explores ways in which music technology can improve access to music for
everyone and enrich music lessons for pupils and teachers, alike. It
builds on the personal research of Audrey Podmore, UK music teacher and
educational technology consultant.
Fruits of Labour
In "Music Technology and Curriculum Access, A Study" and on this website, I seek to share those ways of using technology which, in my experience, support familiar classroom practice and keep the focus firmly on the music. Right from the start, my attitude was "Unless technology will enable us to do something we can't do already or to do it more effectively, we haven't got time for it."
The most successful activities, in my experience, are those that facilitate an integrated approach to the Performing, Composing, Appraising and Listening strands of the curriculum, so this is reflected in GridPlay resource packs.
My exploration of music technology began in the early '80s, when I was teaching young people with physical disabilities. I was committed to creative-approach music teaching and my pupils were fired up with ideas, the realisation and development of which were frustrated by the constraints of disability. Fortunately, at about that time, research into the use of computers for music composition, hitherto restricted to university departments and main-frame computers, began to be taken up by educational pioneers and applied to micro-computers.
Driven by the urgent needs of my pupils, I threw myself into researching every piece of hardware and software that came to my attention. Much of the latter was disappointingly narrow in focus - it had its uses but it was never going to meet the needs of my ambitious young musicians. I avidly sought out the few resources that supported real musicianship and extended the musical experience of pupils.
In 2005, I achieved a long-standing ambition to harness the power of York University's remarkable MIDIgrid software in ready-made resources that can be used immediately by specialist and non-specialist teachers alike, integrating with acoustic classroom resources. GridPlay: Creative Explorations, published by The Full Pitcher Music Resources, builds on much of the research described on this site and provides exploratory materials to support improvisation and composition from pre-school to adult.
On this website, in the Study and in GridPlay resources, I present only what I and my pupils have found useful and rewarding.