The Ultimate Guide to Garageband for Educators

Garageband has been a huge success in revitalising Apple’s fortunes over the last few years for a number of reasons.  It is dead simple for complete beginners to utilise as a live music recorder, track looper or podcast creation tool.  It looks great and has enough depth and resources to keep enthusiasts and even the odd professional satisfied as in all in one audio studio.

As a dual platform user this is the one program windows users must concede defeat on as it just offers so much for so little.  Although I encourage everyone to take a look at Myna from Aviary. A real Garage Band contender that actually runs in a web browser. Pretty Amazing.

As a teacher Garageband offers students loads of options to be creative and enthusiastic towards learning as a literacy and mathematics tool and much more than simply creating some cool loops.  After trawling the net for my own Garageband resources of late I have compiled the ultimate guide to Garageband for Educators to help others get started with this great tool.  Hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your feedback.

PS:  If you missed the Ultimate Guide to Google Earth for Educators take a look at it here.

Starting From Scratch:

A word from the Fruit Company First:  It is only fair that your first stop with Garage band if you are a complete novice is Apple.  Apple have a mixed bag of resources that will familiarise you with the interface, features and resources contained within Garage band and get all of that confusion out of the way first.  They have video tutorials. Printable Guides and a massive amount of other support materials here.  This would also be a great start for a music teacher who wanted to introduce Garage band to their students with minimal fuss.

Another Great Starting Point:Mac App Storm  Have an excellent getting started tutorial For Garage band that is a lot simpler and less in depth than Apple’s but many may actually find it more useful.  Check it out here.

I just want to make a Podcast in my classroom today:

Many teachers may not really be interested in Garageband as an Aspiring Reginald Dwight or Gordon Sumner but want to use it as a podcasting tool.  It does this so well and you will need to know how to record and edit a talk show add some stingers and music any other bells and whistles you see fit package up a podcast that will engage the audience.   

I have located a brilliant eBook you can download as a PDF for free here called Podcasting with Garageband.  What it doesn’t have about podcasting isn’t worth knowing and at 20 pages is just the right amount for someone like me who can’t read those boring biblical manuals. Just the facts and full of Pic’s, Hints and Diagrams.

If you are the Visual Learner I have included this simple video below that shows podcasting in 2 minutes.  Definitely share this with your students.

For the more experienced user here is a brilliant ten part series from on Podcasting. Video Tutorials that goes into great detail but you may have to hunt around a bit to find all 10 tutorials due to the fact they are not linked on the site. Definitely worth the effort.

For the Music Teacher

There is loads of great stuff here but I would recommend Susan Ferdon’s 7 Part tutorial on Garageband for Music Techies.  She has a great mix of video and text broken into lessons that musically minded people will appreciate.

Brad Johnston has some great resources here for Music teachers which goes well beyond just Garageband.

Integrating Garageband into all Curriculum Areas – Lesson Plans and Ideas.

Improving Reading Fluency with iPods and Garageband.  The goal of this lesson is to develop stronger reading fluency and comprehension, and increase language acquisition skills:

Lesson Planet has 28 dedicated Lesson Plans for integrating Garageband into your classroom either as a musical, literacy or maths tool.  It is a paid site, which we don’t generally promote but it does have a free 10 day trial to see if it is a good fit for you.  Here are there Garageband Lessons

Finally you have the Apple Learning interchange – Which has some lesson plans and ideas for Integrating both iPods and Garageband into your class activity.

If you have any further Garageband resources let me know and I’ll add them.