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Why electronic music lessons should be taught in secondary schools

Electronic music lessons in secondary schools will bring back vibrancy, creativity and inclusiveness to music education, says NTIA founder Michael Kill

  • Michael Kill
  • 21 August 2023

Music education in the UK has long been valued for its ability to nurture creativity, critical thinking, and emotional expression. However, in recent years, budget cuts and changing priorities have led to a decline in the vibrancy of music education. To revitalise this essential aspect of learning, integrating electronic music lessons into secondary education offers an innovative and engaging approach. By embracing technology and contemporary musical trends, educators can inspire students, bridge generational gaps, and ensure music remains an accessible and relevant subject in schools.

The digital age has transformed the music industry, with electronic music playing a pivotal role in shaping contemporary sounds. Incorporating electronic music into secondary education acknowledges the relevance and importance of modern musical trends. Students are more likely to be enthusiastic about learning when they can relate to the subject matter and perceive its real-world significance. Electronic music's inclusion in the curriculum empowers students to engage with music that resonates with their everyday lives and cultural experiences.

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Electronic music offers an unparalleled avenue for creativity and experimentation. Unlike traditional music classes, where students may feel confined to certain instruments or genres, electronic music enables learners to explore a vast array of sounds, rhythms, and textures using software and hardware tools. Students can compose original pieces, remix existing tracks, and manipulate sounds to create unique sonic experiences. Such an approach not only fosters creativity but also encourages innovation, problem-solving, and out-of-the-box thinking.

Incorporating electronic music lessons provides an opportunity to introduce students to music production software, synthesisers, MIDI controllers, and other modern music technology tools. Developing proficiency in these technologies equips students with valuable transferable skills, such as digital literacy, audio engineering, and production techniques. These skills are not only relevant to the music industry but also to various creative fields and technology-driven careers.

Electronic music often involves collaborative efforts among artists, producers, and sound engineers. Integrating electronic music lessons in secondary education encourages teamwork and communication skills. Students can collaborate on group projects, share ideas, and contribute their unique strengths to create a cohesive piece of music. This collaborative environment fosters a sense of community, encouraging students to support and learn from one another.

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One of the challenges in traditional music education lies in the cost and availability of musical instruments. Electronic music offers a more accessible alternative, as digital audio workstations and software synths can be more affordable and readily available than traditional instruments. By embracing electronic music, schools can level the playing field and provide equal opportunities for students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to participate in music education.

Today's students are digital natives, raised in an era of technological advancements and instant connectivity. Integrating electronic music into secondary education meets students where they are, leveraging their familiarity with technology to enhance their learning experience. By utilising tools that resonate with their generation, educators can foster a deeper connection with their students and create a more engaging and enjoyable classroom environment.

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Electronic music lessons in secondary education have the potential to bring back a vibrancy to music education within the UK. By embracing modern musical trends, fostering creativity and innovation, introducing music technology skills, encouraging collaborative learning, expanding music accessibility, and connecting with digital natives, educators can revitalise music education and ensure its relevance and value for years to come. Embracing electronic music not only empowers students with essential skills but also keeps music education in line with contemporary musical practices and societal changes. As the UK seeks to evolve its education system, embracing electronic music is a step towards a more vibrant, inclusive, and enriching music curriculum.

We are calling for electronic music lessons to be part of secondary education music curriculum in every school across the UK.

Michael Kill is CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, follow him on Twitter

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