I’m dabbling more and more in Apple’s ubiquitous GarageBand now. I used to think it was too complicated for my primary school students (without spending more time than it’s worth, anyway). But as I started playing with it, with very specific learning goals in mind, I discovered that it is actually very accessible to students, when approached the right way.
I wanted my Grade 5 students to learn about texture and form, and finally I had found the perfect opportunity. GarageBand is perfect for visualizing layers and how sections of music align, and computers are always great for making perfect copies (for when the A section returns, for example). And because so much of the compositional content is already available within, the students could focus on manipulating the texture and form while still having great sounding music.
Shameless plug: My GarageBand lesson and many, many others are mentioned in the recent publication Theory and Practice of Technology-Based Music Instruction, by Jay Dorfman, former president of TI:ME (Technology in Music Education).