A Shortcut to a Symphony

Electronic Music Production with Mr. Shaw 

With just their laptops and miniature keyboards, our middle schoolers are learning how to combine traditional music theory with technology to produce their very own music.

This year, Middle School choral director and music teacher Thomas Shaw is teaching a new elective, Electronic Music Production. In addition to learning about the fundamentals of songwriting and composing, students are able to explore the different techniques, sounds, and patterns used in today's electronic music. The practice of putting these seemingly independent elements together is a kind of musical creation that is new to the students, yet familiar in many ways.

"It's like a shortcut to a symphony," Mr. Shaw said. "The stuff they hear on TikTok is pretty much all remixes and we've done some work on that as well, so it's reflective of their culture."

We offer various music and arts electives to supplement our student's academic experience and synthesize these different types of learning. For Mr. Shaw, showing them how this is possible is a priority.

"They’re not thinking about their science experiment or math problem when they’re up in my room, but they’re still using some of those cognitive facilities in the practice of music-making," he said. "To be able to use some of those academic skills in a more free, creative context is worthwhile and helps in the development of those skills."

Starting in seventh grade, our students can choose from 23 electives courses ranging from choir to journalism to robotics. To learn more about the different electives we offer Middle School students, visit our Electives Page.