Digital Music Class Rocks Glenwood High

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Digital Music Class Rocks Glenwood High

Morgan Reed, Reporter

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Students at Glenwood Springs High School don’t need an instrument to create music.

At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, Roaring Fork School District Administration underwent quite a few changes in respects to the school’s music program. Not only was Timothy Caskin hired as the new director, but also brought a new music course, in which not a single instrument is used. Digital Composition is the newest offering within the GSHS Fine Arts program, and it’s allowing for a broader range of students to have a creative outlet through music.

“One of the beautiful things about this class is that the students themselves are the curriculum,” and that the class is a combination of personal curriculum,” said Caskin. “So much of music is already embodied and inherent, my job is to bring the music out.”

Caskin has experience bringing out the music at several levels of academia. He formally taught high school band in Long Island, New York, where he was born and raised, and taught at a collegiate level in Illinois. The class itself is centered around the students creating music through a digital program called Sound Trap, a user-friendly site that allows students to loop different tracks together, stack sounds on top of one another, experiment with different pre-recorded instruments and sounds, and invent their own sounds. Ultimately, fabricating an environment that allows for students’ creativity to flow without them even realizing it. Rather than the instructor setting out to teach music theory concepts, the students create their own personal kind of music and the instructor then steps in to tell them what they’re really doing and how it relates to a deeper idea behind the actual creation of music.

Not only does the class open creative doors for a multitude of people, but it also gives students who want to create music but aren’t as interested in band, a way to fill their musical interest. Elizabeth Miller, a sophomore at GSHS, who previously partook as a flutist in the band program at Glenwood Springs Middle School, said, “I missed being in band but wanted to try something new at the same time. I thought that instead of learning a new instrument, I could make my own music.”

Miller and any other students at GSHS with musical interest, not related to playing an instrument, now have the opportunity to support their musical passion. Doors are opened for them to improve their musical ability, take part in a revolutionary way of creation, and contribute to making the Arts program at the school more diverse and well rounded across the board.  

Caskin believes that Digital Composition deserves a place in all high school music curriculums. “There was desire within the administration to build a fine arts program, which means a well rounded, comprehensive music program, it was also driven by the idea of getting a whole bunch of kids to make music that aren’t playing instruments.” Although the program is new and unique for everyone involved and they are “writing the curriculum as [they] go,” It’s allowed for a more diverse group of individuals to be apart of the already booming Fine Arts program at Glenwood Springs High School.