Over 15 years ago, Musical Futures began as a project designed to tackle the lack of engagement young people showed towards music in schools. The work of Lucy Green in her book ‘How Popular Musicians Learn’ highlighted that although young people loved music and spent much of their time engaged in listening to or playing music, their experience of music learning in schools didn’t allow them to learn using the music and instruments that they enjoyed, liked and identified with.
However, today the musical interests of our young people are very different from 15 years ago – take a look at the charts and you won’t find many songs created with physical instruments. Much of today’s music is electronic and created on computers using samples and sythensized sounds. In January, Nielsen reported that Hip-Hop had surpassed rock as the most popular genre in the US for the first time ever and went on to identify that 7/10 of the most-consumed albums of 2017 (including streaming) came from the Hip-Hop/RnB genre. This shift in musical tastes was also cited as one of the reasons for the recent collapse of the iconic guitar manufacturer Gibson.
At Musical Futures, we feel it is important that students have the opportunity to engage in authentic learning in the classroom which reflects their own musical interests. We also know it can sometimes be difficult for teachers to keep up with the popular styles of music that their students listen to. That’s why we’ve created our new Technology resources which are designed to support teachers in helping to ensure they put their students interests at the heart of their teaching. Our new ‘In The Style Of…’ resources have been created to allow students to create remixes, new compositions or performances that remain authentic to the genre, with the first being the hit Dua Lipa track ‘New Rules‘. We are working on more ‘In The Style Of..’ resources which will feature a range of artists and genres.
This doesn’t mean that we’re moving away from traditional instruments! We believe that the two can sit comfortably together, and we’re working with teachers to develop resources that combine technology with traditional instruments both in the classroom and for extra-curricular ensembles.
Look out for our other new tech resources coming soon and our new technology courses launching in September!