Choir records a rehearsal with the digital mixer. Three microphones are powered by the mixer.

William Alvarez, music teacher at Villa Fundamental Intermediate School, has greatly improved his students’ musical skills as they are now able to monitor their own performances through the purchase of a new Digital Audio Console.

Grant money purchased a digital audio mixer for recording music and amplifying sound in the gymnasium.

The mixer was used to amplify concerts in the gym for the entire school. Music students shared various genres of music with the entire student body and staff.

Moreover, the mixer was used to record student performances. Students would record various rehearsal pieces and listen to the recordings for personal critique. Students could immediately hear clearly what went right in the performance and what needed improvement. The recordings enabled students to hear from an audience or director’s perspective. This enabled students to identify problematic passages and become motivated to improve. In these high fidelity recordings, students managed to even hear personal errors that were not obvious even to me as the teacher. They could literally listen and identify themselves at times and notice when they followed the music and when they went astray.

The grant was successful. In the past as a teacher, I found myself repeating instructions to students to play a particular problematic passage a certain way while students were not always responsive to my directions. However, when students heard themselves clearly in a recording, they became personally motivated, and as a group, to improve their performance. Once music students learn the basics of how to play the music, upon hearing themselves recorded they become motivated to close the gap between how the piece is written and how it should be performed.

Finally, students made recordings of some of their best performances as final outcomes. We hope to share these audio recordings with the Foundation as well shortly.

We are grateful to the Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation for the grant. Thank You.