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Creative arts class hits the recording studio

TGS students are big music fans: rock, contemporary, alternative, classical, acoustic. When Creative Arts teacher Sherry Zhang gave them a choice about the type of art and expression they’d like to explore, students took the opportunity to do what they love: write and record their own music. They formed three “bands” and were responsible for an entire song from start to finish. Read all about the process here.

The three bands, “Nothing But Us,” “Ninja Spartans,” and “Paranoid Waffles,” shared their album covers, band history, bios, and their own songs with one another. Here are the songs they created:

Nothing But Us (.m4a)

Ninja Spartans (.m4a)

Paranoid Waffles (.m4a)

But the class wasn’t just about composing and recording a song. The class tackled larger issues, such as the impact of digital recording on the music industry, with its impact on copyright and distribution. And they even had some very special guest lecturers. One student, Polarbear, has a direct connection to the music industry: his mother is a singer and his father is a record producer. Thanks to Skype, his parents were able to pay a virtual visit to the class.


Students shared their songs their special guests and talked about the creative music-making process. They had a great conversation about the music industry including how albums are made. Polarbear’s mom shared an original vinyl record she used to record her first song. She said she knew she wanted to be a singer when, at the age of nine, she wanted nothing more than to practice singing in front of a mirror.

Polarbear’s parents provided insightful feedback on the student recordings, including how “new,” “fresh,” and “original” it is to have the same people writing the lyrics and singing. They were especially impressed that students wrote and collaborated on the lyrics themselves, which is not common at all in the music industry.

This term’s Creative Arts class tackled several aspects of making and recording music: composition, recording, and editing. And thanks to two very special guests, they also gained important insight into the music industry. This comprehensive understanding gives students a more complete picture of all of the work, expertise and talent that goes into each song they download for the music libraries on their iPads, iPhones, and MacBook Pros.

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It all starts here.

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