"Garage Band" for Music Classes K-12

Notice:  I will be adding “screenshots” to reflect the recent “Garage Band” (version 2.2) updates.  It will just take me a little while to get to it.


R. Moon      

           “Garage Band” is the ultimate fusion of music with technology.  Students can experience a more “in-depth” study into music and its fundamentals, along with the physics of sound and the basic workings of a modern recording studio.  I am focusing my attention on the highly efficient and effective use of “Garage Band” to teach and enhance improvisation skills, at both the beginning and intermediate levels.  Exploring different methods of notation and using “keyboard maps” that help allow students to “decode” and perform songs in music class.  Finally, to arrange a wide variety of music that can be performed with an i-Pad or Keyboard Ensemble, and then eventually combine i-pads and keyboards into “multi-level” performing ensembles.  Students could seamlessly progress from the beginning level on an i-pad to more advanced levels on the piano.

             All arrangements are written in the original key the artist used.  In that way your students can “play along with the “pros.”.  The keyboard arrangements may require transposition, but that is easily done internally.  At this time you cannot “transpose” the pitch in “Garage Band” (on a traditional black and white keyboard) but if you use the “Light Grey, Dark Grey” keyboards you can set up any key and scale format you wish.  Resource audio files can be purchased on the internet (i-Tunes, Amazon, etc…) for around one dollar each.  In most cases, once you download the audio file(s) onto your computer (A Mac or PC) you can easily interface it with an i-Pad by plugging in the USB part of the re-charging chord.  After the i-pad and computer are linked, the i-Pad will automatically “sync” with the computer it is plugged into.  Through your computers i-Tunes you can locate the apps on your i-Pad and drop and drag audio files directly into “Garage Bands” i-Tunes library. There are ways of transferring audio files from one i-pad to another using i-Cloud, Google Drive, Air Drop, and “Jam Sessions” and those will be covered in the “How To” tutorials section.     

        Many materials on this web site have minimal explanations.  I find that teachers will use whatever they feel best suits their student’s needs.  Many times they will come up with better ideas on ways to use them than the initial way that was intended.  Since “Garage Band” for music education is covering “new ground”, I can see where you might become confused on the “How and Why” about certain materials.  Feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to share with you my thoughts and suggestions.  If you do decide to try any of these ideas with your students, I would greatly appreciate your feedback.   


richard_moon@charleston.k12.sc.us  or



Richard Moon

Music Teacher

The “Find This Icon” Game:

            Remembering what various “icons” mean and where they are located in “Garage Band” can be very challenging for young children.  Playing a game using “flash cards” of these pictographs with alternate, or “nick" names that describe what the icon looks like is almost essential in order to easily communicate their functions and locations with young musicians.  Using these “flash cards” in a competitive “Where’s Waldo” like game in “Garage Band” can be a fun way to introduce children to the app. without overwhelming them.  Following are a series of icon “flash card” I like to use.