Computer Composers

Digital Music Making is the new class that allows students to create music

Have you ever wanted to create music online? Have you ever wanted to create music in an easy, more straightforward way without needing any musical experience?  If yes, then Digital Music Making is the new class for you! The class counts towards a Fine Arts credit and is taught two periods each day.

Sophomore Evan Butler is currently taking the class. “I take the class because even though I have had a bit of experience with recording and editing music, I had no experience with mixing and creating it for myself,” he said.

Digital Music is a new class a University Prep, and the main focus behind the class is very important. Director of academic technology Jeff Tillinghast said, “Digital music making is trying to take apart technological advances in making music and give people tools to create music without having to know as much about theory and songwriting composition, and those other things that are normally expected in order to create music.”

The end goal is for the students to be able to mix their new skills with creativity in the future. “[Students can] take whatever level of musicianship they are at and be able to add to it in new and interesting ways.” Tillinghast said.

The atmosphere of the class is relaxed. “In the class we are able to do work in a very loose manner. It’s a fun class and some of my classmates are very interesting people,” Butler said.

Digital music making provides students with opportunities to learn many new things in the realm of digital music. “In the beginning we went over how to listen and put together different sounds, such as low and high sounds, or short and long sounds and then how to put those together to build rhythms,” Tillinghast said.

From there he taught his students how to recognize and use “common rhythms and beats that we hear in contemporary styles of music. Using those you can create your own music,” he said.

After that, Tillinghast directed his students to, “put together drum tracks then layer on other instruments over that. They wrapped the quarter talking about “form and really looking at how you put together a piece of music that has some structure and some variety so listeners can follow it and it sounds interesting but not totally random,” Tilinghast said.

This class comes praised by its students. “I would definitely recommend digital music making to other students. It’s an art area that you don’t come across often and that would make it worth learning,” Butler said.

Tillinghast recommended the class to future students as well. “I think it’s a fun class and something I have personally wanted to teach and do, and  it’s a good way to start a musical journey,” Tilinghast said.

By Ian Lee