The Modern Music Classroom
Transform your dated classroom to a modern-day studio for your community.
Over ten years ago I was able to follow my passion to develop my love of music and teaching by combining them to re-establish the music program within my school. My vision for the Music Department was to create a closer network with our local community by providing relevant and real opportunities for all the students, in and out of class times.
This started with transforming the environment into purpose specific areas dedicated to the many facets of music creation and performing. The Main Classroom area became the ‘Live Venue Area’ or the ‘The Jam Room’; set-up for performances or rehearsals an area was created as a computer lab known as the ‘production room’ or ‘stage live room’.
It was important for the students to be involved with the revamping of the environment. With their ideas we brought in local street artists and worked with the Visual Art teacher to create a modern studio feel.
The Graffiti artwork seen in ‘Main Classroom’, ‘The Jam Room’ was done by a local professional Graffiti artist, Steve from Graffiti Galaxy. Check out his work here https://www.facebook.com/GraffitiGalaxy/.
The artwork seen in the ‘Computer Lab’ was inspired by the American artist Jackson Pollock (one of my personal favourites) and created by our very own senior school music students. Some of their names can be seen on the walls even with the lights out.
The results of this transformation have expanded the amount of community involvement within the classroom and led to the creation of new courses being taught to teach students about the music industry. I still feel my full vision for this music studio is a few years away, however, as my students develop their own skills and their music business, opportunities will expand further for the school.
The Transformed Music Studio
Our Main Classroom - stage could be a live venue for local artists/bands to showcase their work to an intimate hand-picked crowd (max. 50 people). We would give our classroom an underground venue name such as ‘The Cliffe’, where tickets are sold online and part of the entry fee would go to the school to hold the event. These would be held straight after school into the night – with security, CCTV cameras etc.
Our main classroom as well as the ‘Jam Room’ could be also hired as rehearsal rooms with fully functioning recording equipment so sessions could be recorded for demo’s and general listening purposes, as bands/artists develop their sound/craft.
Full studio with control and live rooms
Our computer lab could be the control room which will be linked to the Classroom –Stage (Live Room 1) and the Jam Room (Live Room 2) all with connectors mounted onto the wall which all leads back the control room. Having live Video/Audio Feeds from each room will allow for communication between the control room and the live rooms.
Our Computer Lab could be equipped with the latest gear such as midi controllers, mics, guitars, samplers, beat-making tools for up-and-coming Music Producers creating their own beats and sounds.
Our vision was truly inspired the DIY Music business model by the following the local business Fox Hole Studios – check it out! http://foxholestudios.com.au/
Nikola Culum is a passionate, dedicated and revolutionary music teacher in Perth, Western Australia. He has been nominated for Western Australia’s Teacher of the Year 2016 for his ambitious and outstanding teaching practices and accomplishments with High School students in a low socio-economic government school located within the metropolitan area of the city, with roughly 600+ students from over 50 different nationalities including the local indigenous aborigines (Wadjak – Noongar). His underlying philosophy with his teaching is to create a sense of positivity and unity through sharing the creation, performing and appreciation of music.