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Ok so we have 17 laptops PCs with either sibelius 4 or 5 on them - we have just bought ourselves 2 cubase 6's for our laptops (both members of music dept)...what would be a good thing to add to laptops to engage Key Stage 3 pupils? - could be anything - a programme to teach notation/compositional skills/info re curriculum stuff...I sound really clued up eh! (We currently only use laptops with KS4 and 5)

    ...Also teaching in a girls school, they love their singing, what would be a good thing to get to encourage singing - a student teacher of ours brought in his singstar once and it was a real hit! Would a karaoke system be a good thing to buy? What about surround sound for the main classroom - does that make an impact. We are really trying to bring our department a bit more into the 21st century but have no idea really!

    We have about £1000 to spend on 'pimping' (sorry for slang there) up our technology. Thanks anyone who can help!
     
  2. Ok so we have 17 laptops PCs with either sibelius 4 or 5 on them - we have just bought ourselves 2 cubase 6's for our laptops (both members of music dept)...what would be a good thing to add to laptops to engage Key Stage 3 pupils? - could be anything - a programme to teach notation/compositional skills/info re curriculum stuff...I sound really clued up eh! (We currently only use laptops with KS4 and 5)

    ...Also teaching in a girls school, they love their singing, what would be a good thing to get to encourage singing - a student teacher of ours brought in his singstar once and it was a real hit! Would a karaoke system be a good thing to buy? What about surround sound for the main classroom - does that make an impact. We are really trying to bring our department a bit more into the 21st century but have no idea really!

    We have about £1000 to spend on 'pimping' (sorry for slang there) up our technology. Thanks anyone who can help!
     
  3. Hello,
    I'm at a specialist music college and by what you're listing, you have a great digital set up already.

    I would recommend the investment of USB Microphones, this would really encourage their vocal work,
    and is a really fun confidence booster! Most are capable with Cubase and Reason Propellerhead (A little more advanced), However, many of these types of microphones, (especially USB) come free with 'Audacity' which is a free recording software (useless for mastering and more advanced level stuff, but brilliant for peer and self assessment!), and it is very easy to use!

    You can get them rather cheap, try 'StudioSpares' or a store along the lines of this.

    Hope this helped, and good luck!
     
  4. Thanks for your help with this. Will def look into that. Do you know of any sequencing software that is more appropriate for KeyStage three - as for Sibelius you really need to be able to manipulate notation well to use it well. I guess what I am asking is that are there packages where you can learn to loop chunks of prerecorded music and cut and paste prerecorded music to give key stage 3 the confidence in using a sequencing package without the worry that its not going to sound good.
    Hope that makes sense - just want to make the computers more accessible to the lower years so that its a more attractive option for GCSE etc etc
     
  5. I would recommend Steinberg's Sequel for that kind of application. Good for looping and manipulation and will be a good stepping stone to later move on to Cubase. I think they do a very good educational site license price - get a quote from The Music Technology Centre in Poole.

    Regarding USB microphones, take a look at the Audio Technica AT2020 for a good quality/price combination.

    If you don't have some already, invest in a nice set of active speakers for the classroom instead of a surround set. Take a look at ESI speakers. Additionally, spending some money on decent-ish headphones will also make a huge difference. The AKG K55's are excellent for the money if still available.
     
  6. <address>Thanks for everyone's help. I have been showing my classes Sequel (on the trial) all week and they seem to be pretty impressed. Is it possible to install Sequel without putting it on the network (not all our computers are networked - long and boring story)?</address>
     
  7. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    I have never experienced a music dept that ran cubase or other programmes through the network without major problems.
    In my opinion I would try to keep your machines stand alone. I do appreciate that your ICT techies will be unhappy with this but you will find your MIDI and audio programmes will run better.
    Music village have good headphones (Numark 125 DJ Headphones) for &pound;5.00. I have yet to find better that last as long. Do buy splitters as continual unplugging will result in wear.
    Many years ago I had a Nicholas Haines music lab that linked all the pc's and keyboards together for audio. Made it very easy to demonstrate, talk to groups, have students play to others and record anyone at any time. Even when they were not expecting it.
    But now I use macs and wish I had done years ago!
     
  8. We have no issues running cubase 5 on the network. Music tech students (6th form) have seperate hard drives we assign to each computer and they leave at school to save their work.
    Sequel or ejay are fine very simple to use just drag and drop samples etc.Ejay has no e licenser issues which steinberg products have.
    The only issue we had when I wanted standalone computers were the IT guys saying then all work has to be saved to the machine and they could not then back up the work from the server.

     

  9. Matilda92 - do you use usb mics as looked at these and cheapest ones were about &pound;40!? (In Music Village) Don't think I could afford one per keyboard on top of Sequel programme.
     
  10. No, I use mics with ordinary jack plug which plug into our external sound cards. In the past, usb mics never worked for us, needed to instal software for pc to recognise them. Maybe it is different now.
    Also, any expensive equipment needs locking down the whole time whereas no-one would want to be seen dead with our childish naff looking cheap mics.
    The simpler the set up the better and cheap and cheerful seems to work best for us.
     
  11. Not sure how the conversation arrived at this point but....

    You might want to look at one of these mics form Samson. Its got an audio interface buit in giving you great flexibilty for recording vocals, other instruments etc.

    Sorry link not posting. Google this instead: Samson G Track USB Condenser Mic with audio interface.
     

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