Sound, Electronics, and Music: A Radical and Hopeful Experiment in Early Music Education
Discussions of pedagogical approaches to computer music are often rooted within the realm of higher education alone. This article describes Sound, Electronics, and Music, a large-scale project in which tutelage was provided on various topics related to sound and music technology to around 900 schoolchildren in Scotland in 2014 and 2015. Sixteen schools were involved, including two schools for additional support needs. The project engaged several expert musicians and researchers to deliver the different areas of the course. Topics included collective electroacoustic composition, hardware hacking, field recording, and improvisation. A particular emphasis was placed on providing a form of music education that would engender creative practice that was available to all, regardless of musical ability and background. The findings and outcomes of the project suggest that we should not be restricting to the university level the discussion of how to continue to educate future generations in the practices surrounding computer music. We may be failing to engage an age group that is growing readily familiar with the skills and vocabulary surrounding new technologies.