Creative arts teacher David Zucker’s Music and Media course is one of the most loved classes offered at the KO Middle School. For those who don’t know what this class is, the 2022-2023 Course of Study provides a great explanation of what this class is all about: “In this course, students explore music through a wide array of topics, including creating music for a video, composition software, beat making and sequencing. Students also learn from simple improvisational skills through live performance.”
There are currently 37 students in Music and Media, which is about a quarter of the students in middle school at Kingswood Oxford.
Seventh grader Coco Ma, who is currently in the class, explained that she joined because she was interested in learning to make her own music. “It is a genuinely fun course with a variety of activities to do,” she said. She went on to say that the structure of the class gave her a unique opportunity to be creative in new ways. Coco would recommend this class to any creative students.
Despite how fun Music and Media may be, it is not an easy class. There are many times when you need to work hard to create what you desire, an example of this is the Incredibox project. During this project, you can make your own beat with premade vocals and instruments or, you can make a completely original sound in Garageband, a program that allows you to input your own instrumentals and vocals.
Seventh grader Alexis Nisyrios, who is new to KO, joined Music and Media because she doesn’t sing or play an instrument but she would like to learn how to compose music. She described how the curriculum of this class helped her achieve her goals. “Within the first few days of class, it was what I expected, doing music online,” she said. “I definitely enjoyed it.”
Alexis especially enjoys the ability to be creative. “I love having Mr. Zucker as a teacher,” she said. “He definitely makes things fun.”
There’s a wide variety of types of assignments that enable every student to find something that they’re interested in. Notable projects included a Halloween project where students created songs for the Middle School art classes, and opportunities to create country, rock, or synth music.
Mr. Zucker, who has always had an interest in music and even played in shows on tour, began teaching this class after a very successful experience teaching electronic music for Camp KO. Together, he and creative arts teacher Wayne Pierce planned how Mr. Zucker would transition into his role at the Middle School. “Dr. Pierce liked what I was doing,” he said, “and asked if I could take his position at the Middle School for Music and Media.”
Mr. Zucker suggests joining Music and Media for people who don’t know how to play an instrument or sing, but still want to be creative. “This school is very focused on student-centered learning,” he said. “You can find a project that you’d like to do, and I will help you.” Mr. Zucker wholeheartedly believes in allowing students to produce work that they feel good about and is there to guide students through the process. Students interested in music, in its many forms, should consider taking this unique class!