Solo to Orchestration with Garage Band

Solo to Orchestration with Garage Band

Chris Brown
[email protected]
Marie Murphy School

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Multimedia/Digital Media


Middle School




Apple Desktop or Laptop Computer in a networked lab, USB Audio Interface, Microphone, Garage Band and/or Sound Studio


120 minutes Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students have prepared a 32 bar solo work on their instrument. Students have a basic understanding of Garage Band.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

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

NAfME 2014: Creating 


Desktop/Laptop computer, USB Audio Interface (ex. UA-1D USB Digital Audio Capture) Microphone


Students will record their prepared 32 bar (AABA) solo work and orchestrate appropriate to the style, form, and key.


First class period: Teacher will guide students through examples of 32 bar songs from the twentieth century, including classical, popular, and jazz pieces. Some examples include Tin-Pan Alley songs and pop songs including Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Arlen/Harburg) and Yesterday (Lennon/McCartney.) The emphasis will be on the accompaniment patterns of each song, contrasting the A sections against the B section. Visual description will be used as well to provide students with a better understanding of the form. Second class period: Students will record their piece, typically on a computer in a smaller practice room, with Sound Studio and save their piece to the network in .aif format. Students use a lab computer to access their recording from the network and import it into a newly created Garage Band project. Students now can begin orchestrating their work with previously acquired skills and teacher assistance to spot check progress. Students will need to add at least four voices to accompany their solo. Third Class Period: Students continue and complete their Garage Band arrangements. Students must share completed project with a class peer. Full class performances can begin on third day or be pushed to a more appropriate day.


Peer and teacher review of solo performance and appropriate arrangement style will comprise the evaluation

Follow Up:

Use different song forms for arrangements.

Items to Purchase:

Audio interface and microphone.

When budget should be submitted:

In planning for following year’s coursework.


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