How Music Teachers Like You Can Teach Composition With GarageBand, Using Only Minutes of Preparation Time

Learn how teachers are making their lives easier with a simple system of garageband lesson plans and garageband project ideas that will make your classes so engaging and fun your students will not want to leave!

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“Hey Janice… I can make my own song … and its really great!”

That was what my five year old nephew said to me.

I’d known him since he was born, and he knew I had something to do with music (which was why he told me), but when he said that I really didn’t believe he had actually created his own song! He hadn’t even been to school, let alone learned how to play an instrument or write a piece of music!

Then I did actually have a look at what he was talking about. This was nearly 15 years ago now and his dad had an apple computer, and that was one of the first times that I had encountered Apple’s GarageBand software.

It was pretty primitive by today’s standards, but it did allow him as a five year old to play around and create his own piece of music. He was right … he had indeed made his own song!

Janice Tuck creator of the GarageBand Lesson Plans

Janice Tuck

Music teacher and creative director
of the Fun Music Company.

An old GarageBand Project Idea

Screenshot of early GarageBand Software
from “i-Life” suite released 2008.

Here was a piece of software that allowed a five year old, with no music experience the ability to make their own song!

I always knew there was something special in Garageband software, that it really did have something magical in that it was conceived that way from the beginning … with a philosophy that anyone could create their own music.

However, I was always challenged by it. Especially when I came back to it a few years ago. It looked so daunting, there are so many instruments, so many options, so many knobs and buttons.. I just had no idea what to do with it!

I realized the problem wasn’t in the software, or the way the software was made, but was actually in the way that we thought of it as teachers.

What we needed was to separate bits of the software out, and teach it a little bit at a time through composition projects … because composition is what GarageBand is made for … we just had to find a way to get over the  complexity of it and let that shine through!

Once I knew this answer I did a little session on GarageBand at one of our virtual conferences. I’ll never forget the feedback from that event. We had amazing speakers, an incredible line up of guests – but it was my little session on GarageBand and the ten lessons that I shared that was the most popular session from that conference.

GarageBand Music Lessons

GarageBand is now for iPad and Mac, and is far more advanced with many more features.

When I realized how popular and useful this was for teachers, we expanded the program the following year to 40 lessons – 20 each for Mac and 20 for iPad, and we’ve continued to build on it since then.

Once I realized the concept of just taking a little bit at a time.. utilizing the strengths of GarageBand and teaching each part bit by bit, then we could make amazing lessons which students would love.

I hadn’t realized it when I started, but not only does it help your students with the composition areas of the curriculum, it also teaches them musicianship and theory, as they have to learn about beats in a bar, time signatures, scales and chords as they learn.

We used to update it every year, but the GarageBand software has been the same for a few years, so we have refined the collection and indexed the lessons to package them into a new collection for you.

Introducing …

GarageBand Lesson Plans

This has taken my team five years of development to create this library of lessons, but it is totally worth it because you can get access to it in moments, without going through all the pain of working out what lesson ideas to use.

So what might have taken you three or four HOURS to prepare a lesson idea, work out how you’ll teach it, create a worksheet and get it ready for the students – you can now do in a few MINUTES!

You find the lesson you want to do, have a brief look at it to make sure its suitable, and away you go!

But of course I can tell you all I like about how the lessons work, and how easy they are to use, but that isn’t as good as you experiencing them yourself.

So please download the PDF below, and watch the tutorial video for a lesson on the GarageBand for iPad Guitar.

A Complete Sample Garageband Lesson Plan For You

Garageband Lesson Plans Example

Click to watch the student video from lesson 4 – guitar. These student videos range in length from 2-3 minutes to 10-12 minutes for complex topics to introduce.

Here is what you’ll get with this program of GarageBand Lesson Plans

GarageBand Music Lessons Include

Thirty five lessons for GarageBand for iPad so you can make use of those individual devices in your students hands, and have them making music with them!

GarageBand Lesson Plans Include

Twenty five lessons for GarageBand for Mac – so you can make use of the mac computers in your school.

GarageBand Composition Includes

Simple, easy to understand garageband project ideas for each lesson so you can keep your students on task and on track.

Garageband composition projects include

Guided workshop tutorials, accessible in the lesson interface at school and on YouTube at home for the students, so you can make sure that students are on task and on track every time.

What teachers have said about these garageband lesson plans

Actual responses from feedback forms

Professional, well-organized, covered both iPad versions (after latest update) plus Mac version. Really easy to follow along and learn from, and great resources too.
As a teacher of special education music classes, I have found the iPad in general and GarageBand in particular an extremely useful tool in my class. We are able to study style, form, composition, world music and more with a device that is accessible to students at any level. These lessons, by breaking each down to several tasks, provide an achievable project assignment that will not overwhelm my students. The student worksheets help them to stay on task and work in a logical order.
This was a great training. it was something that I was very interested in, and you have given some great resources to help utilize this technology.
A fantastic resource. Loved the new lessons - especially the World music lessons and how to use the live loops properly. My Year 7 and Year 8 (11-13 year olds) really enjoy using Garageband and have learned such a lot about composition over the last 2 years since I fell upon your lessons by accident on the internet.

