Musical Futures (MF) continually has its pulse on what todayʼs youth are interested in and responds by creating new workshops and resources for music teachers to use in the classroom. Itʼs one of the reasons why MF developed a DJ Skills training and the Musical Futures Tech Champions program in 2019. This blog is dedicated to the Musical Futures Tech Champions, but can you read about my experience taking the DJ Skills course at this link.
In January 2019 Musical Futures formed a partnership with Ableton to offer 10 Tech Champion teachers from the UK and Ireland to take part in two-year project to help develop and test in the classroom innovative approaches using music technology. The project was developed in response to the changing musical landscape: "most music today is created using technology in some way, whether it’s samples, loops and synthesized instruments or using technology to support live performance. In order to make sure that music in schools remains relevant for young people, we need to reflect these interests in the classroom."
Through a competitive application process these 10 Music Tech Champion teachers were selected. Their school will receive:
I was honored to join this talented group of teachers at their first Musical Futures Ableton Live training at Fred Longworth High School. After introductions, we dove into the resources and began playing with the Ableton Live software and Push 2 equipment to create a remix of one of these three tracks: Dua Lipaʼs New Rules, Ed Sheeranʼs Shape of You, or Stormzyʼs Blinded by Your Grace. Here is an overview of Abelton Live and Push 2.
I was happy to learn that two of the Music Tech Champions are from Scotland: Andy McLean at Larbert High School in Fife and Jenny Black at Boclair Academy in Glasgow (photo below). Since I am based in Glasgow for my Fulbright, Iʼm excited to visit Jenny and her music program. She uses Musical Futures resources that were developed to honor traditional Scottish music.
Also during the Ableton training, I had an opportunity to interview many of the Tech Champions to hear their perspective on Musical Futures and how it has impacted their teaching and their studentsʼ learning. The video below details some of their thoughts:
This is a personal blog, sharing my experiences living in the UK from January - June 2019 as a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching scholar. This blog is not an official site of the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State. The views expressed on this site are entirely my own and do not represent the views of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State, or any of its partner organizations.