Technology and Music – Let’s start at the very beginning

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As the first blog post that provides a look into how technology is being used in a classroom at St Andrew’s College, it seems appropriate to start with a department that has been utilising the power of computers in teaching and learning for a long time. This is, of course, the Music Department.

Sitting down and talking with Head of Department Mr Duncan Ferguson it is apparent that technology permeates all aspects of music composition these days. He notes:

Mixcraft (composition software) reinforces traditional teaching of the elements of music by giving students a visual representation of abstract ideas such as ‘texture’ and they can literally see the structure of a piece of music by looking at the timeline in the software.

This works particularly well for junior students who have perhaps not been previously exposed to musical theory. With more advanced senior students, the technology enables them to create quite outstanding work. An example of this is a requirement for a Level 3 (Yr13) Standard, simply called Making Music (3.4).

This standard requires students to take inspiration from an area of the Visual Arts and compose an accompanying musical piece. An example of student work comes from Harry Guy who focused on this task:

  • Compose an original piece of music inspired by a visual art work, which could be a painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph, or graphic art.

Check out Harry’s video talking through the connection between Michelangelo’s Last Judgement and his own composition:

Unsurprisingly, Harry’s interest and skills in composition started a number of years ago, Continue reading

Why blog these stories?

In 2012 a decision was made for St Andrew’s College to launch a 1:1 computing programme in 2014, starting with the Yr9 Cohort. This decision represented a major departure from the traditional methods in which technology was used in classrooms and we believe creates exciting opportunities for learning in a digital environment.

Whilst there will be a big change in the look and feel of those Yr9 classrooms as every student has a device, in many respects it will simply be the natural progression for teachers who are already using a wide range of ICT tools in their planning and teaching. This blog aims to highlight some of those e-Learning stories and showcase some of the work that students have been producing.

This blog will update approximately every fortnight with a new e-Learning story throughout Term 4, 2013. Once our 1:1 programme launches in 2014 we will continue to provide insights into the teaching and learning in classes and how technology is impacting on that in meaningful ways.