Creative Digital Music Workshops with MakoDigital Arts

Context

Sandfield Park caters for pupils with physical disabilities and a wide range of associated learning difficulties. Staff were interested in how Mako workshops and CPD activities could support a STEAM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART and Mathematics), developing students’ own creativity and music abilities using digital technology.

Activity

Sean supported two groups of SEN pupils with different abilities to participate in hands-on digital music making, giving every pupil an I-pad to work on independently. With clear and simple instructions every pupil created a fun piece of music with their own drum beat. Sessions focused on:

  • Teaching students and staff to create their own digital music using drum sequencers and music loops
  • Inspiring students who don’t currently play an instrument to create their own music, engaging the whole class
  • Students composing their own, original music
  • Getting students actively involved through the whole process, listening to and peer reviewing all of the different tracks
  • All the students, who have a range of learning and physical disabilities, were able to participate and make music

MakoDigital Arts also tailored the sessions as CPD for the teachers involved, showing them how they could use the skills they were learning with their own equipment and run similar activity in the future.

School Development Changes

The project has had a positive impact on staff and student well-being. The Headteacher has agreed to ongoing CPD sessions for staff to develop skills in:

  • Using film and technology creatively in education
  • Promoting wellbeing through self-expression and music
  • Specific skills including editing, using sound techniques and film

Impact

Students displayed pride and ownership of the music they produced, expressing themselves creatively and with authenticity.

  • Students with no prior knowledge of music developed skills to create their own music
  • Students who had some musical abilities to build on were able to further develop their skills.
  • Teachers developed more innovative use of technology and music delivery skills

‘Pupils were thrilled with the results and were able to listen to the recordings at the end of class. It was a fantastic experience for all of the pupils especially those who are sometimes reluctant to take part in music classes. They all joined in and felt it was a “really cool” session. The pupils were buzzing and there was a great attitude from them in benefiting from having learnt a new skill. It brought a new dimension to the arts to be able to digitally compose music.’ Music coordinator, Sandfield Park.