Creativity Mac Bundles - Music

By Nick Acton

Technology should never be a barrier to creativity. Too often we can find ourselves getting too caught up in the technical nitty-gritty of pairing devices; getting two pieces of software to communicate, or transferring files from app to app. I think that one of the best things about using Apple devices is that you never find yourself lost on the road to a creative solution. In fact, quite often the opposite is true. Most of the time, the technology suggests more than one path to reach your goals.
 
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.

All of their devices can extend a musician’s creativity and help harbour inspiration. It’s like giving a drummer more limbs or a guitarist twenty fingers on each hand. Furthermore, the software interacts with the hardware in an uncluttered and simple way. I’ve never had to spend hours trying to make two pieces of a ‘music tech puzzle’ together. You plug the microphone in and the microphone works. You start inputting midi with your midi keyboard, and it works. You download a new Digital Audio Workspace and it works. It all just works.

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JTRS's Creativity Mac Bundles for Music can provide the kind of harmonious music tech experience that I have just described above (see more about the bundles here).

Essentially, these bundles make it easy for a school to provide their students with everything they need to ace their Music GCSE and higher education courses in Music Tech. What's more, the equipment and software are industry standard. If some students decide to pursue a career in Music Production, the tools will be the same, right up the biggest and most influential companies in the business. 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.

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. 

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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.

Many schools find themselves teaching Music Tech because of the demand for the subject. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that some Music Teachers may we'll find themselves delivering the subject with very little expertise themselves. Opting to purchase a ‘Bundle’ means that the staff are starting with easier platforms to build their subject knowledge upon. From being a Music Student in Secondary School right up to now, I am still continuing to learn more about Apple devices and software/hardware attached to them. 

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. 


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