1. Beat Making with Your Sounds

Creativity, Music, Technology, Acoustics


Target Audience 10-18 years and/or Adults

Previous generations of music students could never have imagined the exploding world of digital musical instruments on which young people can now conceive, learn, and make music! Ian offers an introduction to digital music in this one-time beat-making workshop.  Alternately Beat Making with Your Sounds can be just the first in a series of workshops covering additional, fundamental music concepts. Instead of teaching music by having participants play a ukulele, drum, or other more traditional instrument during the workshop, Ian has them "play" software DAWs.  DAW means digital audio workstation, and refers, in this case, to one or several pieces of software that allow participants to begin to record, edit, and produce music.  The first section of the workshop uses an interactive, audio web site to teach basics of beat making.  The second section has participants using a DAW to make their own beat, including some of their own, original sampled material.  Participants create original DJ names and use those to title their beats. 

Ian originally developed the workshops for the King County Library System using the DAW called Ableton Live.  Now he offers it using Ableton Live or several free, open source software DAWs, depending upon what works best for the particular situation.  Typically the live version of this workshop will have up to six teams.  The ideal team size is 2 people, but can be expanded to 3 or even 4 to offer hands on experience for more participants, allowing up to 24 participants (on 6 computers) total in this core group.  Each team collaborates on one computer to create a beat by the end of the 90 minute workshop.  Space permitting, additional people may attend as observers, watching Ian's demonstration of the software and his acoustic drum kit playing, looking over the shoulders of the core teams, and even trying the exercises if they have access to a computer.  Please keep in mind though that Ian is generally only able to provide individual tech support to the core group and not to observers.



2. Beat Making with Your Sounds - Hands On Virtual Version

Creativity, Music, Technology, Acoustics

This is the streaming version of workshop #1.  In order to allow Ian to help each core team successfully complete their beat-making project by the end of the 90 minutes, this virtual workshop has the same limits on the number of computers as workshop #1.  In preparation for this program, a participant must download specific software onto their computer.  As with workshop #1, additional observers are welcome to attend, with the understanding that Ian won't be able to provide them with the same individual attention as the core group receives.


3. Bucket Drumming Remix

brief description.  More information here



3. Beat Making - Interactive Virtual Lecture

Creativity, Music, Technology, Acoustics

If your goal is to engage a large number of participants online, involving many more than 6 computers, this may be the workshop for you!  In this interactive lecture Ian presents much of the same material as workshop #1, but there is no core group of participants and no beat created at the end of the 90 minutes.  No materials or equipment is required for this program, other than a computer that can run the webinar/meeting software.  Instead, Ian offers pre-program suggestions, all optional, for how participants can be prepared to try out the beat-making concepts during the program.  These suggestions include what type of computer setup to have ready, what software to download, headphones, etc.  If participants end up with their own original beats to share, Ian attempts to incorporate as many as possible into the lecture.  Rather than offer individual tech support, in this program Ian spends more time reviewing what free DAWs are available for participants to launch their own digital beat-making journey and demonstrating how peripherals (keyboards, audio interfaces etc.) can be set up to work with a DAW to create music.



4. Bucket Drumming Remix

Acoustics, Music, Technology, Culture

How are the Caribbean Islands, physics, music, and computers related?  Attendees find out while playing bucket drums and helping to produce their own musical recording!  Fine for all ages of kids, but the target audience is Middle School, Junior High and Teen (ages 13-18).  College version also available.



5. Custom Workshops

Customized workshops and educational experiences are also available.  Topics can include Caribbean dance and music clinics; guest appearances with concert or jazz bands at high schools and colleges; guest teaching in Spanish and Portuguese; and computer clinics exploring MIDI sequencing, music notation, and digital recording.



Please get in touch for more information:


Ian Dobson

126 SW 148th St.

Ste C100 PMB 456

Seattle, WA 98166



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