Tools and Tips for Online Music Teaching

In this course, designed for music educators, you will learn how to create a collaborative and meaningful learning experience for your students in an online setting.  The tools and techniques chosen for this class are accessible to most instructors and provide the ability to:  

  • Set up your home studio  

  • Create “play along” files for students to practice and/or record to  

  • Teach students to use their devices to record their own audio parts  

  • Use audio effects  

  • Assemble tracks and mix a final recording  

  • Edit video and create “Zoom-style” music videos  

Required Materials:  

  • Apple computer (student should have an admin account to install additional software)  

  • GarageBand  

  • MIDI controller keyboard  

  • (Additional software students will be asked to install after the first class meeting: Audacity, DaVinci Resolve 16)  

  • Audio interface 

  • Suggested interfaces: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen, Presonus AudioBox USB, MOTU M2 2x2 

  • Condenser microphone

  • Suggested microphones: AKG P 120 or P220, Audio-Technica AT2020 or AT2035, Sterling Audio ST151 

Course Outline 

Week 1: Setting up and Configuring Your System  

  • Zoom “Power User” techniques  

  • DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Overview  

  • Equipment overview:  

    • Setting up audio interface and monitoring  

    • Setting up your MIDI Controller  

    • Using AudioMIDI Setup  

  • Intro to GarageBand  

    • Important user preferences  

    • Setting key and tempo  

    • Cycle Record  

    • Loops 

    • Drummer 

Week 2: MIDI  

  • MIDI Sequencing in GarageBand  

    • Quantization  

    • Note Velocity  

  • MIDI Controllers  

Week 3: Advanced MIDI  

  • Sequencing in GarageBand (cont.)  

    • Arrangement Track  

    • Importing MIDI  

  • Creating and exporting playalongs  

  • Intro to audio recording  

Week 4: Audio Recording  

  • Microphones and mic placement  

  • Digital Audio basics  

    • Recording audio in GarageBand  

    • Editing audio in GarageBand and Audacity  

    • Importing and exporting audio  

    • Best practices for individual student recordings  

Week 5: Advanced Audio  

  • Equalization  

  • Dynamics Processing  

  • Reverb and Delay  

  • Additional audio effects  

  • Stereo Panning  

    • Mixing  

    • Audio File formats  

Week 6: Working with Video  

  • Using Quicktime  

  • Editing and synchronizing video  

    • Sharing files via iCloud, Google Drive, or Dropbox  

Week 7: Putting it All Together  

  • Exporting video  

  • Video file formats  

  • Uploading to YouTube or Soundcloud  

    • Alternative application 

  • Spring 2021
Finale music notation software shown on a laptop