Mix n' Match Tenor Sax


  • Middle School/High School


  • The students will arrange segments of a tenor saxophone solo to create one continuous solo in GarageBand.
  • The students will create four varied arrangements to accompany the tenor saxophone by choosing appropriate loops in GarageBand
  • The students and teacher will appraise their arrangements in relation to given genres.

Prior Knowledge:

  • Students should know how to find, audition, and select loops in GarageBand.


  • Website: The Freesound Project (http://freesound.iua.upf.edu)
  • Apple GarageBand (free on new Macs) or a version of ACID (PC)
  • Broadband internet connection and web browser

MENC Standards Addressed:

  • MENC 2: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  • MENC 3: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
  • MENC 4: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
  • MENC 5: Reading and notating music.
  • MENC 6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
  • MENC 7: Evaluating music and music performances.
  • MENC 9: Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture


Teacher preparation: Download the sample pack Tenor Sax D major 110bpm by simondsouza from The Freesound Project website: http://freesound.iua.upf.edu/packsViewSingle.php?id=84 or from here.

  • Part 1 (15-20 mins): Students will drag the samples into the GarageBand window and then arrange them onto one track in a preferred order.

  • Part 2 (40-60 mins): Create backing tracks from loops that transform the feel of the arrangement. Leave the Tenor Sax part alone and only use instrumental loops to effect this change. Students should produce four separate arrangements in the following styles:
    1. Jazzy/Laid Back
    2. Heavy Rock
    3. Percussion only
    4. Abstract


  • The students will appraise their own and each others work in relation to given musical genres.
  • The teacher will provide formative assessment during the class so that the student can edit their work.
  • The teacher can assess the finished recordings at a later time.

Extension Activity:

A similar project using the Mastertrack to adjust the pitch would be a more advanced activity. In this way, the students can approximate chord changes within the arrangement.