Dr. Glenn Pickett, associate professor of music at California Baptist University, uses his talents to teach students at the college level, but more recently, his focus has included entertaining toddlers through a new style of music.
Pickett teaches ancient and contemporary music history and music composition. He is currently instructing an electronic music course that focuses on composing original pieces using the digital audio workstation, Logic X, a program that allows users to access software instruments, audio effects, recording facilities and professionally pre-recorded loops.
“He has allowed us to be more creative while testing unique techniques that would not be used in a regular setting,” said Daniel Herrera, senior music composition major.
Pickett’s wife is a preschool teacher and is always looking for new ways to entertain her children. Since Pickett is such a fan of Logic X, he decided to create unique versions of popular children’s songs for his wife’s students to enjoy and with which to sing along.
“Believe it or not, there seems to be a lot more creative freedom writing children’s music than there is with adults,” Pickett said. “The kids love stuff that’s outside the box.”
Within weeks, he had put together an elaborate take on “Wheels on the Bus,” complete with brake squealing, windshield wiping and engine revving sound effects, all set to the rhythm and sequence of the song. He said because the song was such a success, it gave him the idea to make a full 12- track album.
“He has inspired me to do something completely unexpected,” said Breeana Theilacker, senior music composition major. “Anything can be music. No matter how obscure and crazy it sounds to one person, it can be beautiful music to another.”
While describing his rendition of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” Pickett said he is always learning new things about music.
“I used an accordion to be reminiscent of an Italian tarantella — a dance thought to be a cure for a tarantula bite,” Picket said. “It’s always fun to explore things that we don’t use much here in America.”
Although the history behind the techniques Pickett uses may be too complex for the children to understand, his talent does not go unappreciated.