Step Sequencing vs. Live Drumming on Ableton Push for Middle School Students

This week students watched a video from Push Tutorials about step sequencing drums using an Ableton Drum Rack.  In the video St. Joe, the presenter, mentions that you can do both live drumming and step sequencing simultaneously on the Push.  In fact the Push has a great workflow for both styles of drumming.

Students explored both styles of drumming to create original patterns using Rack Life 64 by MSX Audio.  In this video students speak about their preferences, and student music is highlighted.

Flipping the Classroom & the Beat with

As we have been teaching Middle School students Ableton Push as part of the Push Initiative I am always on the look out for great digital resources for the students.   The website Push Tutorials has been a great tool for students to get step by step instructions that they can refer back to.  There is a video manual that goes over Push  and Push 2, and in my lesson planning I have been finding videos and information from the site to go over with the students.

Here is an example of students watching a video on step sequencing that is part of the Push Tutorials video manual, and then applying what they learned through experimentation.


Capturing Students Interest in Music Production on Day 1

The first day that students jumped on Ableton Push I wanted to give them an activity that immediately captured their attention and made them feel they can be successful.  In Project Based Learning we call this the entry level event.

I heard of a great lesson at an Ableton workshop that was designed by Beats by Girlz.  The idea of the lesson is to use the Push Sequencer and have each student pick a sound and a place for the beat to land using the step sequencer.  Collectively the students make a beat. We used the sounds of MSX Audio Ableton Rack Life Pack because the sounds are really well rounded, and have a punch that captures the students imagination.  The sounds include drums, as well as melodic sounds.  It is a pack of 64 sounds.

Here are the students of Beats 4 Edu in action.