Creating, composing, collaborating
Gustav is passionate about music and the science and technology of sound. As a grade 10 student, with many choices for the direction of his personal learning, he found two significant ways to weave music into his studies at ISD.
For his MYP personal project – a student-centred, long-term, independent learning experience – he elected to build a guitar that had an acoustic body and an electric body frame. “I focused my research on acoustics and resonance,” he explains. “And I learned a lot. For example, I found that using really expensive wood was not worth it.” He laughs. He describes how he built the acoustic chamber going through the middle section of the guitar and underneath the pick-ups, so that the chamber wasn’t seen from the outside. “I made a plate to sit on top of the face of the guitar, and it basically screwed down on the guitar to add to the aesthetics, but in the end, having such a small acoustic chamber made the sound only amplified at the higher emit tones. I was expecting a bit more punch out of it.”
Alongside the independent effort of his personal project, Gustav was in the midst of a major collaboration, as his MYP music class was producing a full-length album. The students composed the songs and lyrics, recorded the tracks in real studio settings, and then produced and mixed the songs and mastered the album.
“Each song on the album was developed by a different group in the music class,” Gustav says. “Each is a different genre, with a different story to tell. It’s all very diverse.” He explains that the project also taught the students about time management and planning. “After recording most of our songs,” he says, “we were pushed to the time limit, the producing process was more difficult than we expected, and had to be done in a short amount of time.”
The combination of independent exploration and collaboration is one of Gustav’s favourite things about ISD. Another is the guidance he has received from his teachers in the music department, who he says challenge and motivate ISD’s student musicians to keep creating.