Audacity software for teaching

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Home Forums Pedagogy Teaching – General: Solutions, Question, Tips Audacity software for teaching

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    Terry B. Ewell

    The last semester I introduced a digital project requirement for my bassoon students at Towson University. Students were required to record scales using the open source software Audacity.

    You can view and instructional video on YouTube or http://www.2reed.net. Here are the links:



    Has anyone else employed technology projects for their students? I would be interested in learning about them. If there is interest I could further discuss my experiences.

    Scott Pool


    The Audacity project is a great way to get students to start using editing software. Though it’s a bit cumbersome, at least it’s freeware.

    I teach an introduction to computers in music class, and we did a project using Audacity. I recorded three “takes” of the Prelude to the Bach cello suite in D minor (on bassoon of course!) as .wav files. In each take I made sure there were audible mistakes in different parts, and naturally, some sections were smoother than others. The assignment was to take all three examples and edit them down to one smooth final file with no mistakes, and then burn that file onto one audio CD I could “grade” by listening from a standard CD player. Out of 15 students, I curved the assignment, so only the best projects received appropriate grades. In the class I had two bassoonists who found the project quite fun.

    One note I should make, is that a few students owned Mac computers and the Garage Band software which comes with them. They had the option to use their own computers if they wanted, and you could really tell the difference between the two. I cannot stress enough how much time is saved and how much better the quality is by using Mac’s Garage Band instead of Audacity. Of course, most of the world uses Windows and Audacity is free, but Apple’s music software let’s you do so much more.

    This semester, I will be adding your You Tube links to the assignment as a resource for those who need to learn Audacity. Thanks for posting them!

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