Welcome to Episode 34 of Ten Minute Tips to Teach Music. Don’t forget that with all the podcasts I produce, there is always a support blog. Each post contains a transcript of the podcast along with any items that might be of use. So head on over to the website – www.klerrisacustommusic.com.au and jump onto the latest news.
In today’s episode, I wanted to discuss the possibilities of Incredibox. Now Katy Wardrobe (www.midnightmusic.com.au) was the first person who introduced me to Incredibox. When I first saw it in action, I realised it was a cute app but the implications for an investigation into the concepts was quite dynamic. So I thought I might talk about how it can be used in the classroom.
There are currently 6 versions, 4 of which are free on a desktop – MAC or PC. The App costs $5.99 for iPad and iPhone. As our Stage 4 (Year 7 and 8) have iPads, I tend to use this with Years 9 and 10. They have BYOD laptops and they have access to the free versions. If they want to buy the app then they are older and can do so.
In our programming, we do a Launch Pad Unit in Year 8 so Incredibox is used in Year 9 as an extension on the technology used. I have found this to be quite useful as we team it with the Roli pads, Garage Band Samples and of course Launch Pad.
So what can you do with this app. Well depends on the version and what you want to get out of it. Here is a bit of a break down of what I think each version can bring to the table. Each version has 4 groups and can be used for all sorts of things.
- Create Your Own Mix: So this is probably the most obvious one. The students are given a time frame to create their own unique mix. You can put all sorts of perametres on it and give them specific textural rules.
- Aural Activity: Notate the patterns of a particular grouping or work out the patterns and select which ones are which.
- Drum kit connection: some of these versions have groups where the layers align with the roles of the drum kit. So you could limit them to just one group like Version 1 Melodies and get them to connect the roles of the drum kit – kick drum, back beat, pulse, fill, accents, etc.
- Jazz connection: Scat and accents – try to recognise them in Version 2 Effects 3.
- ID the Variation: Some of the patterns have variation within the phrasing which is interesting to identify. For Example Version 2 Melody 3
- ID the layers in the melodies: Version 2 Melody 4.
- ID the chords: Version 2 Voices 3
Here is a couple of patterns that I notated from the Version 2. You can see if the students can find the loop person. For fun, I get them to learn the loops and create their own Incredibox live performance. Some students even dress up like the characters. It’s hysterical.