Empowering Students through Digital Music Education and Global Citizenship
In the age of digital transformation, music education has evolved beyond traditional boundaries. The advent of digital platforms and resources has revolutionised the way we teach and learn music, fostering a more inclusive, interactive, and global approach to music education. This article explores how Digit Learning’s new initiative, Global Sound Culture, leverages digital music to enrich music education and foster global citizenship among students.
Digital Music: The New Building Blocks of Music Education
Digital music has become an essential element in today’s music education. It has transformed the way we connect with music, offering an extensive range of tools and resources for students and teachers alike. From digital audio workstations to online music libraries, digital music provides the basics for a more interactive, engaging, and innovative approach to music education.
Digit Learning’s Global Sound Culture is a prime example of this digital revolution in music education. This initiative integrates digital platforms and global perspectives to immerse students in diverse musical traditions, providing them with hands-on experiences in music creation and production.
Global Sound Culture: A Gateway to Global Music Traditions
The first pack of the Global Sound Culture initiative, titled “Global Sound Culture: Kenya,” introduces students to the rich musical heritage of Kenya. Through collaboration with Supersonic Africa studios and local musicians, Digit Learning has created a set of resources that includes interviews, playlists, and audio samples. These resources serve as musical lego blocks, enabling students to explore and experiment with different sounds and musical ideas.
By exploring these authentic music samples, students gain a deeper understanding of different cultural expressions and contemporary music trends. This exposure to diverse music traditions fosters a sense of global belonging, preparing students to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world
Digital Music Education: A Tool for Holistic Development
The benefits of digital music education extend beyond the classroom. It nurtures cultural appreciation and global citizenship, equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to navigate the digital landscape across many careers, including the music industry.
Through the integration of digital tools and technologies, students can actively engage with music composition, arrangement, and production, regardless of their skill level or access to traditional instruments. This inclusive approach allows students to explore their creativity, experiment with sounds, and develop a deeper understanding of music theory and production techniques.
The Future of Digital Music Education
As the demand for content creation across all media jobs continues to rise, programs like Global Sound Culture are an important learning tool for students and support the government’s New National Plan for Music Education. By integrating digital platforms, authentic music samples, and a global network of musicians, Digit Learning is paving the way for students to explore diverse musical traditions, develop their creativity, and prepare for future careers in the music industry.
With the launch of GSC: Kenya on the 5th of July, Digit Learning is taking a massive step towards transforming music education and fostering global citizenship among students. As the program continues to grow and evolve, we can expect to see more innovative solutions and strategies that leverage digital music to enrich music education and nurture future.
Following the recommendation of the Durham Commision, the Arts Council and Freelands Foundation have funded a 3-year long programme supporting children to develop their creative capabilities. The programme is being run via 8 networks of schools across the UK, each exploring approaches to creative curriculum and teaching for creativity. In Nottingham, that lead school is Welbeck Primary, who set out with this mission question:
“How do we nurture our children’s innate creative capacities and sustain their curiosity about the world?”
Earlier this year, Digit Music were delighted to be selected as an arts delivery partner for the Nottingham Collaborative. We were contacted by Deputy Head, Jayne Thomas, at Old Basford School with a very particular request.
Year 4 were about to embark on a topic exploring Ted Hughes’ classic novel, The Iron Man, and tackle their KS2 science looking at sound waves. An absolute match made in heaven for us! Jayne wanted to create new ways of approaching the topic that would give her staff some inspiration, digital music skills and an ongoing resource for the future of creative curriculum at Old Basford School.
We wanted to look at sound design and recording foley with these primary school students to support this well-known children’s story, combining science, creativity and technology in the classroom.
Curious About Sounds
Over 3 weeks, we worked with over 60 children across Year 4, using instruments, objects and technology to get the children curious about sounds. We explored what sounds are, how we hear them and, using iPads and software, what sound waves look like. The children created their own soundwave signatures by recording their names. Using this knowledge, the children set off to predict scientific experiments. Best of all, they explored how to create and manipulate sounds to tell their own stories.
For their end of term performance, they broke down the Iron Man story into a script, which they scored by creating sounds in the classroom. They created their sound effects by recording found objects to mimic The Iron Man’s epic crash down the cliff, the sea and the sound of silence. All 60 children took turns to narrate the script with an iPad orchestra of 8 young people who performed the class’s recorded work.
A Mainstay Of Creative Curriculum
Jayne now hopes that this sound composition and science project will become a mainstay activity within the school’s creative curriculum, to be repeated for future years. We hope that the children involved will remember bringing their Iron Man story to life, and stay curious about sound and science. Through a combination of literature, the science of sound and music technology, we hope that we were able to help answer the mission question that led this project from the very beginning. Hopefully, we will have left some digital music skills for life with some future musicians.
Get In Touch
If you’re interested in bringing a bespoke piece of creative curriculum to life through music, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also offer a number of free learning resources for teachers via our record label, Digit Sounds, so be sure to check those out here. Finally, keep an eye out for our regular CPD-accredited sessions, in partnership with RSL. These are free and are part of our contribution to helping schools and music leaders to improve inclusion within creative curriculum and engage more young people in ensemble music making.
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