Updated: May 6, 2021
Sound Waves is a project created by violist, teaching artist, and music producer Josh Wareham in collaboration with the Newbold Orchestra at the Boston Music Project. Josh met with the group of 4th-5th grade students once per week for 12 sessions, during which they used the browser-based digital audio workstation Soundtrap to write and produce 12 original tracks in the style of their choosing, including one group-composition.
Josh: "My goal for this project was to provide the students with the foundational skills needed to develop and express their individual artistic ideas through writing, recording, producing, and sharing original music. In doing so, they had the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the value of their musicianship in the modern world. Each week we focused on one of a wide variety of topics; including active-listening, phrasing,
song structure, writing specific instrumental parts (drums, melodies, bass lines, etc), using creative audio effects, recording live instruments into a DAW, and editing and revising our work. In addition, we composed one track as a group, 'Skating on Fire.' I used an online spinner-wheel to randomly call on students one by one, and each student had the opportunity to choose the next instrument category, specific sound, melodic shape, tempo/energy, or element of the song structure. Finally, the students recorded improvisation on a D minor arpeggio, which I sampled to create the string melodies throughout the track."
Newbold Orchestra students also had very positive things to say about their experience working on the project:
“My song title is ‘Walking Home’...I made this piece because I remember before COVID-19 that I would walk to my house with my dad and my sister after coming from school. The grand piano was inspired by my dad, and the violin part was inspired by my sister.” - Ladan
"For my song, I chose a wide variety of sounds, which is what the title 'un mélange de choses' means. I wanted the song to be centered around self-expression." -Zachary
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the City of Boston.