“My Note Games!” goes to Glasgow

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The “My Note Games!” team have just got back from a great couple of days in Glasgow.

We were invited by Dr Gianna Cassidy to attendend a seminar at Glasgow Caledonian University on “Music and Games: Education and Wellbeing”.

It was an amazing day with speakers from a wide range of backgrounds but all with different mixes of expertise and interest in Music Education, Music Therapy, Community Music and Music Technology.

Dr Raymond MacDonald introduced the seminar and planted his wonderful mantra “everybody has a biological and social guarantee of musicianship” in our heads.

Then Dr Felicity Baker, all the way from the University of Queensland in Australia delivered a fascinating and at times very moving talk on the use of songwriting in a music therapy context.

Next, educational consultant David Kirtlan showed us the entertaining results of his iPad band project with Leamore Primary School in Birmingham. 

After coffee, artist, musician and game developer, Yann Seznec, showed us some of his projects that use technology to generate sounds and music in surprising and imaginative ways.

After Yann’s mushrooms, Dr Tom Bancroft showed us some fruit in the form of the “Apple Banana Carrot” method.  Through the company that he runs with jazz saxophonist twin brother Dr Phil Bancroft, ABC music have created software for schools that helps non-specialist teachers to teach baseline music skills and supports creativity and performance.

We then broke for lunch. For desert we had jam, or rather a fun bit of improvisation by David Kirtlan’s un-named ad-hoc iPad band! 🙂

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Then James and I presented “My Note Games!”. I waved my hands about a lot whilst James talked about “music as tyranny”! We were lucky enough to have some willing participants in the audience who, with the aid of descant recorders helped us to demonstrate the App’s sound recognition capabilities. We were very honoured to have former music teacher and Irish MP, Cecilia Keaveney, play all the way through Silent Night for us. Thanks Cecilia!

Dr Frederike van Wijck, Reader in Neurological Rehabilitation at GCU, presented projects that focus on how skill acquisition may be enhanced following acquired brain damage. These projects draw on technology from fields as diverse as robotics, game design and music therapy.

The penultimate speaker was Dr Don Knox. Dr Knox is a Senior Lecturer at GCU specialising in music information retrieval, music and emotion, and audio signal analysis and resynthesis for wellbeing. He talked us through some of the aspects of a recently completed an EPSRC Grant entitled “Music Emotion Classification”. It threw up an interesting discussion about whether waveforms could be analysed to determine the emotional content of music.

Last but by no means least was our host Dr Gianna Cassidy presenting work that looks into the evaluation and implementation of game and app technologies for music participation. She has recently completing the EPSRC Grant “Music Games: New Opportunities for Music Education.” which also provided the funding for this fantastic seminar.

Finally there was panel discussion which was when I finally succumbed to the after-effects of the wonderful Glasweigian hospitality we’d been shown the night before! We then had to run away to the airport.

We’d like to thank our hosts Gianna, Raymond and Anna. We had a wonderfully stimulating time and have come away even more excited about the positive potential of music combined with new technologies.

Ian and James

 

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