Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Music Technology Class Made A Difference For This New Van Meter Graduate, Meagan Blomgren!

I want to share a story of two very talented young adults who just graduated from Van Meter Community School in May.  Meagan Blomgren and Tyler Hepworth. When their band teacher, Kyle Pape shared this story with us at the end of the year, I reached out to Meagan to share the story behind this amazing class, project and music they created.  
Here is Meagan's story. 

My name is Meagan Blomgren, and I recently graduated from Van Meter High School. At Van Meter, I was highly involved in almost everything- softball, track, drama, academics, and music.  My last year at VM, I was introduced to a new classroom opportunity- Music Technology. At the beginning of the year, I barely knew what the class was even going to be about. I had known virtually nothing about what it takes to produce songs and put your music out there, but I was still very interested in the topic, so I thought I’d gave it a try. 

Who would have know that Music Tech would be (by far) my favorite class at Van Meter. 

This class was split up into two different sections; the first semester was more focused on the techniques and tools that people use to make, edit, produce, and market their music, and the second semester was all about making your own music using what you learned first semester. I have always been very interested in music and songwriting, so I was super excited to start producing my own music that second semester.
Because we were limited on equipment, my friend Tyler and I paired up together to write and produce our own songs. Tyler (another recent Van Meter graduate) is also very interested in music and is intending on pursuing his music career and using what he learned in this class to create his own studio!  

This is a picture of the “studio” space in one of the practice rooms that we used for recording and editing our projects. This was the beginning of the studio, in addition to a couple more  speakers and microphones.
And this is the logo Tyler and I created for our label name- TyMe (pronounced like time). 

It was very helpful having two minds that were both very passionate about music working on the same project. We both had very creative ideas and worked well together. 
Our very first project was the song Cheat on Me, which is one of the songs featured on our EP. Throughout this process of producing the song, there were many moments of trial and error. It wasn’t a terrible start for our first song, but it wasn’t exactly our favorite project, looking back on the album. 
After we got the process down, it took us less and less time to complete each project. Before I knew it, the end of the year rolled by, and we had completed 5 projects including Cheat on MeSayLie with YouPain, and...
This Love, which is a Meagan Blomgren original. 

All of these projects are also available for streaming on our EP, available on all streaming sites including YouTube Channel
...Spotify and...
....iTunes. 
I also completed recording a 6th project by myself after the school year was over, which I performed at graduation for my Valedictorian speech. It is titled, Much Different Than Before.  It is now available on iTunes and all streaming sites as of June 11, 2019. 

This entire process was unreal, and I couldn’t have made a better choice for myself by taking this class with Mr. Pape. If this class is offered again in the years upcoming, I would highly recommend anyone with a passion for music to take this class! 

Thank you Van Meter for everything! Next year, I am off to Simpson College to pursue a major in Pre-Med, and a minor in music! I plan to use what I learned in Thai class to continue recording and producing my own music in the future! 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Celebrate "Family Is A Superpower" With This Book & Poster!

One of my favorite books of the year is Michael Dahl's new one, Family Is A Superpower from Capstone.  

This book is a beautiful celebration of all families by Michael and illustrated by Omar Lozano. 
In fact, this book became the inspiration for our amazing Family Reading Is A Superpower reading initiative at Van Meter this last spring.  We even put up this awesome bulletin board to celebrate family reading when Michael Dahl came to our school for the day.  

You can read all about our reading campaign and how to create this bulletin board in this post, A NEW Reading Bulletin Board & Idea For Our Super Readers & Their Families!
As shared on the Capstone site, 
BATMAN, SUPERMAN, and WONDER WOMAN have many extraordinary abilities, but their greatest superpower of all? Family! In this new addition to the bestselling DC Super Heroes Picture Book series, the diverse family structures of the World's Greatest Heroes mirror the lives of real-life children and their equally diverse families. Along with bright, bold illustrations and poetically spare text, award-winning author Michael Dahl (Bedtime for Batman, Good Morning, Superman, and Be a Star, Wonder Woman) makes all families no matter how big or how small, feel SUPER!
Today, Capstone shared a link to this poster.  I am going to get these ready to give to all of our teachers for their classrooms as we kick off our new year and make everyone feel welcome and loved. 


It's a great way to kick off the year celebrating the diversity in all families and your communities too. 

And you will find Family Is A Superpower here on the Capstone site

QRCodeMonkey Creates The Coolest QR Codes!

As you know, I LOVE using Bitmoji's.  I think it is one of the most cleaver ways to grab attention when marketing your library and work in such a fun and personalized way.

As I update my MOO cards and blog with my author information and new job title, I thought of the perfect way to share this after being reminded about how fun QRCodeMonkey is at the Jefferson County Library event in Kentucky today.
With QRCodeMonkey, you can create a personalized QR code for free using information and graphics that you share on the site.
You will find QRCodeMonkey here where you will add your information that you want included on your QR code.

I created mine by adding....
 ....the link to my...
Then I set the colors.   I just picked black but can choose any color or combination that I want.  I can even pick the background color of the QR code.
Next, is the super fun part...adding a logo image.  
I picked a Bitmoji of me holding my Cantata Learning book Find a BookLike I said earlier, this is a fun way to share one of my books and author page in a fun way.
 The last thing I can do is customize the design with a variety of shapes but I kept it the way it was.
After that, I clicked on the Create QR Code to create this one. 

When it's all done, the QR code can be downloaded in a variety of different formats. 
You can see how I not only used this on my MOO cards, but also used it on my new Books and Activities Authored page on my blog here too