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Course Descriptions for Fun Stuff

I often get questions about how to create real classes for unusual interests like writing music for movies.  How do you create classes for fun?  More importantly, how do you write a boring course description about fascinating non-classroom learning?


My Gold Care Club member asked for me to look over her course descriptions.  When I saw this one, I flipped!  This is just WONDERFUL, and a great example of how to take a student's interest and create a course description.  We talked about what her son did, and what he used, and found some possible course titles, and looked in a college catalog for a course that had similar content.  She confirmed with her son's piano instructor, who agreed it was a great course title.  She used some words from the college catalog, some words from the texts and materials she used.  It's a wonderful, academic class with a description filled with details.  It really represents what he learned and how much he accomplished.  Remember, this was an activity her son does for fun, using the gifts and abilities he was born with, and his parents just wanted to feed his passion with appropriate materials.  What a great course description!  Thank you, Ann, for sharing your course description!

Course Description
Music Technology: MIDI Arranging of Film Scores


The student will develop skill and proficiency in musical arrangement on the keyboard and through the use of musical technology. He will practice ear-training skills by translating a piece of music into individual instrumental parts recorded into tracks on the keyboard. He will progress to using Sony ACID Pro 6.0 MIDI sequencing software to produce arrangements of various pieces.  In addition, the student will read and study Complete Guide to Film Scoring – The Art and Business of Writing Music for Movies and TV by Richard Davis, as well as listen to numerous film scores.  The student’s most complex arrangements, which his instructor will record with a Kurzweil K200r synthesizer, will be played at his yearly recitals.  Recordings of recital pieces available upon request.

Texts & Materials:

Complete Guide to Film Scoring – The Art and Business of Writing Music for Movies and TV by Richard Davis (Berklee Guide)

Sony ACID Pro 6.0 MIDI - Sequencing software

Arrangements

Keyboard:
Blood Ritual” / “Moonlight Serenade” from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl by Klaus Badelt
One Last Shot” from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl by Klaus Badelt
The Black Pearl” from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl by Klaus Badelt
The Medallion Calls” from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl by Klaus Badelt
Davy Jones” from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest by Hans Zimmer
Jack Sparrow” from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest by Hans Zimmer
Themes from Apollo 13 by James Horner
Theme from The Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein

Keyboard & Sony ACID:
Concerning Hobbits” by Howard Shore from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Themes from Jurassic Park by John Williams
Unforgotten” from Halo 2 by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori

Performances

Spring Recital 2008: Theme from The Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein (recorded by instructor with Kurzweil synthesizer) Spring Recital 2009: Themes from Jurassic Park by John Williams (recorded by instructor with Kurzweil synthesizer)

Course Grade
A = 4.0

Grading Criteria: Letter grade awarded based on quality of effort. / Credit awarded based on 150(+)  hours of work.

Grading Scale: A=93-100%=4.0 / A- = 90-92%=3.67 / B+=87-89%=3.33 / B=83-86%=3.0 / B- = 80-82%=2.67 / C+=77-79%=2.33 / C=73-76%=2.0 / C- = 70-72%=1.67 / D+=67-69%=1.33 / D=63-66%=1.0 / D- = 60-62%=.67 / F=Less than 60%=Less than .67

This same child had another music class called Music Technology: MIDI Composition & Arranging.  For that class they used Sibelius 5 Notation Software and also Sony

ACID Pro 6.0 MIDI Music Studio sequencing software.  I have to say, I'm VERY impressed!  I know that sometimes people think "WOW!" about some of my own homeschool classes.  Has it every occurred to you that other parents may be thinking "WOW!" about YOUR homeschool classes?   It's true!



The HomeScholar Gold Care Club will give you the comprehensive help you need to homeschool high school.
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Comments 2

Guest - Heidi on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 04:21

I'm so glad I came across this course description. This is what my 9th grader would like to do. He has the chance to go to a week long summer music camp which includes music technology. This gives me ideas for curriculum for next year! Thanks so much for sharing! I love all your info, Lee!

I'm so glad I came across this course description. This is what my 9th grader would like to do. He has the chance to go to a week long summer music camp which includes music technology. This gives me ideas for curriculum for next year! Thanks so much for sharing! I love all your info, Lee!
Guest - Assistant to The HomeScholar on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 10:26

Lee is always happy to help, Heidi!
Robin
Assistant to The HomeScholar

Lee is always happy to help, Heidi! Robin Assistant to The HomeScholar
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