appAcademy (EN)

Making music with tablet and smartphones is an exciting and contemporary field of (music) pedagogical practice with teenagers and young adults. The low threshold of music apps, which can often be found free of charge, meets a musical instrument that is omnipresent in young people's everyday lives: the smartphone or tablet.

Country

Austria

Organisation

wienxtra-soundbase

Target group

young people and young adults

Goals

  •  Children and young people get to know mobile devices as low-threshold tools for making music.
  •  Children and adolescents make music together in a group using mobile devices.
  •  Children and teenagers learn the basics of music theory (song structures, tempo, rhythm,…).
  •  The appAcademy encourages creativity and fun through music.

Development

The appAcademy arose from a lack of music pedagogical activities with digital devices. The wienXtra-soundbase team noticed that very little was happening in the field of digital music education in Vienna and therefore looked at programmes and concepts in other cities. An excursion to Berlin was very inspiring, because many interesting projects and youth offers already existed in this area, as for example the “Forschungsstelle für Appmusik”:

The first appAcedemy Workshop took place in 2016. Since then, numerous workshops have been held and the concept has been expanded and refined. Some workshops were also carried out in cooperation with other music pedagogical institutions. The workshop shown in the video was organised in cooperation with the Jeunesse association, which supports young artists and young music interested audiences with numerous activities. Through the changing collaborations, new focal points can be set. This time the young people first attended a concert of the band WÖR and thereafter the appAcademy workshop, where they could use the band’s music for their own remixes.

Activity

The appAcademy is available as a workshop or as a jam station.
The workshop gives the young people an insight into the world of digital music making and then they can try out what they like best. At the Jam-Station they simply have to play and try without any ifs or buts. A workshop lasts from 2 to 3 hours. At the jam-station, the young people can decide for themselves how long they want to be there.

iPads are available for the appAcademy, but the young people can of course also work with their own devices. For playing music together, it is important that the devices have the Abelton-Link protocol. This is supported by almost all music apps and allows devices in the same WLAN network to synchronize. Thanks to the protocol, all devices have the same tempo, the same BPM count – regardless of which app is used. If a device changes its BPM, this changes the BPM for the whole group.

In addition, the appAcademy purchased special hardware that allows to perform music together via a mixing console. The so-called Jamhubs are headphone mixers, which allow a small group to make music together – whereby everyone can set exactly what he/she likes to hear in his/her headphones.

At the appAcdemy, young people not only get to know devices and apps, they also enter the process of making music together – music as a co-construction that brings together cooperation, fun and creativity.

Resources

For the appAcademy a basic stock of hardware is necessary. iPads have proven their usefulness as music production tools. It is ideal if each participant has her/his own device, but it is also possible for the young people to take turns or work together in pairs. In addition, many headphones and headphone distributors are needed to connect several headphones to one device. For the concept of the Jam-Station the so-called Jamhubs have proven themselves as useful hardware mixing consoles, but unfortunately they are no longer manufactured.

Besides the hardware, usable apps are very important. Over time, the appAcademy team has gained a lot of experience with different music apps. On the appAcademy website you can find a selection of well suited apps.

Feedback

The workshops are very well received by young people and get particularly good feedback from those young people who have little musical education. Many are surprised that their everyday equipment can be a musical instrument and discover a creative approach that they themselves would not have considered possible because of a lack of musical education in classical instruments.

Impact

The appAcademy usually has a horizon-widening effect on young people. They experience themselves as musicians, even if they have no knowledge of music theory and do not play an instrument. By putting the group aspect in the foreground, it always has a community-building effect and promotes the cooperative aspect of musical development.

Links

wienXtra-soundbase: https://www.wienxtra.at/soundbase/
appAcademy: https://www.wienxtra.at/soundbase/infos-von-a-z/appacademy/
Jeunesse: https://www.jeunesse.at/home.html
Forschungsstelle für Appmusik: http://forschungsstelle.appmusik.de/
Jamhub (nicht mehr lieferbar): http://www.jamhub.com/
Ableton Link: https://www.ableton.com/de/link/