Introduction to GarageBand

Introduction to Garageband

Cathleen M. Ketterer
[email protected]
Newberry Elementary

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Music Production




General Music


iBooks with Garageband 2.0, with preferences set so that it does NOT filter search results, does NOT ask before discarding unsaved changes, and with Maximum number of simultaneous tracks selected under the tab.
inFocus projector and appropriate cables for hook-up.


45 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students will have prior knowledge of musical terms such as measures, beats, phrases and timbres.
Students will also have considerable practice using the laptops in general.

NAfME standard of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME standard of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.

NAfME 2014: Creating 


see above


At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to manipulate loops within Garageband to produce the desired music.
They will know and recognize the following terms: tracks, track header, loops, mix, transport, timeline, and playhead.



  1. As a class, examine and discuss a completed Garageband project. Discuss what tracks, track headers, mix, transport, timeline, loops and playhead are. Identify measure numbers, and discuss at which measure certain tracks will begin.
  2. Take steps to listen to the project, asking the students how to make it play and stop. What should students watch as the song progresses? (the playhead) Listen to the project.
  3. Send students to their laptops and start Garageband. Delete the Grand Piano track and the close the Grand Piano. Have students complete the following steps as you do it on the big screen.
  4. Find the loop browser. Select All Drums>Electronic>Club Dance Beat 01 (Notice how choosing one thing eliminates other choices). Drag it into the mix extend it to end at the beginning of measure 17.
  5. Hit Reset and play, and now click on Bass>Funky Pop Bass 0
  6. Try Funky Pop Bass 02 and so on. Decide which one you like best and drag it to your mix. Extend it to m17.
  7. Reset and choose Guitar>Funky Electric Guitar 0
  8. Drag it to the mix and drop it a m
  9. Extend it.
  10. Reset and choose Organ>Blue Jazz Organ Riff 0
  11. Drag it to start at m9 and extend it.
  12. Listen to your piece. Does it sound finished? No.
  13. Show students how to create fades. Have them do it to each track of their mix. Listen to the finished product.
  14. Review terminology one last time to close the lesson.


If students were successful in this project, their final product should be almost exactly like the teacher’s project.

Follow Up:

Students who successfully manipulated the material can go on to add panning effects, then to create a project entirely of their own choosing, under the guidelines of having 4 timbres and being at least 17 measures long. From there, students may experiment with recording, changing timbres/effects, fixing digital clipping and editing MIDI loops in the Track Editor (among hundreds of other things that you won’t even believe possible, but they’ll find them!!!).
Students who are not as successful will receive more individualized attention in follow up lessons so that they gain understanding of how the program works.

Items to Purchase:

All materials are already available.

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