Three Discovery invited Lottie and I to their Swansea discovery centre for Lottie to participate in one of their junior discovery sessions. I chose the Garageband session for her because Lottie loves music and singing. Plus she loves her iPad so it seemed like an ideal fit. Garageband is basically a totally free app that allows you to make music on your device, and can act as a full recording studio, even allowing you to record and adapt audio over the music track you have created. It’s used in schools, and probably by a few of the professionals out there.
Three Discovery for juniors are free sessions that they run in their three discovery centres. These are found in Swansea, Islington and Maidenhead. They offer sessions on vlogging, stop motion animation, coding and garageband. And there are courses for adults too, suitable both for businesses and individuals. They are hoping to teach people how to harness technology to improve their lives.
Neither of us were really sure what to expect when we went so both of us had open minds. We arrived in Swansea quite early as it was a fair distance from us and we wanted to make a day of it. We arrived at the Three Discovery centre about 15 minutes before our time so we had a little bit of a wait before we started. Lottie was a little bit nervous as well before we started as she can be a bit shy in new situations.
When we went in we were actually the only one’s who had turned up so Cerys, the lovely lady who was leading the session allowed me to join in as well. One advantage of this was the fact that we got one-to -one tuition to walk us through the session. I was pleasantly surprised and found that it was actually really fun, although my lack of musical talent has been revealed! Lottie has now had to download the app onto her iPad, and has already spent hours creating songs.
Cerys was really engaging, and Lottie loved her. She took us through the whole process step by step. We started by looking at what makes up a band and what instruments we should include. Lottie decided we needed a bass, guitars, drums and keyboards.
We worked our way through each of these in the app, being shown how to change the type of instrument being used, how to change the volume of each instrument in the track, how to record what we had chosen and to change the tempo of the track. We only recorded eight bars worth but we did get shown how to keep going if we wanted to so we could make a full length track.
Once we had completed our eight bars we were asked to think about the vibe that our track had, what words it made us think about and try and write a song about it. Lottie decided that her song made her feel like a lazy Sunday because it had quite a chilled vibe. This is what she came up with:
I’m relaxing but it’s raining
The middle of the night
Underneath the moonlight
Spotting shooting stars
Looking for Mars
On a lazy Sunday
Not looking forward to Monday
I was pretty impressed. She decided that her track was called Midnight. And as an added bonus because we were the only ones there so we finished early Lottie got to design an album cover for her song using a different app ( the name of which I can’t remember!) and then Cerys transferred it over to her iPad.
Lottie loved the experience and was begging me to book her on to some of the other sessions at the end. Unfortunately Swansea is quite a distance away so I can’t really justify it. I can’t think of a much higher recommendation for the sessions though than a fussy nine year old desperate to repeat them. It filled an afternoon during the long school holidays, got us out of the house, trying something new and the sessions are totally free too. If you live close enough to one of the centres then I would have no hesitations whatsoever to recommend the session.
In fact, I was given the details of how to arrange for a mini one at our local Three store for my guides when they go back in September. So overall, thank you Three Discovery for a fun afternoon, for teaching us something new and making my summer a whole lot noisier! And a huge thank you to Cerys, at Discovery Swansea for running our session and giving Lottie such a great time!