Music meets Science

by: Stephanie McCarthy, Middle School Music Teacher
Eighth Graders are wrapping up their semester in Music with Mrs. McCarthy by learning about Music Engineering in the computer lab. They have been learning about the physics of sound, and recently conducted a scientific experiment using Slinkies. They discovered how sound waves travel through air and tried to work out which type of wave (transverse or longitudinal) travels faster.

As a song production project, students chose from a selection of sonnets and monologues by William Shakespeare to make their own vocal recordings. They were allowed to either speak, rap, or sing for their vocal track. As a creative challenge, the recordings were added into an ABA patterned song they created on Garageband. This week students finalized their songs by using basic elements of music engineering such as Vocal Riding, Equalization, Compression, and Gain. Overall, they seemed to enjoy making music, listening to each other's songs, and learning more about the creation and production process through music engineering.

Photo: Meredith M., Claire E., Ainsley B., Sean S.

Video: the longitudinal wave traveling the length of the slinky in slow motion. They had to record the average time it took the wave to reach the measured slinky length (all less than one second). 


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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.