The co-founder of a hi-tech music programme arriving in Waltham Forest explains what students can gain from it
Young students’ ideas are the best part of Conductive Music projects. We don’t tell them what to create – we just give them the tools and techniques to build digital musical instruments and a safe, positive space in which to exercise their creativity.
Not feeling limited by any stereotypes or preconceptions, they are free to create new things from their own original concepts. After the workshop ends, we make sure that participating young people can continue to build and create by using open-source technology, digital hardware, and by providing online step-by-step tutorials on our website.
Conductive Music is a community interest company (CIC) that delivers music technology-based workshops to disadvantaged young people in London and Bristol. It was founded by myself and Dr Enrico Bertelli. Our mission is to give a multimedia experience of digital music creation to children from challenging backgrounds. That includes children with language barriers, those living in poverty, in social care, with special educational needs, or at risk of exclusion for violent behaviour.
We do this through hands-on workshops in school venues. As both artists and researchers, we help young people develop musical, technical, and performance skills by introducing them to new music and media. The key is for them to create something that is uniquely their own.
Conductive Music is always developing new methods and working with university research groups to push the boundaries of what technology experiences can deliver in the classroom. We bring in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) professionals and academics from top UK universities into the classroom to lead the workshops and provide role models for students to follow.
More than 3,000 students have now participated in these workshops, and our newest project, Create, will reach at least 500 students in Waltham Forest over the next year with support from charity Youth Music and our partners at the Waltham Forest Music Education Hub.
Ultimately, we hope to give young people the opportunity to learn new skills and be inspired to pursue their dream careers – whether that is computer science, engineering, information technology, sound design, arts, or music.
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