Presenters Aidan, Jon, Danae, Nicole, and Christine.


Example Beat by joenopride

Interview With DJ Merky Waters

Merky Waters is a local DJ from Regina. Aidan recently interviewed him on the pros and cons of using GarageBand.

Aidan: What are the pros for using garage band?

Chris: Garage band is user friendly, it's easy to access sounds and loops and easy to sequence/place them. It has a solid user interface, not overly technical, you will not get bombarded with plugins. It's Free! Not overly complicated and is compatible with Imovie and other apple products.

Aidan: What are the cons for using garage band?

Chris: You are limited to sounds, therefore becomes generic and overused, it's easy to tell when a track has been made using garage band. Not lots of freedom with micro editing,limited fading with broad editing. Not compatible outside of apple.

Aidan: Would you use garage band in a classroom?

Chris: Yes it's good for beginners, easy to use, assessable easy platform.

To find out more about Merky Waters, visit his Facebook page and SoundCloud page.

How To Use GarageBand Tutorial by Jon

ECMP355 Garageband Quick Intro

Connecting to the Curriculum and the Classroom

Early Childhood Education by Danae

A major part of early childhood education for music is exploring and composing repeating patterns, rhythm, fast/slow paces, high/low sounds, loud/soft sounds, and sounds with distinct tone colours/timbres. With this in mind, Garageband easily connects with most Arts Education outcomes for exploring and composing music. For exploration, while it is ideal to explore with real instruments, GarageBand provides opportunities access instruments that may not be easily available like a piano or a full drum set. As well, GarageBand is great for recording students' composition, and what little preschooler would not love hearing his own musical creation!

It is also a great tool for teachers to record their own music. In the article "GarageBand on the iPad: No More Guitar Envy", it suggests that teachers who do not know how to play an instrument can use GarageBand to record old, well known songs like "Mary had a Little Lamb" and "Three Blind Mice". Many times early childhood educators will take these well-known songs and add new lyrics to help with transitioning. For example, you can take the tune "Row Row Your Boat" and add the lyrics "Wash wash wash hands" to transition into snack time. GarageBand is an excellent asset to do this for a few reasons.

  • You can record a common melody and record different songs with that melody. For example, the song "Are You Sleeping" can be sung in English and French ("Frère Jacques"). As well (as seen below), you can change the lyrics into "Make A Circle" to use as a transition tool. Therefore, you would make a recording of "Are You Sleeping" without the lyrics and make copies of the song to record the different vocals overtop. And as mentioned before, GarageBand is useful when you do not know how to play an instrument. See Danae's process in creating the songs on her iPad GarageBand app on her blog.
  • Many popular early childhood songs are Public Domain. When recording popular songs, whether you use the traditional lyrics or your own lyrics, you avoid copyright infringement. Check out the following link for popular children songs that are public domain.
  • It is a great way to share your transition songs with other teachers. While many early childhood educator bloggers provide lyrics to transition songs and what tune to sing it too, it is very helpful to actually hear the song if the teacher is unfamiliar with the tune of the original song. SoundCloud is an excellent way to share these songs.


Are You Sleeping Without Vocals by dbandrie


Make A Circle Transition Song by dbandrie

Use this song to gather your student in a circle. When you start singing this song students should hold each other's hand and spread out.


Make a circle, make a circle,

Big and round, big and round.

Everybody hold hands, everybody hold hands,

Don't sit down, don't sit down.


Let's sit down, let's sit down.

If students need more time to form a circle by the end of the second "everybody hold hands", sing the line "don't sit down" line and repeat song.

If students have formed a circle by the end of the second "everybody hold hands", sing the "let's sit down" line. This will be the students cue to sit down.

Middle Years by Nicole

For connecting GarageBand to the middle years curriculum, here are a couple a couple of ways it connects to the Grade 5 and 6 Arts Education outcomes.

Outcome CP5.5: Demonstrate increased skills and abilities in use of the voice and one or more instruments.

This is for Grade 5. Here is one example of how GarageBand could be applied to this situation. This is under the creative/productive section. Students are asked to use traditional and non traditional ways of making music. This is a perfect example of experimenting with GarageBand to make music.

Outcome CP6.7: Demonstrate increased skills and abilities in the use of voice and instruments.

For Grade 6, this is one example of how you may or may not be able to use GarageBand. You need to perform a live performance, but does this mean that you can't use GarageBand to hear the song you are possibly composing? Food for thought! You can definitely experiment with the sounds of different instruments using GarageBand. Also, you can learn lets say ... guitar... using GarageBand as seen in the tutorial video. This video is just a demonstration of what you can do on GarageBand. At around 3:50 you can see how to play the chords on the guitar. This is one example of how you can teach music to a child AND you can hear the pitch of note in your ear. As a music student I know it is helpful to hear something first before playing it. It makes it easier especially as a horn player to hear those pitches and be able to match them through my mouthpiece. That goes with any instrument too. I am also learning violin too currently, and I have played trumpet before. It goes to show no matter what instrument by hearing the pitch first it helps a great deal.

