Recording the Song

My first task was to record the song. It was more of a challenge than I was ready for because of equipment. I had to meet with my advisor twice to record her playing the song on the piano and luckily was successful after the second try. I had some microphone issues. I am glad that finally I have the song to work with.


Deciding on the Form

First I was debating if it should be projection on the floor or on the wall. There are pros and cons for both. The feedback on our presentation was great. It seemed to me that for the animation to be on the floor was more favored since it could be more fun and could prompt the kids to move around. However I felt that for two reasons projecting the animation on the wall made more sense. My first reason is the way the Dalcroze class works. The kids are often scattered around the room and follow the prompts of the teacher and copying her movement. My second even more important reason is that my goal for this tool is to be able to teach the pitch of the music. I felt that for simply and effectively to do that the x axis and y axis are important in representing the pitch of the notes. Having the animation projected on the wall allows the kids to focus on both the animation and the teacher.


Visual Elements

After I made my decisions regarding form I was ready to created my visual elements to work with. I wanted to make it more fun and interesting visually for kids so that it is more stimulating for them. My simple sketches for the story board helped me to start making my elements for the project. I experimented with different style of illustrations. I created different leaves and trees and background for the animation.



Developing Rules

I wanted to apply some of the rules of the Music Animation Machine (MAM) because it made the most sense to me for its simplicity and that it can be understood intuitively. For the age group of five and six year olds it is important for this tool to be intuitive. However I agree with the critique that MAM is not very engaging visually. My goal is to make the project simple yet engaging. At the beginning level the kids are following musical scores such as the one below.



At this level they learn only the quarter notes, half notes and whole notes. They do not use the staff or bar lines yet. Knowing all this I decided on the leaves position and color for representing pitch and came up with different ideas for representing duration. I am working on the animation in After Effects. I think it looks engaging for kids and visualizing the music well. I worked on the first two sections so far but I have a long way to go still. I am having a difficult time syncing the animation with the music. I think that the project is heading to the right direction though.


Almost Complete

I am making great progress. I had some difficulty with the transition between the scenes. I showed my animation to both of my advisors and got some helpful suggestions to refine the project. I was thinking about the form of my process book. I feel that for this project a movie or a website to chronicle my steps will be the most fitting form. After discussions with my professor I decided to create a website.


Credits

This project was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the whole process of making it. I learned a lot from both my professor Brian Lucid and my advisor Adriana Ausch. Thank you both for your help and invaluable advice.