Innovation grants for digital education support

This year’s CEMPE innovation grants have been awarded to the developer of an interactive app designed to provide training for choral conductors and the creator of an online archive of principal instrument repertoire. Ragnar Rasmussen (Arctic University of Norway) and Julius Pranevičius (Norwegian Academy of Music) will share the NOK 100,000 pot between them.

Digital learning opportunities

Ragnar Rasmussen at the Arctic University of Norway wishes to exploit the opportunities offered by tablets and smartphones by developing an interactive application for training choral conductors. In the app, students will be able to watch short introduction videos, view the score and listen to the choir sing and respond to the teacher’s actions.

The video recordings can be converted into motion capture so that they focus on the conductor’s movements and how the singers react to them. Rasmussen cites an example published in the New York Times.

Illustrasjonsfoto: NMH
Photo: Kimm Saatvedt

Rasmussen writes:

“Choral conducting has traditionally been taught in a master-apprentice setting. This app will offer video lectures to help prepare for / supplement one-to-one principal instrument lessons or masterclasses. The various analytical tools will highlight problems in a very concrete way, so it will hopefully not be necessary to resort to the ‘language of flowers’. The app can also be used as a digital learning platform by students in multiple geographical locations.”

Trials will be conducted in co-operation with students at the Arctic University of Norway, Ulster University in the UK, the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, and students and teachers at Toneheim Folkehøgskole and Vinstra VGS.

Online repertoire archive

Julius Pranevičius at the Norwegian Academy of Music believes there is educational potential in developing an online repertoire archive containing information about the various pieces rather than actual sheet music. He writes:

“The educational value of such an archive is that the students are encouraged to explore for themselves the repertoire available for their instruments and that they have an easily accessible tool to help them do so. Hopefully it will make the students more independent, and perhaps they will make greater discoveries than if their teachers were to decide everything.”

Student i lydstudio
Photo: Kimm Saatvedt

Pranevičius also thinks that the digital archive can give the students greater insight into what he calls an “efficient practice workflow”, which involves planning their practice schedule better, gaining a better overview of their practice activities and then potentially evaluating the activities in the form of notes shared with their teacher.

The digital archive also has the potential to improve communication and co-operation between student and principal instrument teacher and between principal instrument teacher, student and accompanist since the student’s practice activities are made more transparent.

Last updated: 27. April 2016