The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century

The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century

Music class can be pretty hit or miss. Some people really enjoy it and find a life-long passion–other fumble hopelessly with the drumsticks and just wish it were time to start math class. Either way, we all had to sit through it, right?

But as important as learning an instrument may be, it kind of seems like music class is still stuck in the 20th century–or even the 19th century. After all, the music industry today relies as much on Pro Tools as it does on an expert bass player. So while we’ll always need skilled musicians, it does seem prudent to introduce the more technologically advanced aspects of music to the classroom, doesn’t it?

Well, one Japanese school did just that by offering a vocaloid composition trial lesson to their curriculum!

As many of our readers probably already know, vocaloids, like Hatsune Miku, are basically singing voice synthesizers. The programs allow users to input notes, rhythms, and lyrics to be digitally transformed and “sung” by the programs.

The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century

While vocaloids still aren’t particularly well-known overseas, they have achieved a significant amount of popularity in Japan–particularly Hatsune Miku, whose merchendise can be found in the massive convenience store chain FamilyMart. The digital pop star’s music is, of course, a hit with teens as well as older folks, and vocaloids are often used by bands who lack singers or want a unique sound.

Seeing the signs of the times, Fujimura Girls’ Junior and Senior High School decided to host a trial vocaloid song composition lesson for their first-year high school music students!

The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century

It seems that this happened after the head teacher was approached by the principal about vocaloids, which might make him the most forward-thinking principal in the country. It turned out that the school’s music teacher had actually studied music composition in university, making her the perfect person to pilot one of the first vocaloid lessons in Japanese schools.

The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century

The class was even visited by a professional vocaloid composer who offered advice and answered questions. She explained that vocaloids appeal to artists since they can often sing melodies and rhythms that a human singer might not be able to. The digital vocalists also allow composers to test out new ideas immediately, making creation of new music easier and faster.

The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century

The girls all seemed to enjoy the class quite a bit and quickly took to the program, each making their own commercial songs. It looks like a great idea for high school students who might be more interested in pop music than the traditional standards.

You can learn more about the program and hear some of the girls’ songs in the video below.

We’re already a bit too old to go back to high school music class, but if you’re not, you might want to ask your teacher about incorporating some vocaloid music lessons into your school program! Though you might have an up-hill battle explaining exactly what a vocaloid is. Just try not to suggest that some day your teacher’s job may be entirely replaced by a 16-year-old anime singer!

Sources: YouTube , ITMedia , Fujimura Girls’ Junior and Senior High School , Wikipedia
Images: YouTube

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The vocaloid classroom: Where music class meets the 21st century