I was one of the original, "I will never touch a computer" , dare I say, idiots. When the Vic 20 launched in the 80's we bought one for our children. It was run by a tape player that held data. It had a very tiny memory and was quickly replaced by the the Commodore 64. Our son and daughter could make it work just swell. I, on the other hand, couldn't turn the silly thing on.
They brought a computer lab into our school with 30 Commodore 64 machines. I was supposed to take my class down for at least one period a week. The school officials failed to teach the teachers how they worked so I enlisted a grade 8 student to teach the students. It was all Greek to me.
Then I taught a teachers' university upgrade course and, you guessed it, it had to have a computer component. Guess what I did? Yup, I enlisted a fellow teacher to come and teach that segment. Keep in mind, I still don't know how to turn on the machines.
A few years later, I was on team writing a music course for primary teachers. We were using a computer and of course the operating system was DOS. Even when I wrote all the steps down in painful detail, getting into the program was a nightmare. I still didn't know how to turn it on. Someone else always had to be there to do that part.
I finally learned to use the computer when a friend and I ran a training program and we did a newsletter each month. I sat by her side and watched. Then I bought her old computer and away I went.
I love computers now. I don't know what I would do without them. I learned by constantly clicking and finding how things worked and virtually playing with the machine until I learned what it could do.
So how has this changed our way of doing music? The advent of You Tube has really made it fun to find other groups presenting music and is a great learning tool for finding repertoire. I have never had so much discussion with other musicians as I have had since the beginning of our Embro Thistle Singers. There are so many ideas and ways of working with singers, I am amazed that I have worked in the music scene for more than 30 years and was able to carry on not knowing any of this.
I think this abundance of information and ability to contact and be contacted can only lead to great understanding and knowledge. Our daughter found a choir in Harringay, Tottenham in London, U.K. that has a very similar philosophy to us. They have a grand web site and blog and even a You Tube channel. No more tinny tapes across the ocean and expensive phone calls. Hallelujah for the world wide web. We will share more about getting to know this new choir as it unfolds.