I was recently tasked with completing an audio assignment for my ILT 5340 course. One of the really neat components of this course is the ability to take assignments in a direction of your choosing. So I began the assignment by sifting through various assignment choices which you can look at yourself here. The first one that really stood out to me was “What A Song Might Mean To You”. Without even reading the description I immediately thought of that song by the Spin Doctors, Two Princes. When I was a kid my step-grandmother and I were in her car driving somewhere. One thing we really had in common was listening to music very loud in the car and singing along with the songs on the radio very loudly and admittedly very poorly! It was great though, it was our time. However, I remembered the prompting to try and relate it to your story telling theme which in my case is “Through a Toddler’s Eyes”.
Then I saw a second assignment that caught my eyes, “Music Mashup”. The idea with that assignment is to combine at least two songs to create a conversation. When I thought of a “Mashup” I didn’t think of combining two different songs but rather, what if I combined my daughter singing a song with the original song? My first hurdle with this idea though was that the video of my daughter I wanted to use was on Facebook. How the heck do I take a video off of Facebook and get it onto something else such as Youtube? I didn’t even know if that was possible but it turns out it is! You just have to locate the original source code and copy it and then find a converter to make it an mp3.
The video that I converted was my daughter dressed up with her best dress knocking on the bathroom door and singing, “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?”. I felt that the video went perfectly with the theme, “Through A Toddler’s Eyes” because of the story behind the video. You see that morning my husband was trying to get our daughter dressed and kept trying to put a t-shirt on her but she kept refusing. She wanted to wear her Christmas dress and it was April so not really the right weather for that kind of attire. My husband kept trying to explain that it was too hot outside to wear the dress but eventually he broke and let her wear what she wanted. We were both baffled by her demand to wear the dress considering we barely got it on her to go see Santa!
She marched down the stairs very proud of herself with her dress on. She walked right up to the bathroom door and knocked on it. Then we hear her say, “Elsa? Do wanna build a snowman?”. Bam! All of a sudden the entire situation made sense! She wanted to wear the dress so that she could be Anna and play out the scene from the movie. Had I been looking at the situation through her eyes, which is the theme of my storytelling topic, I would have realized why the dress was so important to her. This situation also reminded me of our current reading for this week for my ILT course. In one section of the chapter it discusses, “...But if you think about the ways kids under 15 using digital technology think about writing – you know, writing with text is just one way to write, and not even the most interesting way to write. The more interesting ways are increasingly to use images and sound and video to express ideas.(in Koman 2005: n.p.)” After seeing what my daughter was trying to do I asked her if she wanted me to make a video like the one she watches on my ipad. Her face lit up and she yelled, “Yes!” immediately. So the video you will see is her acting out the scene knowing I was recording her. There was my two year old daughter using video to express herself!
After getting my daughters video converted to the correct file the next step was to download and add the original song so I could combine the two songs. As I googled all over for the right song and legal download I realized I was looking at the assignment as an adult. The assignment stated that I should be combining two songs. Looking at it from my daughters point of view, is that what she would want to do with it? Combining her best interpretation of the song with the original would make it about the original song and not about her and lets face it, with toddlers the theme is themselves! So I thought, well what if instead of combing two songs I combine instrumentals to her song to make her singing come out even better!
So I set to work and found a perfect set of instrumentals only of the song. It took a while to download and even longer to figure out how to use audacity to adjust the timing to match my daughter’s audio. Finally, I got the audio to lay over each other the way I wanted. The next step was to use Windows Movie Maker to match up the audio with the video. This was the point where I realized I didn’t need to combine the audio in audacity because the original video already had her audio. So I went back and cut out all but the instrumentals from my audio clip and added that to the video. Then I used PowerPoint to create some intro slides and added that to the mix. I think over all it came out really cute! Even better, my daughter thought it was the best video ever and made me replay it a couple hundred times. She loved seeing herself with the added audio to her song. (I think she may now be under the assumption that she is famous!)