Conductive Music: Teaching Innovative Interface Design and Composition Techniques with Open-Source Hardware

Robertson, Emily and Bertelli, Enrico

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Through examining the decisions and sequences of presenting a multi-media instrument fabrication program to students, this paper seeks to uncover practical elements of best practice and possible improvements in science and music education. The Conductive Music program incorporates public engagement principles, open-source hardware, DIY ethos, contemporary composition techniques, and educational activities for creative and analytical thinking. These activities impart positive skills through multi-media content delivery for all learning types. The program is designed to test practices for engaging at-risk young people from urban areas in the construction and performance of new electronic instruments. The goal is to open up the world of electronic music performance to a new generation of young digital artists and to replace negative social behaviours with creative outlets for expression through technology and performance. This paper highlights the key elements designed to deliver the program’s agenda and examines the ways in which these aims were realised or tested in the classroom.