Real world collaborative composing across the miles

Activity: Disseminating Research Workshop, Seminar or Course




The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for music teachers, however the sudden shift to online learning and teaching also presented unexpected opportunities. One of these has been using digital tools for creating, which in addition to their ongoing popularity in schools in recent years, seems to have been efficacious during the pandemic for a range of musical and extra-musical outcomes including enhancing a sense of musical identity and giving voice to students to enable them to share experiences.

In our work as music teacher educators in Aberdeen, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia we undertook a collaborative online composition project: My Life in Isolation: A World Apart or Same Difference? This project was developed in response to the sudden and prolonged shift to online learning, the lack of access to the usual music studios we teach in and the similar engagement and wellbeing challenges that we noticed our students experiencing on opposite sides of the world.

This experience was facilitated using Soundtrap for Education, a cloud-based digital audio workstation. 10,427 miles and 11 hours apart, pre-service music teachers worked in groups with a mix of Aberdeen and Melbourne in each group. They gathered footage to represent their life in isolation and then created music. In this workshop, we begin by examining our experiences of facilitating this project and share project outcomes. We share examples of our students’ work and discuss the following emergent themes: musical and extra-musical outcomes, challenges, and the affordances of digital composing. We argue for greater attention to the affordances of digital collaborative tools to facilitate real-world composing projects and make music education meaningful for all through nurturing creativity, engagement and wellbeing.

Workshop participants will undertake an online version of the same project. Participants will be actively involved in creating their own collaborative project using Soundtrap for Education.
Period19 May 2022
Event titleEuropean Association of Schools Music: Music and Meaning
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational