Academic Enrichment Activities

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TALL Live! Recording Studio

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TALL Live!

Bonnie Walker

2424 California
Topeka, KS 66611



Activity Description

Approximately 18 ninth through twelfth grade students are a part of TALL Live!‚ a music production project that meets daily from 3:00-6:00 PM. One student is the manager‚ who‚ in addition to being the record keeper‚ has the overall responsibility for the smooth operation of the program. Three producers are in charge of subgroups such as hip-hop and R and B. Certain students compose music‚ others write lyrics‚ and all perform. Several are trained to do the actual recording and physically reproduce the music on CD using equipment that belongs exclusively to the program. The end products are CDs produced entirely by this group of 18 students who will share the results with the school over the intercom‚ in the cafeteria‚ and so on.

Number of Students Involved in This Activity: 18

Range of Student Ages: Ninth to twelfth grade

Duration of Activity: 3:00-6:00 PM

Academic ContentWhat is the academic content of this activity? Literacy
Writing lyrics and composing music are skills acquired through language arts and math. Writing lyrics is using one's knowledge of poetry. Composing music and using the keyboard are a real application of numbers and basic algebra. Learning to utilize the equipment requires the ability to understand technical writing and apply the knowledge gained in the real world.

Strong RelationshipsHow does this activity create strong relationships?
Students in this project are treated with respect and as adults. They must work as a team in order to have a product. There is a strong emphasis on helping one another so that the group can be successful. The fact is that without each individual's contribution there will be no product. Trust in and reliance on one another is critical.

Decision MakingWhat opportunities are there for authentic decision making?
At the very beginning of the project‚ it was made clear that only positive messages would be allowed. With that in mind‚ the students as a group make all of the decisions. There is an adult supervisor who ensures that all school rules are observed‚ but outside of that‚ the students make the decisions. Their decisions could theoretically lead to non-productive activity‚ but that is unlikely as all of the students want to have their own work recorded‚ and non-productive activity is counter to their own goals.

Student LeadershipWhat student leadership opportunities are there?
Each individual is given the opportunity for leadership within their different subgroups and as different recordings are made. The manager and the three producers have extensive opportunities for leadership because without them‚ nothing could be accomplished. Every single person in the group is critical to its success and provides leadership as needed.


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