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DMIT Music Fiesta 2010 Create, Produce & Perform

4 Nov 2010
The DMIT Music Fiesta is part of the annual DMIT Digital Media and IT Fiesta that features a series of workshops that are designed to give secondary school students an insight into the various tools and practises that are used in Digital Media to create content. The Music Fiesta workshop runs over 4 days and is conducted in partnership with Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School.

*DMIT stands for the School of Digital Media and InfoComm Technology, Singapore Polytechnic.
This is the second year the Music Fiesta was conducted and the response from secondary schools was great. A total of 42 students signed-up for this workshop. The workshop itself was conducted over 4 days, from the 1st to the 4th November 2010. The topics covered over the 4 days were, Arranging and Performing for a ‘Pop band’, Basic Midi Sequencing and an Introduction to Recording and Mixing Techniques.

Getting To Know You

The first 2 days were held at Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School. The programme for the first 2 days targeted arranging and performing for a ‘Pop band’. The very first thing that the participants did was to get to know each other. This was done in a fun way by student helpers (Mentors) from Singapore Polytechnic’s DMAT course (Diploma in Music and Audio Technology).

The participants (secondary school students) were then divided into groups to form a ‘Pop Band’, based on the instrument each participant could play. Each ‘Band’ was then assigned an SP student Mentor, who would help the group with the arrangement and performance of a ‘Pop Song’. Each band was then instructed to find a ‘song’ they could perform.

Getting The Chords Right

Once they had a song, the Band was told to get the chords and lyrics of the song right, then start arranging the song based on the instruments each Band had. Each Band then had to perform the song on the second day at Pasir Ris Crest. Prizes were awarded to the top 3 Bands. All the students loved practising and performing their song. Indeed for many of them, it was a dream come true, for they had always wanted to part of a Band and perform in front of a ‘live’ audience.
Para x – At the end the judges were unanimous that each Band had put-up a great performance. It was hard to choose winners, but everyone was in agreement that the top 3 Bands certainly performed extremely well. Everyone put in a great amount of effort and the students certainly bonded with their Mentors form SP.

Performing their ‘Song’
Day 3 and 4 (The 3rd and 4th November 2010) of the Music Fiesta was held at the Music Lab (Called the ‘Sound Space’) and Recording Studios at the School of Digital Media and InfoComm Technology in Singapore Polytechnic.

Day 3 featured tutorials on Sequencing Basics, by Lecturers and Students Mentors. Students worked in groups to sequence a song into GarageBand. The idea was to sequence the song they performed at PRCS the day before, export this as an audio file, bring it to 1 of 3 Recording Studios at DMIT, and record the vocals there, with perhaps an additional recording of an instrument. Everyone Band member contributed to getting the song sequenced. From their eagerness to get involved in this music production to their liking for the scrumptious lunch and tea-breaks, the student participants were obviously having a great time.

Busy Sequencing in the ‘Sound Space’

Song writing Explained!
Day 3 also featured a tutorial on ‘Song Writing’, which was conducted by SP’s DMAT Lecturer, Leon Lim. Some of the topics covered were ‘Lyrics’, ‘Chord Progressions’, ‘Chord Colours’ and Rhythm.

The participants really enjoyed this as all of them aspire to be ‘Songwriters’. All participants now have a better understanding of what it takes to write the next big ‘Hit’. 
On the morning of the 4th day, the participants had a tutorial on recording techniques. They then had to finish sequencing their song. After they had completed this, they then had to export their songs as audio files from GarageBand and bring this to the recording studios where they then recorded the vocals and other instruments that the song required. Needless to say, everyone had a great time recording, and each band was given a copy of the finished song as an audio file, with the sequenced and recorded vocals and instruments ‘mixed’ or blended together.

Are My Drums Loud?

Director DMIT Giving-Out the Prizes
At the end of day 4 there was a closing ceremony, where prizes were given to the top 3 Bands. The prizes were given away by the Director of DMIT, Ms Georgina Phua, who in her closing address to the participants hoped that everyone, had fun while learning and discovering new things during the Music Fiesta.
Indeed, all participants had said that the Fiesta was ‘Awesome’ Here are some quotes:
"Being involved in the 'Music Fiesta' was extremely enjoyable and I also learned that making music, being in a band isn't easy at all and that it involves everyone's cooperation." - From Sin Darra, Secondary 2 student participant.

"Music Fiesta 2010" is a great opportunity for secondary school students with an interest in music making to come together, interact and exchange ideas with one another. It is a delight to see friendship being built through music amongst students of diverse backgrounds. "Music Fiesta 2010" is also an enriching experience for the secondary school students as they get to learn about the various aspects of contemporary music making from SP-DMAT's fantastic team of student-facilitators and lecturers – From Mr. Marvin Leung co-organizer Psir Ris Crest Secondary School.


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