Finding new ways to compose through improvising with technology


As we move towards the final year of peripatetic sessions at Belvue School, we have been looking for ways to use technology to enhance learning and playing.  While the focus is still very much on learning acoustic instruments in line with the preferences of the young musicians, iPads have been extremely useful in recording our work and sharing with others.

One young musician in particular has been making progress using an iPad to find ways to compose her own music. Having worked together on improvisation and call and response, I was interested in finding ways that I could take a step back and encourage more of an independent approach.  Like all the best ideas, this one developed almost by accident, as we were engaged in recording and watching one of our previous sessions and started playing along.

In this video, the young musician uses the built-in camera app to play along to video of herself, matching the rhythm.  Later, she plays back a series of short clips that she has recorded on the Mad Pad video sampler, creating a backing texture that she can use for further development.

These videos from the end of last year show the start of the journey – in the meantime she has been moving towards accessing the iPad app without assistance from a tutor, and we are looking for ways that this can integrate into games and music activities with a whole class as well.

Our sessions have been building on foundations developed with Gary Day (click here to read the full blog post):

Watch this space for more developments, and as usual please ask questions or share your own experiences in the comments below!