Creativity, Music, and Technology in the History Classroom: GarageBand

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Two quotes are the basis for this reflection. The first is from someone I had the honor of hearing speak this past spring. Sir Ken Robinson is an author and education and creativity expert. The second is from William Plomer, a 20th Century writer and poet. Both quotes relate to the heart of my educational philosophy and the never-ending journey to make my classroom a place where creativity is an integral part of the process of thinking like a Historian.

I came across a post yesterday that linked these ideas beautifully. "How to Use GarageBand in the Reading Classroom" by Monica Burns has some terrific ideas on how to use this music app in Language Arts classes. I believe that they can successfully be used in Social Studies classes, as well.

The second tip was special and I can't wait to add it to the project-based learning my Student Historians will undertake this year! Ms. Burns suggests students compose a music piece that evokes a particular emotion from a book the students are reading. This is a cool twist to the last project we completed in the spring where students were asked to find historical music from the Civil War era. I will now require my student groups to do both--research historic music as well as compose their own music piece and justify the mood/tone of the composition using specific historic facts. I cannot wait to see how my students combine these seemingly unconnected subjects to create original music!


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