I was introduced to this kind of creative ease through music technology. Nowadays, I am a Music Teacher at one school, ICT teacher at another and an Apple Curriculum Specialist for JTRS. Back when I first started using Apple Technology however, I was a Music Student in Secondary School. I learnt very quickly that I would get far more out of music if I had the right equipment. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Apple and music are almost synonymous.
From a teaching point of view, reliability and usability are key. The ease at which the Apple Mac interacts with all the hardware listed in the bundle (Microphones, Midi Keyboards and Interface) can reduce set up times massively. The simplicity of the Digital Audio Workspaces (Logic Pro or Pro Tools) can make life a lot easier when it comes to modelling. And the level of communication between pieces of software (like Sibelius and Logic Pro) can speed up workflow in the classroom no end.
Ultimately, this illuminates a huge amount of frustration that can come with marrying the practical elements of music with the technical. Quite often, the most musical child might not be the most confident music engineer (or vice versa). The Mac, the software and the hardware work so well together, that it can make a complete beginner look like a seasoned pro. Of course, the usability of this gear extends to the teachers as well.
Overall, the technology shouldn’t cause problems in any way. If it does, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not good enough. Educational establishments should be able to install their Music Tech equipment with ease. The gear should then be simple to use and seamlessly compatible. Teachers must be able to model the proper use of the technology confidently and learners should be able to extend their creativity when using the devices. I can say with absolute certainty, that the Bundles JTRS are offering can provide teachers and learners with that exact educational experience. It can offer a bedrock of technical ease that allows a student to play and not get too bogged down with the nitty-gritty of the technology. Music, like so many other creative endeavours, should be fun and adventurous. Make sure you provide your students with the right opportunities to extend their love of music. Make sure you don’t accidentally build walls between the learner’s creative journey and their goals. But above all, make sure music is musical and not too technical.
Nick Acton is an Apple Curriculum Specialist at JTRS as well as being a part-time Computing and Music teacher. Through the creation of bespoke training, Nick specialises in empowering educators so they can embed Apple technologies into their day-to-day classroom practice.