Grant would provide money for music media technology course

Liliana Castillo

Clovis High School could begin a music media technology course next year with nearly a $5,000 grant from the Clovis Municipal Schools Education Foundation.

CHS Gifted and Talented teacher and basketball coach Corey Pickett wrote the curriculum for the class after his students talked about a music editing program called Garage Band.

“The kids were talking about how cool it would be to have a class about it (the program),” Pickett said over the sneaker squeals and echoes of 25 high school boys practicing basketball in the auxiliary gym.

At first, the idea started as a project for his G&T students, but a fellow teacher suggested he write curriculum for a full class. His proposal won $4,946 from the education foundation.

The option to add the course in the fall will go to the school board.

Pickett said the class would be set up like a record company. Students will receive a position in the company, such as a producer, studio engineer or record executive, and the class will produce records.

Pickett said the class hopes to record the high school band or choir for projects.

He said the class will use Logic and Garage Band, two music production programs.

“We wanted a class for students who can’t play an instrument but could do stuff with music,” Pickett said.

Pickett said he was one of those students.

“All kids need now is a laptop, and they can do anything with music,” he said. “A lot of people who produce music can’t play.”

Thus far, Pickett said several students have expressed interest. He said he wants to make sure students who enjoy all kinds of music take the class.

With the grant money, Pickett purchased audio equipment such as monitors, speakers, microphones, headphones and a keyboard that can be plugged into a computer.

Pickett is also working toward being able to certify students in Logic.

“It’s just another option, like the certification in welding we offer,” he said.

Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Cindy Martin said the district had been searching for a strong academic curriculum that also involved music.

“Most kids who like music are involved in choir or band, but some aren’t,” she said. “Some kids like to create music on the computer. This is a class that would fit the needs of those students.”

The Education Foundation distributed about $25,000 worth of grants to teachers across the district in November. Executive Director Jan Cox said the foundation will award more grants in October.

“The foundation liked the fact that it combined music and technology and that it addressed all the learning modalities,” Cox said of Pickett’s class.

Cox said the foundation was impressed that Pickett wrote the curriculum himself.

“It was unique and creative, and one of the requirements of the grants are to be innovative and creative,” Cox said.