Recording Music in Schools: A Comprehensive Guide to Creative Exploration

Recording music in schools presents an exciting and valuable tool for both students and educators, fostering creative exploration, performance assessments, and the development of technical skills. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the specifics of setting up a recording system in your school. Explore the recommended microphones, audio interfaces, and discover how recording complements the music curriculum, unlocking a world of possibilities for students to express their musical talents.

Where to begin when recording music in schools?

I. Essential Equipment for Recording Music In Schools:


  1. Condenser Microphones: Capture vocals, acoustic instruments, and ensemble performances with options like the Audio-Technica AT2020 and the Rode NT1.
  2. Dynamic Microphones: Ideal for recording amplified instruments and vocals, popular choices include the Shure SM57 and the Sennheiser e835.

Audio Interfaces:

  1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2: An entry-level interface with excellent audio quality and two microphone/line inputs for simultaneous recording.
  2. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96: A budget-friendly option known for its simplicity and reliability, also offering two inputs.
  3. Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII: A higher-end solution delivering exceptional sound quality and real-time processing capabilities for professional-grade recordings.


  1. Audio-Technica ATH-M50x: Studio headphones offering accurate sound reproduction and excellent isolation for monitoring during recording and mixing.
  2. Sennheiser HD 280 Pro: Durable and comfortable closed-back headphones providing a detailed sound image, perfect for critical listening.

II. Integrating Recording into the Music Curriculum:

Performance Assessments: Capture students’ performances for assessment and self-reflection, allowing them to identify areas for improvement.

Songwriting and Composition: Provide a platform for creative exploration as students experiment with layering instruments, crafting harmonies, and arranging compositions.

Collaborative Projects: Foster teamwork and communication skills by having students work together to create multi-track recordings.

Sound Engineering and Production: Introduce students to recording technology and production techniques, allowing them to explore sound engineering concepts.

III. Recording Music In Schools Best Practices:

Room Acoustics: Choose a suitable recording space with minimal background noise and controlled acoustics.

Preparing for Recording Sessions: Ensure instruments are properly tuned, and microphones are positioned correctly, checking for potential audio interference.

Monitoring and Mixing: Encourage students to use headphones for accurate monitoring and teach basic mixing techniques to develop aural skills.

IV. Step-by-Step Guide: Getting a Signal into the Computer:

  1. Connect the Audio Interface: Plug in the power adapter or connect via USB/Thunderbolt, ensuring audio interface drivers are installed.
  2. Connect the Microphones/Instruments: Use XLR cables for microphones and instrument cables for instruments, configuring combo jacks if available.
  3. Configure the Software: Launch the chosen Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software, selecting the audio interface as input/output device and adjusting settings.
  4. Set Up Individual Tracks: Create a new track for each microphone or instrument, assigning inputs accordingly.
  5. Check Signal Levels: Arm tracks for recording, set appropriate input gain levels on the audio interface to avoid clipping.
  6. Monitor and Adjust: Connect headphones, enable direct monitoring, and adjust volume for comfortable recording.
  7. Start Recording: Press record in the DAW, perform or play instruments, monitoring audio levels for a balanced mix.
  8. Review and Edit: Listen back, make adjustments or edits using DAW editing features.

By following this step-by-step guide, you can successfully set up a recording system in your school and capture the musical talents of your students. Integrating recording technology into the music curriculum enriches students’ creativity, performance skills, and technical understanding, providing a platform for artistic expression.

Embrace the journey of capturing musical essence and creative expression through recording music in schools. Set up your school recording system and embark on a captivating musical adventure with your students!

For resources to support your music classroom and recording music in schools click here to browse the full list.

Get Weekly Music Tips

Join 20,000+ Teachers, Senior Leaders & Lecturers

Music teaching tips direct to your inbox

We'll only ever send you music tips, as per our Privacy Policy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *