Digitally mediated collaboration 2022: Composing 10,427 miles and 11 hours apart

Pauline Black, Dr Emily Wilson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Our aim for this paper is to use Turino’s (2008) theory of participatory music making to analyse a real- world collaborative online music and video creation project that we undertook with our music education student teachers in response to the theme: My Life in Isolation: A World Apart or Same Difference?At the beginning of 2021, both Aberdeen, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia had been in extended lockdowns and prolonged remote learning. On opposite sides of the world, we noticed that our teacher education students were experiencing wellbeing and engagement challenges due to isolation. We decided to undertake a digital collaborative composing project so our students could explore a real-world music and video creation project that they could adapt for use with school students and participate musically with peers.Using a cloud-based digital-audio-workstation the students worked in groups of five. Each student collected video that captured their experience of life in isolation. As a group, they combined and edited this footage into 1-2 minutes to depict their collective experience of lockdown on opposite sides of the world. Then, they collaboratively composed music to accompany their footage in the same way that film composers work.Digital technologies are recognised as supporting students at all levels of prior musical experience to compose. The access to digital instruments and loops means that the process of creating music is not limited by people’s skill in playing an instrument or being fluent in musical notation. The rise of low cost and accessible music software and hardware has meant that young people frequently create music in their lives outside of school. Bringing digital technologies into school classrooms promotes participation: it builds bridges between young people’s inside and outside school musical lives, thus supporting their multiple and shifting musical identities and reducing alienation with school music (Spruce, 2015). Reducing the barriers to music making promotes access and inclusion. Composing provides opportunities for individual voices to be heard and for young people to play and create ‘their’ music, using a pedagogy that draws on Green’s (2002, 2008) informal music learning principles.Interdisciplinary implications. Our paper aims to highlight the commonalities between, and affordances of, drawing on theories derived from both music education and ethnomusicology to build the confidence of music educators to incorporate creative music making, digital technologies, and the musics that young people choose for themselves, in their classrooms.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Digitally mediated collaboration 2022: Composing 10,427 miles and 11 hours apart'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this