Creative Projects With GarageBand Online Course

About this Course

Discover a series of creative GarageBand projects you can use with your middle school students. By the end of this course you will know how to incorporate GarageBand into your existing music curriculum through student projects that involve arranging and composing with loops, recording original material, making backing tracks, scoring films and digital storytelling.

You will be walked through each project step-by-step so you can use it with your students straight away.



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Course Format

This course is available when you join the Midnight Music Community.  Membership to the Midnight Music Community gives you access to this course, and 11 other online courses, plus lesson plans, help and advice.

Course Outline

The Creative Projects with GarageBand Online course will cover a range of skills, including the following:

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 drum part and save it to the loop library for future use in other projects. Extend your song by adding new sections. 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.

GarageBand skills covered include the following:

  • how to start a new project
  • changing project settings
  • learn how to navigate the loop browser
  • create your own original loops and add them to your content library
  • add new tracks
  • change instrument sounds
  • record from a MIDI keyboard or the Musical Typing window
  • edit MIDI parts
  • share your music
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. 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 create your own remix of provided audio stems (the separate instrumental and vocal tracks from a recording).

GarageBand skills include:
Skills covered:

  • importing MIDI files
  • editing loops
  • beat-mapping audio loops
  • saving loops into the library
  • layering
  • selecting and changing instruments
  • adding effects
  • fade-ins and fade-outs
  • volume and panning envelopes
  • using notation
  • mixing skills
  • saving and exporting projects
Using a short video, we’ll create our own soundtrack with sound effects and mood music. We’ll learn how to plan out the film score by attending a “spotting session” and listing important sound and music moments on a cue sheet. After adding sound effects to the project, we’ll create an original score to accompany the film by using easy compositional building blocks to make suspenseful music.

Skills covered:

  • importing a video
  • playback and some shortcuts
  • all about snapping and when to use it
  • the importance of zooming
  • searching for and adding sound effects
  • using hit points/time markers to place sound effects accurately
  • creating and editing sound effects
  • adding background music by using existing loops
  • how to scrub through your video frame by frame
  • how to add a software instrument track
  • how to select and edit different sounds
  • how to record MIDI
  • how to edit MIDI recordings
  • how to transpose
  • using volume envelopes to create fade-ins and fade-outs
  • muting and soloing tracks
Podcasting is an excellent group activity that allows 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. We’ll cover:

    • Tips for recording narration in a busy classroom
    • how to edit mistakes
    • how to add intro and outro music
    • how to create fade-ins and outs
    • how to add artwork, images and links
    • how to export and share your finished creation
    • Ways you can expand your content library: places to find free and legal music and loops

*Midnight Music reserves the right to alter course content when necessary.

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What’s Included

  • 5+ hours of video
  • Extensive step-by-step session notes
  • Links to extra resources
  • Professional development certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this course for?

Music teachers (particularly those that teach middle school students) who want specific ideas for incorporating GarageBand into their curriculum.

Is this course for beginners?

No prior experience is required.

Which version of GarageBand is the course based on?

This course is based on GarageBand ‘11 which was released in 2010. Aa new course will be available soon for the most recent version of GarageBand which was released in 2013.

Is it suitable for iPads?

This course is not suitable for the iPad app version of GarageBand. The iPad Projects For the Music Classroom ebook includes multiple GarageBand app projects.

What do I need?

A Mac computer, internet access and GarageBand ‘11 (a new course will be available soon for the most recent version of GarageBand)

How long do I have access to the course?

Access to this course is ongoing for as long as you have an active membership subscription to the Midnight Music Community.