I’ve been working on a piece for my middle school band with interactive electronics. The music is mostly written and the band workshopped it with me in June. They had a great time being part of the composition process and offered great feedback.
I had used Logic and Mainstage to create the electronic component, but a standalone Max patch would be much easier to use for performance and distribution. I had a little fun and decided to incorporate some OSC control using the TouchOSC app for iPhone to manipulate parameters of the comb filter and then, for extra craziness, some video manipulation. When I get a clean recording of the piece next school year, I will be sure to post it. In the meantime, here is a demo of the Max patch.
When composing and improvising, students often struggle to come up with inspiration. As teachers, we look for new ways to spark our students’ creativity. It is especially important that the students can connect with this inspiration. Students today are constantly engaged with mobile technology and the culture associated with it. Part of that culture is the use of Emojis to communicate.
Emojis are a great tool for inspiration. The icons suggest very strong emotions, but also leave a lot to interpretation. Some emojis are straightforward while others are much more complex. By sorting through them, a teacher can sequence an activity to improve students’ improvisational skills.
I teach my 6th grade general music classes in non-music classrooms. As such, I don’t have access to pianos or keyboards. We had been using online virtual keyboards, but I wasn’t happy with the quality or features of the ones that were available. So, I made one in Max. The piano samples are from the Steinway Room samples available in Logic Pro 9.
If you are interested in downloading this patch, feel free to contact me.