Havering College Musical Aspirations Trip

On Tuesday 1st October GCSE and prospective GCSE Music students from years 9-11 took part in a mixing workshop at Havering College.

The session was based around an element of the GCSE theory paper; the use of electronic FX enhance performances in post production. Students were taught about 4 of these FX; reverb, vocoder, delay and autotune, how to recognise them aurally as well as the effect and purpose of applying them. Students were then given a “dry” R ‘n’ B track made up of just vocals, piano and a basic drumbeat. They used the FX they had learnt along with the skills they’ve developed in lessons to create their own “mixdown” of the track.

Students changed the tempo, added samples, recorded their own additional drum tracks and added vocoder, autotune, reverb and delay to create a whole new version of the track. This insight means that students will not just have been able to aurally recognise them but also to apply them and have a full understanding of their impact.

After they completed their mixdowns students had a tour of the creative arts building where they were able to see the range of digital and analogue studios, performing arts areas and teaching spaces. Beyond this they visited the TV studio where BBC Music film all their “introducing” sessions and had a chance to see the college radio broadcasting station.

The trip provided an insight into studying music and the creative arts beyond GCSE with a look at the types of facilities and equipment that students may use in college and when working at industry level.

Year 11 student: “It was great to get hands-on experience using the FX and to see industry level equipment. To have it taught in such an interactive way means that I won’t forget it. It also made me think far more about my future.”