This is one reason why I think GarageBand is good for middle aged people and people of all ages because it gives tutorials, you can find tons of videos on Youtube and you can play around with a variety of instruments and figure out which one you would want to learn in the reality of things.

Overall I think GarageBand can connect to the curriculum in many ways. You can mix music, compose, and hear what different instruments sound like. You can learn basic theory, rhythmic patterns and learn certain instruments.

High School by Aidan

Although the arts education curriculum guide needs updating and doesn’t provide any outcomes or indicators it suggests ways in which we can create modules within the four strands of arts education music being one of them. Within the musical stand of Arts Education is where GarageBand can become a useful tool in developing musical understanding and skill. Using GarageBand in a high school music class could be a great way to spark students interest in music and provide students with an opportunity to compose music whether it be individually or in groups. Because the musical skill of individuals varies GarageBand is a good way to get students started in music because it is uncomplicated.

Below is a list of how you can use GarageBand in a high school classroom (and other grades too!)

  1. Composing

  2. Creating loop-based projects

  3. Basic recording concepts

  4. MIDI Recording

  5. Audio Recording

  6. Podcasting

  7. Film Scoring

  8. Basic audio mixing

  9. Slide Show or Multimedia presentations.

For more reviews and my own blog on GarageBand, check out the links below.

Digital Citizenship by Christine

Once students create their music on GarageBand there is a variety of ways to show, sell, upload, etc. their music to other devices to share. For example, SoundCloud is a great place to upload music where it can be easily shared. SoundCloud allows students to keep their ownership of their music with the copyright laws associated with the website. Another way to show created music is on YouTube where you also keep the ownership of what you upload. This is a great website where it takes you step-by-step through each mode of sharing. This connects with digital citizenship in the classroom and teaching students the importance of proper online footprints. (Side Note: While researching I found these pledges where students and parents sign and agree to participating online positively and appropriately). GarageBand connects with digital communication as students and people all around the world can connect through music. Creating lyrics that promote healthy digital communication can be done using GarageBand. Digital Literacy is one of the biggest areas where students learn mostly through this app. The process of creating the music on the app allows students to develop musical and digital literacies as they create and go through the processes of creating music. Interestingly enough, I find students engage with the “finished product” of music most often, so its fun and interesting to have students participate in the actual music making process of creating their own music. Students can use the creations that they make for doing the morning announcements, school cheers and class presentations. By creating their own music students will use the music in positive ways, redirecting the social media newsfeed with intelligent and engaging student made music. When students create music on Garageband they develop autonomy and ownership of their creations upholding and maintaining their copyright rights and responsibilities.

For further thoughts on GarageBand, check out my blog post on it.

Pros and Cons for GarageBand


  • Easy to learn and comprehend

  • Free with Mac Purchases

  • Easy to record, upload, download and share your own music

  • GarageBand provides free online tutorials and basic lessons for popular instruments

  • Works well in all schools, varying grade levels/ages and minimal instruments or technology required.

  • All you need is a computer to create music - use the computer as your musical instrument!

  • Students develop autonomy when creating music

  • Garageband fits great into teaching digital citizenship for all grade levels.

  • Easy for all abilities to learn from and create music


  • Although it is easy to create, there is only a limit to how creative students can be due to the limited options - so music may sound similar.

  • Students must be able to access a computer- depending on available schools students may have to work in groups

  • GarageBand is only available on Apple products

Here is a site that talks about more technical aspects of the pros and cons of GarageBand.

Questions by Nicole

Can you download it to an iPad?

Yes, you download it as an app.

What age can start using Garageband?

It can be used for ages 6 and up.

What is the difference between learning an actual instrument verses playing around on GarageBand? Does GarageBand give you an advantage?

In my opinion, both ideas are great. I think GarageBand simply gives you more of an idea of what an instrument sounds like, and once you choose what you want to learn you can easily pick it up and play along with GarageBand. Like mentioned, hearing the pitches and tones help. It would be wise however to get a private lesson teacher so you can learn how to tune your instrument, the mechanics of the instrument and cheat fingerings- all that Garage Band may not be able to help you with.

Is GarageBand worth getting?

In my opinion, I say yes because you have the technology at your fingertips if you own an Apple product. You can write, record, compose, learn scales, and chord progressions. It teaches terminology as well and audio recording terminology as well as basic music.

Before stepping up to the microphone, students need to prep themselves. Such as making a podcast could help. But who would listen? Other students? Teachers? Parents? Also, students will need help to enunciate words and speak loudly, clearly, and at a proper speed. Also, some questions that are asked are: does the student want to talk before their piece? Does the student want someone to talk for them?

In my opinion, I think it is important before creating something you think about who will see it and who you create it for. I personally think that creating a piece on Garage Band is good for young children and especially for those who play in band. It gives them a chance to compose a work of art and maybe can peak their interest into becoming a composer in the future.

Now this doesn’t say much about GarageBand but it applies to it. When making a piece or a podcast or anything for that matter it is important to follow these guidelines.