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Songwriter and Creator: Empower Students to Create Art and Music

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Monday, November 30, 11:10 am–12:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Rebecca Hare  
Bill Selak  

Students need to interpret and understand new content more deeply. By creating original music and art in minutes without picking up an instrument or a paint brush, learn how students can create original scores and art to explain challenging concepts and to represent a specific work of art or literature.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: iOS
Tablet: iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Bring iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad

GarageBand and Keynote on iOS required

Topic: Creativity & curation tools
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Music, Performing/visual arts
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this workshop is to show how collaborating across disciplines--music and visual arts--empowers students through interpreting content through simple music composition and visual arts creation.

Participants will learn how to emulate this method to quickly get students creating, particularly when there is minimal art or music training before the unit/lesson.

Participants will also get to experience with their own devices (iOS device with Garageband and Keynote) and our support to experience how simple, engaging, and empowering it is to interpret art and academic content into different artistic mediums.

We will share our structures and methods and all of the support materials we created for this experience. Participants can walk away ready to use this for one day with their students in any subject area, or create a whole new course.


1 Introduction: (5 min)
How an art teacher and a music teacher can create a program that turned students in to visual arts creators and music composers using iPads. We will also share a few samples of student created using this workflow.

2 Challenge no. 1: (15 min)
Using the same artifacts and lessons and demos as our MS students, participants will create an original short "sound cloud" based on a visual artwork. They will share and provide feedback to other participants.

3 We Share: (5 min)
We will share two examples of our own students work with the same challenge, and their reflections on what they created.

4 Challenge no. 2: (20 min)
Using the same artifacts and lessons and demos as our MS students, participants will create an original short score (30 sec. to a min.) inspired by a poem or historical event. They will share and provide feedback to other participants using our resources and tools.

5 We Share: (5 min)
We will share two examples of our own students work with challenge no. 2, and their reflections on what they created.

6 Reflection and Q&A (10 min): We will share a few "lessons learned" and answer any questions from the participants.

Supporting research

Strategies for Arts Integration

How the Arts Unlock the Door to Learning

From STEM to STEAM: Science and Art Go Hand-in-Hand

The power of music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people Susan Hallam, Institute of Education, University of London Executive Summary Recent advances in the study of the brain have enhanced our understanding of the way that active engagement with music may influence other activities. The cerebral cortex self organizes as we engage with different musical activities, skills in these areas may then transfer to other activities if the processes involved are similar. Some skills transfer automatically without our conscious awareness, others require reflection on how they might be utilised in a new situation.

Music moves brain to pay attention, Stanford study finds

The Role of the Visual Arts in Enhancing the Learning Process

More [+]


Rebecca Hare, Clayton Schools
Bill Selak, Hillbrook School
ISTE Certified Educator

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