Friday, December 30, 2011

The Wonders of UJAM

As I was thinking about composing in January, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon an amazing song creation website called UJAM (http://www.ujam.com), currently in its beta phase. I was mesmerized by this concept and technology that enables anyone to make music with a simple interface. All one needs to get started is a melody line or musical idea which can be recorded using a microphone. Users can sing the melody or upload a file of a song played on an instrument.
Then the fun begins when users have the ability to select styles and listen to the music come alive with a professional backtrack. Even the simplest melodies could sound great with a few clicks with UJAM!

A few thoughts came to my mind as I explore this tool and its potential to inspire students to compose and learn the different genres and chord progressions that give the music its distinct character and mood.
  • I'm excited that the little ones can now experience how they can make their little tune transform  with this tool. 
  • Students can explore the different harmonies and chord progressions of selected styles. The chord names that accompany the playback are very helpful!
  • File sharing. Once a song is completed, users may save the file in mp3 format and even share it with friends and family on Facebook.
Amidst the wonderful benefits of UJAM, I did wonder if the presence of such technology could actually be detrimental for music students when students can easily become complacent and ultimately forego learning music theory at a deeper level. I certainly hope that this tool will open doors for students to unveil their creativity and above all realize the composer within themselves with ideas emerging from a UJAM creation.

Here's a little song that was created on UJAM to demonstrate its capabilities. I'm naming it "A Song From the Mayan Village". The journey through the Mayan village in Mexico elicited a melancholic feeling that inspired this melody.
Overall, I was quite impressed that the a song can be created in just minutes with a couple of clicks. 
This song was first recorded on Garageband, then saved in mp3 format and uploaded to UJAM. On UJAM, I simply selected the style, the "mood" through the "edit chord" mode and finally I changed the instrument from piano to clarinet. 


I think this will be a very interesting fun and educational tool for the piano studio. Would love to hear  ideas surrounding this technology, please feel free to offer thoughts and comments if you have any to share.

4 comments:

  1. It looks pretty neat :)

    I'll play around with it and I'll try to use it with my piano studio to see how it goes.

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  2. Thanks Dustin, would love to hear your thoughts and experience using UJAM in the studio, I'm excited to try it this week!

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  3. Hey Wendy - this is a great post, and a nice blog! We're glad you've found UJAM useful not only for your own tracks, but for teaching others, too. We'd like to feature some tidbits from your blog post here on our blog, http://blog.ujam.com - hope that's ok with you. Thanks for the shout-out, and have fun with UJAM!

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  4. UJAM, thank you for your kind comments. Congratulations on your website and for making such amazing technology available to us! Feel free to use content from this post on your blog :)

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Thank you for your comments and thoughts, I enjoy reading them

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