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Lecturer visits Berlin for music summit

By UCOL on Tuesday, 14 November 2017

UCOL Music Lecturer Graham Johnston pictured with students in a classroom

UCOL Music Lecturer Graham Johnston has jetted off to Berlin to attend the Loop 2017 music summit.

Loop is a three-day summit run by music software company Ableton, which brings together users of its products (including musicians and music industry professionals) for discussions, performances, presentations, studio sessions, and interactive workshops. 

Graham’s invitation to Loop 2017 came after UCOL was included in Ableton’s Push initiative, which sees Ableton provide hardware and software to organisations that assist in youth music development.

He says the acquisition of this equipment has complemented UCOL’s music programmes’ emphasis on teaching students a range of skills to prepare them for the fast-moving and ever changing music industry.

“The changing face of music has seen the integration of technology like Ableton become far more prevalent in modern music performance across all genres. The key for our students is to have an understanding of the traditions of music as well as the development of technology, and how the two link together.” 

Graham is looking forward to networking with professional users of Ableton equipment and building international connections for his students.

“I’m hoping to create networks for our students to get their music into the European market. With the way music technology is these days, this is no reason why a student in Palmerston North can’t collaborate with a producer in Russia, for example.” 

Graham’s trip is being funded by UCOL’s Professional Development fund and the Faculty of Humanities and Business.

While in Berlin, Graham will also visit two music schools and student radio stations to see how their facilities compare to UCOL’s, and how they prepare their students for the music industry.

“This trip will be a great opportunity to expand my knowledge on modern music and educational techniques, but also gain a greater understanding of where music is going, which I can bring back to the classroom.” 

Graham sees music production software like Ableton as the pathway for many aspiring musicians and producers, as it is easy to get started on, but hard to master, and it is adaptable for live performances and recording.