Thursday, January 21, 2010

Music on the Wii

We have Wii Music and Lego Rock Band for Wii in our house now. They are both good ways of lowering the entry barrier to music. What do I mean by that?

I've seen an attitude with music that what you're doing is not music until you reach a certain standard, you do it in a certain way, on a certain set of instruments. It's a bit like that apparatus you see in some playgrounds where the first step on the ladder up the slide is quite high, to prevent little children climbing up the big scary slide.

With Wii music, you can never play a wrong note. Whenever you make the appropriate gesture or hit the button to get the music out of the imaginary instrument you're playing you get the right note. If you don't do it in time to the original melody, you get a counter-melody. With the super-easy level on Lego Rock Band you just have to hit any drum at the right time to get the points, or just push the "plectrum" button on the guitar, or make any sort of noise into the microphone. With the guitar sometimes you get notes even if you don't get the timing right.

The game designers have made the barrier to that slide as low as they can. Whilst you can't get that far with either game, maybe it will encourage some to try non-Wii instruments - I'm not going to call them "real".

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Amusing school closure notices

There is quite a variety in the notices that appear on the Bucks County Council website saying which schools are closed. As they are very transitory I thought I'd capture some for you.

"Enjoy the snow!" appeared seven times.

Some were very boring and studious:
All students should have access to MyMaths and SamLearning accounts and we recommend that they, Y11 in particular, make use of these today.

Some were studious but more lighthearted:
So stay at home – but don’t be a stranger, Study hard and check the VLE, There’s a lot to do, just go and see!

Some were just fun:
Another day of snow and disruption. Another day of snowmen, sledging and snowballing.

Or poetic:
School is closed again today, This snow just will not go away, It's really causing so much sorrow - Let's hope it will be sunny tomorrow!

I've consulted with the puppy from school; He loves the snow but is no fool! Temperature dropping: ice on the way, Alfie, the lab says, 'Open? No way!'

Or inventive:
Details of a snowman building competition at the Beeches can be found on the school website.