16 posts categorized "Music"

February 02, 2010

Spotify for Desert Island Discs

A lovely, simple idea that combines music and language arts, while introducing new generations to the institution of British radio that started in 1942: Desert Island Discs.

Spotify, if you've not banned it in your schools, provides a legal means to look up almost any song you want and play it, immediately. In an age where young people can't do much without having older generations complain about it - not least listen to the music they want to - this would be an interesting way to get under their musical skin, and find out what eight discs (or rather, MP3s) they would take to a desert island with them. Get them to write down their motivations, but then, in a good old fashioned display of classroom presentation, students can interview each other without a script about their choices and listen to the music critically as a group.

Classroom activity or dinner party distraction? The choice is yours. As ever, let me know how it turns out.

January 19, 2010

The new internet block in education: Financial Filtering


Oxford University has banned Spotify, the legal music-sharing service currently available across Europe. The reason? It uses up too much bandwidth. I've been in a few clients' establishments where this is also true, whether the bandwidth-hungry service be well-known and seen as 'legitimate' (e.g. BBC iPlayer) or little known and misunderstood (e.g. Spotify).

When we're building national internet infrastructures, as we have done in the UK and which are emerging at great speed in New Zealand, India and China, we can underestimate by some distance what is going to be required by generations not too much in the future. In 2005, 100mbps for a 1000-student secondary school seemed lightning fast, given that we had been struggling on 10mbps until then. However, in an age where most new content is available, first and foremost, in high quality HD, this "high" speed feels like a snail's pace, especially when any more than 20 of those 1000 students is using such a service.

What's the answer? Invest more than we can afford now on the understanding that it will pay off by the time it's installed? See internet infrastructure as a genuine investment, like motorways and skyscrapers, rather than just a spend that has to be made?

December 13, 2009

Yann Thiersen Plays "Amélie" on Six iPhones

Yann Thiersen composed the music to one of my favourite French films, Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain. In the video clip above he plays the Comptine D'Un Autre Eté: L'après-midi on six iPhones. Bluetooth-iPhone-App-tastic.

September 05, 2005

Pour les podcasteurs

For kids making their own podcasts (or French teachers for that matter) try using these great sites to get hold of music to liven things up. All the music is Creative Commons Licence", which means you can use it without having to pay royalties.

From France, Belgium and Germany specifically, go to Jamendo (thanks Julien).

Any other Francophone or other foreign podsafe music providers out there?

August 16, 2005

Just for fun - listen to those old commercials

Via Boing Boing comes this great little treat. If you're like me (go on, admit it, you might well be) then listening to old radio commercials gives you a tingle of excitement, a feeling of discovering (or in some case rediscovering) those grainy Kodachrome days. My favourite is the 7UP commercial, from the time when musicians wrote real songs to sell products. Go on, listen and enjoy.

July 18, 2005

Singing Fish, or Le Poisson Chantant

I have just added The Singing Fish to my del.icio.us page. This is a fantastic internet search tool that looks only for audio and video related to your subject.

And in the classroom...
Type in 'Bonjour' and you have a fantastically cheesy rendition of 'Bonjour, Bonjour' to cheer your new S1s as they enter the classroom for the first time this August. You get a choice of a 30-second excerpt or the full song, just the music or even the video that goes along with it: great for data-projection.

Well worth bookmarking.

About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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