The current library of Composition with GarageBand lessons

GarageBand for iPad Lessons

GarageBand Lesson Plans

iPad Lesson 1 – Drums

Students learn how to interact with GarageBand for iPad and create their first music using the drums.

garageband music lessons

iPad Lesson 2 – Melody

Students learn the basics of creating and recording melodies using the keyboard instrument.

garageband project ideas

iPad Lesson 3 –  Smart Drums

Students extend their knowledge and learn how to use the Smart drums feature.

garageband project ideas guitar

iPad Lesson 4 – Guitar

Students are introduced to the GarageBand guitar and learn how to use to to create awesome sounding guitar parts.

iPad Lesson 5 – Bass

Students learn to add a bass line to their compositions and learn about chord progressions.

garageband project ideas

iPad Lesson 6 – Drummer

Students learn how to use the drummer feature in GarageBand musically.

garageband project ideas

iPad Lesson 7 – Vocal

Students learn how to record their voice in audio and add audio effects.

garageband composition project ideas

iPad Lesson 8 – Form

Students learn how to extend the form of their songs and create different sections of music.

garageband composition project

iPad Lesson 9 – Live Loops

Students are introduced to the live loops feature and create their own dance style piece.

iPad Lesson 10 – Live Loops Palette

Students construct their own live loops palette to create their own composition.

iPad Lesson 11 – Pop Ballad

Students create a pop ballad tune using the smart keyboard.

iPad Lesson 12 – Strings

Students use the string sounds on the iPad to create three different emotions.

iPad Lesson 13 – Rock Guitar

Students learn to use the rock guitar sounds on the iPad.

iPad Lesson 14 – Jazz Combo

Students create a jazz style piece to a given chord progression.

iPad Lesson 15 – Sampler

Students use the sampler to create their own custom musical instrument.

iPad Lesson 16 – World Music

Students learn about the Erhu and Pipa, and use them in a composition.

iPad Lesson 17 – Creating Loops

Students create their own loops using the live loops panel.composition.

iPad Lesson 18 – Live Loops Vocal

Students create a piece of music using live loops and nothing but the human voice.

iPad Lesson 19 – Ringtone

Students create a ringtone for a mobile phone from scratch.

iPad Lesson 20 – Four line verse

Students set a given four line verse to music with the iPad.

iPad Lesson 21 – Beat Sequencer

Students use the beat sequencer to create basic drum patterns.

iPad Lesson 22 – Sequence Beats

Students use the beat sequencer to create more exciting dance drum beats.

iPad Lesson 23 – Indie Disco

Students use drum sounds and synthesizer sounds to create a disco-inspired tune.

iPad Lesson 24 – Compound Rock Ballad

Students work on their bass lines in this compound time rock lesson.

iPad Lesson 25 – Fusion

Students learn about Jazz and Rock fusion styles in this fun lesson.

iPad Lesson 26 – Acoustic songwriter

Students learn how to use percussion and acoustic guitar sounds to create acoustic style songs.

iPad Lesson 27 – Taiko

Students use the live loops method and the taiko sounds to create a new composition.

iPad Lesson 28 – Koto

Students learn about the Japanese Koto and use it to create their own composition.

iPad Lesson 29 – Guzheng

Students learn about the Chinese Guzheng and use it in their own composition.

iPad Lesson 30 – Collaboration

Students create one part of a composition, then share it with a friend who creates a second part, and then another friend completes the piece. Lots of fun!

iPad Lesson 31 – Dubstep

Students learn about dubstep style and create their own dubstep inspired music.

garageband music lessons

iPad Lesson 32 – Reggaeton

Students learn about the musical style of Reggaeton and create their own Reggaeton music.

iPad Lesson 33 – Animal Kingdom

Students create an original composition inspired by animal sounds.

iPad Lesson 34 – TR808

Students create a piece of music featuring the Roland TR808 drum sounds.

garageband project ideas for guitar

iPad Lesson 35 – Fingerpicking

Students create their own pop-ballad track using a fingerpicking guitar style.

GarageBand for Mac Lessons

Mac Lesson 1 – Piano

Students learn to record simple melodic phrases using musical typing.

Mac Lesson 2 – Drums

Students learn to enter a simple drum part and the important sequencing skill of quantisation.

Mac Lesson 3 – Drummer

Students learn to use the drummer feature to create musical arrangements.

Mac Lesson 4 – Bass Lines

Students learn to how to create simple, effective and musical bass lines for their music.

Mac Lesson 5 – Loops

Students are introduced to the loops library and how to use it to create musical arrangements.

Mac Lesson 6 – Guitar

Students learn to how to create effective guitar lines using the Mac version of GarageBand.

Mac Lesson 7 – E.Drums

Students learn to how to manipulate the amazing choice of electronic drum sounds within GarageBand.

Mac Lesson 8 – Vocal Rap

Students create their own vocal rap style piece and record it into GarageBand.

Mac Lesson 9 – Riffs

Students create a simple marimba piece based on repeated riffs, and optionally can perform it live using real instruments.

