Comprised of a DJ board and 2 digital turntables, the music software is challenging a group of 14 Year 6 students to work with base and trill combinations to merge tracks into funky re-mixes of their very own.
Grace Nicastro, director of music at the junior school, says the program is unique because it extends upon the traditional skills that students have been developing in class but allows them to apply them in a fun and creative way.
“We target Turntablism at the Year 6 students because they have a basic understanding and practical experience with the elements of music ... but it takes those skills into a completely different realm.”
For Year 6/7 teacher Sean Powell, a passionate DJ himself, Turntablism is changing the way in which the children engage and respond to music.
”When they [start] their definition of a DJ is someone who stands behind a mixer and just waves their hands in their air, but then we move into learning the skills, which is fairly demanding ... it’s understanding the dynamic of music and how to put things together. Then they get to learn what a remix is, so then they build their skills and get to manipulate their own tracks,” he says.
According to Powell, one of the most challenging things for students is learning to deconstruct various tracks to see if they are suitable for mixing.
“So they might have three favourite tracks, but have to understand tempo and how that actually matches up to their beats per minute ... and then trying to learn how to manipulate that so they have great sound at the end,” he explains.
But just how popular are his DJ lessons?
“The kids love it, it’s a drawcard because it matches to their style of music and also their style of learning - a lot of the kids we have in this group aren’t the type that want to be standing up in front of other people, so it gives them another angle to get involved.”