National Curriculum and GCSE courses
The ICT Statutory requirements for music state that at:
- Key stage 2 (ages 9-11)
Breadth of study:
5d: Pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through using ICT to capture, change and combine sounds
- Key stage 3 (ages 12-14)
Listening, and applying knowledge and understanding:
4c: identify the resources, conventions, processes and procedures, including use of ICT, staff notation and other relevant notations, used in selected musical genres, styles and traditions
Breadth of study:
5d: Pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through using ICT to create, manipulate and refine sounds
How can Cubase be used to meet these requirements?
The following ideas illustrate some of the many ways in which Cubase can be integrated within a balanced music curriculum to provide learning opportunities that meet the statutory requirements for ICT within music.
Students can use Cubase to:
- Record Audio (capture) with a microphone
- Import Audio as a loop or sample from a CD or Audio file
- Use basic editing features to change the length, pitch, tempo or EQ of a sound
- Use MIDI sequencing to record melodies and rhythms
- Experiment with MIDI timbres - combine sounds to make textures
- Create rhythm patterns using the Drum Editor - combine these to make longer pieces of music
Student can use Cubase to:
- Create audio loops and samples - making use of editing and manipulation tools such as cut/paste/repeat/reverse etc…
- Use audio loops and samples within the creation of original musical compositions
- Edit, manipulate and develop sounds and timbres using a range of editing features including the mixer - EQ, Plug Ins, VST Instruments, Time stretching, Pitch-shifting
- Mixing and producing stereo recordings of multi-track material - considering balance, blend, stereo field, acoustic depth
- Creating MIDI sequenced backing tracks - considering pitch, rhythm, sense of style, instrumentation, balance, articulation and phrasing etc…
- Using MIDI sequencing as a tool to realise compositional ideas
- Using the score-writing features within Cubase to produce staff notation of musical projects
2) GCSE Courses
Music Technology can be used within all of the major GCSE syllabuses in different ways.
In particular it can be used as an excellent tool to aid the production of composition work, facilitating the realisation of ideas.
Cubase can be used as a digital sketch book, allowing students to compose and arrange music in a wide variety of styles and genres, from Contemporary Dance music - that only exists with the help of Music Technology, through to experimental 20thCentury music, and even as a notation tool for conventional Western, Tonal Classical music.
Cubase can also be used as an excellent tool to aid the development of performance skills. Students can create backing tracks or piano accompaniments to use during their individual instrumental or vocal studies. If these are created using MIDI sounds, the tempo can be altered to allow difficult sections to be mastered slowly, with specific phrases or bars repeated over and over again using the loop /cycle functions.
The development of aural skills can also be supported by working with Cubase. Teachers can prepare listening exercises ranging from simple dictation tasks, through to the analysis of chords and cadences all within the software.
In the EDEXCEL GCSE syllabus, students can choose to follow a discreet Music Technology pathway, and study more detailed sequencing and recording skills. Cubase is an excellent piece of software to work with in the course of this programme of study.