Music Tech Inspires
making magic happen ...
We go into the sound booth. The space, set along one wall of the Music Technology classroom, is roughly the size of two double beds set end to end. Today, it’s glowing John Jay purple. Through its window you can see students talking and playing the guitar, but the soundproofed door and walls put us in our own little world.
Maddy Galgano sits at the console and pushes start. She and Sean Conroy, Tyler Goodrich and Elijah Willner—seniors who have participated in the Music Tech program for all four years—huddle close and listen to "Four Score," the song they composed and recorded for a class project. They know the song inside and out.
It's evocative, complex and beautiful. [SAMPLE]
In the studio
Music Tech Students Present at Local Instructional Technology Summit
This is the heart of John Jay’s Music Tech program. The District’s commitment to the four-year music technology sequence and state of the art recording equipment inspires songwriting and scoring talents and powers professional-level studio skills.
It’s also unique, which is why a group of Music Tech seniors were invited to present to educators from around the region at the Briarcliff Schools Instructional Technology Summit on December 7.
"We shared our compositions and our approach, technique and reflective process with the audience," said Tyler, one of the students who represented John Jay Music Tech at the conference.
At Briarcliff's Instructional Tech Summit
State of the art Equipment + Steady, supportive mentoring
“In here, you can do anything,” said Maddy, motioning around the sound booth and the classroom beyond.
Music Tech not only features MAC desktops loaded with Finale, Logic, Ableton Live, and FL Studio software plus keyboard controllers and studio headphones, all connected to a JBL sound system for playback and performance--it includes teacher Amy Geiger, a co-conspirator in the search for creative expression and technology mastery.
Students describe Geiger as an incredible mentor who makes classes fun and full of discovery.
“She’s so encouraging,” said Tyler. “There’s no bad idea in this class,” said Sean.
Developing Skills in Collaboration
The intensity of the creative process shows; the students trust each other to take the melody line in speaking about the collaboration.
“We all have different musical tastes,” said Elijah, mentiong hip hop, rap, and pop. “We all had our own vision,” said Tyler.
“Getting started was the hardest part,” said Maddy. “It took us a long time to come up with our idea.”
They worked on the project each day, 12:40 – 1:20 pm, September through November, in the sound booth. Ultimately, Tyler worked on the guitar melody, Maddy sang, Sean joined in on the chorus and wrote most of the lyrics, and Elijah and Maddy played bass.
Seniors and Teacher Amy Geiger
Music Tech Nurtures Creativity and Curiosity
The students agree that Music Tech has been the creative break they need in the school day.
“I love having the freedom to create,” said Elijah. “This program kept my curiosity and creativity alive!” said Tyler.
Sean is interested in scoring music and plans to study music in college. Maddy plans to pursue musical theater. “I know what I’m doing in the studio,” she said. “That’s something not every performer can say.”
“This is a special group of seniors,” said Geiger. “Give kids the space and tools to create and they will make magic happen every time. They never cease to amaze me!"