One of the most important roles of the Department of ITE is to ensure students are at the cutting edge of practice in education, whatever subject they teach. Music is a subject that moves particularly fast, and technology has made the subject accessible to more and more young people. Gone are the days when you needed to read music and have lessons on an orchestral instrument to succeed – now pupils can use a dizzying range of equipment to create and perform music that reflects what they listen to outside the classroom.
That’s why Professor Dan Davies, Dean of the School of Education (and an accomplished bass guitarist himself!) committed £40,000 to ensure that student teachers can be at the leading edge of music technology. Our specialist Technician Demonstrator, JC, has spent the last year ordering, testing and installing the latest equipment, and the results can be seen in the specialist music rooms on campus.
iPads and Apple TV
A set of 10 iPads have been set up with music-specific apps and the ability to airplay directly to the big screens in D0.12 and D0.18. This allows students to investigate music-making using the ever-popular GarageBand app, and to collaborate during classes – a vital part of the new Digital Competence Framework for Wales.
iMacs with GarageBand and Sibelius
More and more schools have moved from the PC platform to Apple Mac, and we have reflected this with a complete classroom of iMacs loaded with GarageBand and Sibelius software. Students can investigate how to compose using these very different packages. Importing video as a composing stimulus adds an interesting cross-curricular aspect!
PCs with Cubase
Cubase is a very powerful tool used by professional producers tocreate pieces of music blending synthesised sounds with audio recordings. Our small classroom in D0.23 has four brand-new workstations that run the very latest version of Cubase so that students can produce musical projects on this important software platform.
Jamhubs for bands
Jamhubs allow a band to plug in and play, wherever they are! Several players can all hear one another, rehearse together or practice by themselves, all using headphones to avoid the noise levels becoming impossible. Schools are using these so that large classes can form six or more bands, all rehearsing in the same classroom with no noise problems – ideal for band carousels and informal learning! Now our students can become proficient in this new technology and take the ideas and techniques out into their placement schools.