In our last Music Makes Lives Better Because… article, we talked about the tools we use in our sessions with children and young people facing a variety of life challenges. We talked a lot about the technology we use, including how we innovate with newer technologies and how we integrate tech into our projects.

Whilst we are an organisation that values both innovation and (in particular) the importance of technology, we also value existing good practice and methods that require little to no tech to make them happen and for children to take part in good quality music making. Our brand new series of YouTube videos from one of our brilliant facilitators, Rebecca Denniff (available on our YouTube channel) features musical ideas and games that don’t require many materials to begin making music and learning simple musical theory and skills, for example.

Most of our projects have some element of technology within them, but we are keen to make clear that we still recognise and use many elements from established musical practices, covering both theory to practical games, playing and singing. A lot of the time, the technology we use is simply a tool to record and document our sessions and resources, either for reporting or sharing with a wider audience (like our videos on YouTube). We welcome the use of technology, but we don’t use it just because it’s ‘there’… we are good at what we do, simply because we know when to use tried and tested methodology and when to try new things.

Take a look at our project with Mother and their Babies in Secure Accommodation. We use tried and tested ways of teaching young mums how they can interact musically with their babies (alongside demonstrating how beneficial these techniques are for building better social bonds and improving the confidence of young mothers), mostly without any tech (perhaps a few instruments) involved.

The best projects, in our view, are ones that demonstrate and teach young people the foundations of good musical practice alongside (where possible) an introduction to and use of amplified instruments, newer equipment and emerging technologies.