Mac Lesson 10 – 12 Bar Blues

Students use prepared drummer loops to create a pop song.

Mac Lesson 11 – Percussion

Students use the drummer feature to create interesting latin percussion parts.

Mac Lesson 12 – Drummer Loops

Students use the drummer feature to create interesting latin percussion parts.

Mac Lesson 13 – World Music

Students learn how to use the Chinese instruments on a mac, and transfer work from iPad to Mac.

Mac Lesson 14 – Synth Sounds

Students learn how to manipulate synthesizer sounds in GarageBand for mac to create interesting compositions.

Mac Lesson 15 – The Arpeggiator

Students learn to use the arpeggiator synth sounds to create an interesting composition.

Mac Lesson 16 – Movie Scoring

Students create a soundtrack for a public domain movie clip.

Mac Lesson 17 – Dramatic Moments

Students learn to punctuate dramatic moments in their music with cadence points.

Mac Lesson 18 – Listening Assignment

Students listen to some movie music and complete an assignment to learn from it, while they continue ongoing projects.

Mac Lesson 19 – Movie Melody.

Students compose melodies which reflect action or characters in a movie clip.

Mac Lesson 20 – Completion and Assessment

Students complete a full movie scoring project for assessment.

Mac Lesson 21 – EDM.

Students create a track in electronic dance music style.

Mac Lesson 22 – Donuts.

Students create a 30 second “donut” track, as used in Radio advertising.

Mac Lesson 23 – Space

Students create a fanfare-style music soundtrack for a short space-themed movie clip.

Mac Lesson 24 – Running Rapids

Students create a soundtrack to add drama to a scene.

Mac Lesson 25 – Movie Trailer

Students create a new soundtrack for the trailer of the movie “Big Buck Bunny”.

Online interface makes it easy to access all garageband lesson plans

Our simple to use online interface makes it easy to access all lessons from our classroom interface, so that students cannot get distracted with other videos during their lessons.

You can also access all student assignment sheets via the link below each video.

The student assignments also have a youtube URL on them, so that students can reference the video and work on the assignment for homework if desired.

More actual responses from feedback forms …

The directions are so easy to follow. I can show these assignments on my smart board, and the kids understand what they are to do. I also print these instructions out so the students who get in an area of the room with less distractions have their own copy. ALL of the assignments are excellent and great musical lessons for my students.
I am new to teaching music and using garageband. This was a fantastic way for me to learn about all that garageband has to offer and how I can break it down and teach it to my students. I love the student assignments and look forward to using them! Thank you for offering this fabulous online training!

Plus complete training is included …

As well as the 35 lessons for Garageband for iPad and 25 lessons for Garageband for Mac, this program also contains comprehensive training sessions for you, the teacher!

In more than 12 hours of online training I sit with you as we go through the lessons step-by-step. So even if you’ve never used GarageBand ever before, you can get going with it right away, and you’ll be a wizard at it after going through this course!

A participation certificate is available if desired for professional development purposes.

Session 1 – iPad Lessons 1-10
Session 2 – iPad Lessons 11-20
Session 3 – Mac Lessons 1-10
Session 4 – Mac Lessons 11-20
Session 5 – iPad Lessons 21-30
Session 6 – iPad Lessons 31-35 and Mac Lessons 21-25
Total of 12 hours of video training.

Let me ask you a question …

If you were doing this program,  and all this did was inspire ONE student to become a musician, who wouldn’t otherwise have been one – would it be worth it?

If all this did was completely cover all the composition requirements of your curriculum, so you can focus on other areas –  would it be worth it?

So I’m not going to charge you the $19.95 each lesson that this is worth. I’m not even going to charge you what I have before for this program in our annual training and update sessions.

Because you’re here today I’m going to give you a very special price that is listed below.

Of course I want to make sure that this program will actually work for you, so like everything you buy from the Fun Music Company you’re covered by our no-questions-asked money back guarantee. If you’re not happy with your purchase for any reason, you can contact us for a refund.

However, you must act now, because I’m not entirely sure how long we’ll have this product on the market.

Apple could decide to change the GarageBand software at any time, and if that happens we will probably have to instantly take this off the market and revise it, and do another update session and increase the price.

Just imagine how amazing your music classes will be when your students are all sharing the wonderful compositions they’ve done with their families, and they proudly can say “I created that music myself!”.

So click the button down below and you’ll be taken to a secure order form. After you put in your credit card information you’ll go to a secure members area when you can access the lessons and get started right away … as soon as tomorrow!

Here is Everything You Get With This Program

  • 35 Lessons for GarageBand for iPad
    (Valued at $19.95 per lesson)

  • 25 Lessons for GarageBand for Mac
    (Valued at $19.95 per lesson)

  • Six 2 hour teacher training sessions.
    (Valued at $99 each)

$698.25 Value

$498.75 Value

$594.00 Value

Total value included $1791.00

Yours for Only $249
(one time purchase)

The Fun Music Company Guarantee

Like all of our products and programs at the Fun Music Company, this program is covered by our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Contact us within 90 days if you’re not satisfied and we will refund your purchase price, no questions asked.