Reply To: 7th grade general-help!
Garage Band is an awesome idea. I use it with my elementary kids but older kids will be able to develop something much more complete.
You can do an extended unit of music through the decades. Take a few classes for each decade and show popular music, musicians, culture, dances! I did 70s, 80s, 90s, with my 8th graders and they loved Saturday Night Fever clips (carefully selected!) as well as Michael Jackson dances. We got to 90s rap with Will Smith and I had them write their own raps (again, carefully selected topics) to a basic beat. If you have a long class period, you can use Music Through the Decades as a reoccuring activity for half the class and focus on something else otherwise.
I also remember doing a lot of listening in general music class in middle school. Listening with intention though. We had to fill in worksheets about timbres we heard, style, tempo, time signature…It was a great way for to teach the concepts and keep listening to music. The music selections went through themes also: classical, baroque, broadway, popular, Beetles, etc.