Together With Tech

Our Learning and Participation team recently began working on an exciting new project, funded by Richard Reeve’s Foundation.

Together With Tech involves Drake Music working with two schools over two school terms to bring disabled and non-disabled young people together on a project involving new music technology, 1-1 music lessons and an inclusive ensemble performance.

This combination of bespoke tuition, creative group exploration and exchange between Disabled and non-disabled young people will result in an engaging, inspiring and high quality music experience for all those involved – students, teachers & audience.

What will we achieve?

The aims of Together with Tech are to:

  • provide disabled and non-disabled young people with the same music-making opportunities using non-traditional instruments & tech
  • inspire them to develop a life-long love of music-making
  • open future opportunities in this field
  • train teachers in accessible music technologies and inclusive music-making

With support from the local music education hub, two schools in the Borough of Camden were selected to participate in the project, aimed at students at KS2 level:

  • Swiss Cottage School (Specialist school)
  • St Mary’s & St Pancras Primary School (‘Mainstream’ school)

In Term 1 we provided weekly one to one music lessons to enable learning and progression on Assistive Music Technology.

Instruments available for the students to choose from included iPads, Mogees, keyboards, soundbeams, switches and Ableton software.

These one to one tuition sessions laid the foundation for Term 2, when we will be bringing the pupils together to create a new ensemble performance.

The Team

The project is being led by one of our Associate Musicians, Charles Mathews, who is an electronic musician, gamelan player and experienced workshop facilitator.

Charles demonstrating the Lazy Susan, a piece of Bespoke kit recently created at a schools project
Charles demonstrating the Lazy Susan, a piece of Bespoke kit recently created at a schools project

Charles is passionate about using technology for equal access to music-making.

As a programmer, he has developed a variety of software tools, interactive installations, and augmented instruments, taking part in DMLab hackathons and working as part of the team who developed the Kellycaster.

The second Associate Musician working on the project is Cassie Gurling who is a composer, vocalist and producer from Birmingham who works within the community as a vocal coach and music technology specialist.

Term 2 will also see Disabled Music Leader Joanne Cox joining the team to ensure the delivery team reflects the inclusive nature of the ensemble.

Joanne is a classically trained acoustic and electric cellist. With a flair for creativity, Joanne has performed collaboratively and as a solo artist in London and nationally.

Training teachers

The project aims to provide teachers with training in an ‘Introduction to AMT’, covering transferable skills which they can use within their class room after the project finishes.

Through discussions with the schools and teaching staff it was agreed that training would take place after the first term, so that teachers could see the tech in action before learning how to use it.

We will also be delivering training in ‘Inclusive Music Practice Techniques’ for the teaching teams, which they can use within their class room and wider school community.

What next? Term 2

Over the course of 12 weeks in Term 2 we will bring together all the individual students and will work with them as an ensemble to create a brand new performance piece.

The ensemble will harness the artistic potential of music technology and the new skills they have learnt from their one to one sessions.

Using a mixture of technology and a curriculum-based theme, students will work together to compose and perform an entirely new piece of music.

We can’t wait to share the results of their hard work!

Together With Tech is kindly supported by Richard Reeve’s Foundation

Logo for Richard Reeve's Foundation in blue and orange colours

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