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Empowering Students through Digital Music and Global Citizenship

19th June 2023

Look around any public space, and you’re guaranteed to see headphones adorning the ears of people of all ages…

In today’s digital age, music has become more accessible than ever before. Digital platforms have revolutionised the way we connect with music, podcasts, and cultural content, offering us a gateway to new sounds, voices, and opinions. This newfound accessibility not only broadens our horizons but also fosters a deeper understanding of the world around us. Furthermore, the music industry itself has experienced a profound transformation, presenting countless opportunities to enrich music education and nurture future careers.

The advent of digital music has enabled musicians to connect, sample, share and collaborate globally with ease. This technology-driven revolution has given rise to a booming industry, offering aspiring artists and music producers the opportunity to work collaboratively with professionals from around the globe. As a result, the music we hear on popular chart tracks is now enriched with an incredible range of influences from different corners of the world.  Our record label, Digit Sounds, is part of that ecosystem, working with world class studios, recording music samples and loops and selling them commercially.

These ‘sample packs’ of sound are often likened to musical lego blocks, enabling producers and songwriters to bring new musical ideas into their compositions. They are also a great way to connect with musicians and learn about current and global music and trends.  For education,  an exciting opportunity to engage students in a fresh and innovative approach to digital music, getting them curious about where the sounds they are listening to in the charts are coming from and the cultural stories behind them.  Digit Learning is setting out to do just that through our new strand of digital music learning resources.

Global Sound Culture Kenya is a digital learning pack designed to immerse students in the sounds of Kenya

In 2022 with Afro-fusion booming in the charts, our label was due to create a sample pack in East Africa in collaboration with Supersonic Africa, a recording studio in Nairobi. Our music producers and education team set out to create a new kind of music resource that could empower teachers to enliven music education, grow music tech confidence and bring authentic connections with global musicians to the classroom.

The resulting pack, Global Sound Culture: Kenya,  integrates digital platforms and global perspectives. Students are immersed in a rich tapestry of Kenyan sounds, instruments, and musical traditions. Through collaboration with local musicians we created interviews,  playlists and captured audio to equip educators with a robust toolkit to diversify their music curriculum and ignite students’ passion for music.

 Our aim is to support teachers to bring the transformative power of digital music into music education and foster global citizenship among students.

The program offers a range of benefits that contribute to the holistic development of students. Firstly, it nurtures cultural appreciation and global citizenship by introducing students to the diverse musical heritage of Kenya. By exploring the authentic music samples recorded by professional musicians, students gain a deeper understanding of different cultural expressions as well as contemporary music trends. This exposure to diverse music traditions fosters a sense of global belonging, preparing students to thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.

The pack contains interviews with musicians, professional sound samples and ‘ready-to-go’ classroom exercises

The pack provides students with hands-on experiences in music creation and production. Through the integration of digital tools and technologies (Digital Audio Workstations, MIDI Controllers, Sampled Instruments), students can actively engage with music composition, arrangement, and production, regardless of their skill level or access to traditional instruments. This inclusive approach allows students to explore their creativity, experiment with sounds, and develop a deeper understanding of music theory and production techniques. By embracing digital music-making, students gain transferable skills that can be applied not only in music but also in various aspects of their lives and future careers.

With content creation across all media jobs rocketing in the past few years we hope the programme will also equip students with the tools and knowledge necessary to navigate the digital landscape across many careers as well as the music industry.  As part of the programme we are encouraging schools to share students’ work with us so that we can platform and celebrate their achievements. Schools will be able to hear what other students are creating.

Global Sound Culture will be a continuing programme which will visit different studios across the world over the coming years. Our aim is to support teachers to bring the transformative power of digital music into music education and foster global citizenship among students. By integrating digital platforms, authentic music samples, and a global network of musicians, we hope this initiative paves the way for students to explore diverse musical traditions, develop their creativity, and prepare for future careers in the music industry.

Visit Digit Learning to find out more.  Book your ticket for the project introduction and first CPD on the 5th of July here, or sign up to the mailing list to receive a free taster pack.

Music Mark Members can also take advantage of a 10% discount on the full Global Sound Culture: Kenya pack.  Visit the Member Offers area.

By Alice Chesterman, Digit Music