Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tonal Tuesdays - Social Media Make Music

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.

Now, the world is ours.  We can talk to people anywhere at all.  Bloggers are sharing their ideas for repertoire and all things choir.  Some recent discussions centred around how to use Facebook for recruiting new members, and even getting audiences to a concert.  There are groups that Tweet their ideas for music and availability.  Blogs and web sites abound full of information and ideas.

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.

I know there are people from all over the world who read our blog.  Isn't that amazing?  What has the web done for you?  Please share.  to misquote the song, we have the whole world in our computer!


Colleen said...

Remember when I moved to England and I had to take you to the library to get you an email account? You had to write all the steps down and now you are a computer super star!

Embro Thistle Singers said...

And after all that writing down, I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to open the e-mail. I finally had to ask the librarian who, to my dismay, simply clicked on the title and there it was. I obviously hadn't written that down. Oh how we learn.