Roland logoI swapped the content for lectures 4 and 5 around because I have been able to augment the lecture on performance technologies by getting some friends from Roland Australia to come and bring their new drum lab. That will be next week.

Today we started with a very short singing exercise to show more use of technology. I showed you a podcast I had made to make learning a vocal composition, Daedalus and Icarus easier. In the last blog I’ve included the full version as it was performed at Angel place by several hundred girls. Here are two of the three podcasts I made:

Special needs education and music technology

Unfortunately, much of the material I shared with you was personal and therefore can’t be shared for child protection reasons. But you will remember that we discussed the conditions described in your second assignment including autism/Aspberger’s syndrome and ADHD.

To touch on the raging debate about ADHD I related some of my own experiences with this, and also showed you a bit more Ken Robinson (sorry, this course is not supposed to be turning into the Ken Robinson fan series). You can watch it again here – but you may want to fast forward to that moment which comes at 34’35”.

I also spoke personally of my experience working with autistic children and children with other special needs and some of you chimed in with some excellent anecdotes and new information (which not being a special needs expert by any means I very much welcome). I hope to read some more of your thoughts on your blogs. We watched some videos made at Chatswood High School.

BananaWe considered technologies that can be used with special needs children who may not be able to play conventional instruments. I brought my banana keyboard, and showed you a movie that I made recently for the ADE camp showing how it can be used in interesting ways with a Mac. You can watch that video again here, but you’ll have to email me for the password. I also mentioned that the keyboard comes with some software for Windows that allows you to do all of the stuff that I showed in the Mac video such as loading up samples instead of notes.

I also showed the lightbeam being used in a project that I did with the department a few years ago, and mentioned the jelly button, which can also be used to trigger sounds.

In the last blog here, I mentioned that I’d checked that you can download the resources that I made for that project – go to this page of my website and scroll down to “The Australian Environment”.

Later in the lab we made time for some hands-on time so you could have a play with Screenflow, work on your blogs, read and comment on each other’s blogs (I hope you’re doing this a lot), tweet and play around with making resources in Sibelius and GarageBand.

To this end, I gave a demo of how to make your own loops in Garageband. You can watch a video on how to do this here:

PGI also gave a demo of how you can create the equivalent of loops and other resources to get your students started on their compositions in Sibelius using the Ideas Hub. I haven’t yet made a video of this, and I’ve got year 10 in 20 minutes, but I’ll try to get one made for you over the week. I did show you some of the resources I’ve made using this feature in Sibelius which along with the new Versions feature in Sibelius 6 is just it for education. So useful. And, as I said in my last blog, you can now download one of these kits as I’ve made it available on my website since it doesn’t look like Sibelius are ever going to get around to it. It was always made to be given away for free and for nothing, anyway.

Before I showed those how-to things, I gave you another lecture about becoming citizens of the growing internet community of music educators. I advised you to start by commenting on each other’s blogs, and by commenting on lectures and other useful things with the #uwsmteach hashtag. You really can’t understand exactly how useful all this stuff is until you try it yourselves – and some of you are doing now, so please write about it on your blogs. I closed with a bit of propgranda from the US which gives an idea of how this can be useful to your students as well as you as teachers. It went something like this…

Please, have your say.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: