New app removes barriers to creating music at Richmond middle school

New app removes barriers to creating music

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There’s a new app that’s teaching students at Lucille Brown Middle School how to create music without the use of an instrument.

“We have programs that teach music education, music education, music theory, history, culture," said Steve Van Dam, co-founder of Light the Music and the Oro Visual Music app.

The app created by Light the Music provides a natural way to create music by selecting from multiple sounds, instruments, and beats available on the app without using physical instruments.

“When kids open up the app they have lots of instruments to choose from so they have that sonic pallet of different sounds and different visuals,” said Van Dam.

Oro Visual Music app
Oro Visual Music app

Through the NextUp after-school program partnership, students are able to use their tablets to create different rhythms, notes and sound effects.

It works by tapping or swiping the screen to create different rhythms, notes and sound effects.

Then images will appear on the screen matching the different sounds, creating bursts of shapes and colors.

The student musical creations then can be recorded on the tablet and replayed, and uploaded online so their families and friends can hear what they’ve made.

“It makes me feel like a musician but with a group of my friends," said sixth-grade student Liani Alberda.

“You don’t have to have a certain thing in mind when using the app - you can just freestyle,” said eighth-grader Breanna Bowman.

Van Dam says anybody can learn music and that this app removes the barriers for the students.

“You don’t need to know how to play an instrument, you don’t need to read music, it’s just instantaneous,” said Van Dam.

"I learned a lot more about rhythm and staying on beat ... and just to be more creative and let lose,” said Bowman.

Although the app is taught and used at Lucille Brown Middle School, its meant for any age group. The app is currently available for Apple phones for free.

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