Pro Tools in a classroom?

| May 5, 2011

I received our student enrollment numbers the other day and found that I had over 120 students signed up to be in my intro piano course:  a course designed to take students through a course of such popular hits as Jingle Bells (with only one chord), happy birthday (melody-only played with two hands), and the ever-popular “harp song.”  Even with this riveting curriculum, I have found students disengaged with our class method and asking annoying questions about ‘real music’ (jingle bells with only one chord isn’t real music?), bass lines, mixes and beats.

Joking aside, Ableton Live and Reason excite me with possibilities for future classes.  I was even more excited to begin learning Pro Tools until I realized something that was very scary.  Pro Tools is mixing and editing software without the pre-made loops.  Pro-tools demands real creativity and this scares a person with a Texas-based band background.

Luckily my intro to piano course has been helpful to me as well as my students.  Though I have very little piano experience, most the piano exercises in the book use the same set I, IV, and V block chords (usually in C, G, and F).   Once I picked it up, I began listening to pop music differently and quickly learned how simple many of the chord changes are.  Now that I’ve figured out a few changes I’m excited to use Pro Tools to edit some of my actual creations and with my students doing the same thing, I’m sure it will facilitate much more creativity in the future.