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The Music Exhibition: A Storied Composition

November 13, 2022 | Jessica Smith

For the past six weeks, students in grades 7 & 8 have been working to record and compose audiobooks of Aesop’s Fables for their Music Exhibition. To begin, students chose an Aesop’s Fable and considered the mood and drama of the fable. Next, they created a plan for how they would record the story, what sound effects they would use, and how they would use music to create the mood for their fable. They considered instrumentation and musical style. 

After they created a plan, students began working in Soundtrap, a digital audio workstation. They recorded themselves reading their fable and added sound effects. They used the loop library in Soundtrap or created their own loops. Using these loops, they composed a prelude (introductory music), two interludes (music in the middle of the story), and a postlude (music at the end of the story). The final product was a 3-4 minute audiobook. 

On Nov. 15, students presented their audiobooks to an audience of their peers, parents, and teachers. Each student spoke about the process of creating their audiobook and then premiered their composition.

Jessica Smith

Music Teacher, Preschool and Grades 6-8; Worship Coordinator

With more than 20 years experience teaching music in a variety of settings from elementary to college, Dr. Jessica Smith has a deep love for music education, integrated arts curriculum, world music, and worship.
In 2017, Smith traveled to Ghana to study West African drumming and dance as part of a fellowship from Fund for Teachers. In 2015, she completed four years of training to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais™ Practitioner, a method that uses neuroscience and movement as a catalyst for potent learning. As a clinician, Smith has led workshops in vocal studies and drum circle facilitation. Before coming to Mustard Seed School in 2008, Smith was the Director of Preparatory & Continuing Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where she also served as a Visiting Professor.

Dr. Smith enjoys traveling and spending too much money on plants at the Union Square Greenmarket.

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