Saturday, 27 October 2012

Gibson guitar becomes ISME 'Olympic Torch'

Gibson guitar becomes ISME 'Olympic Torch'
Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 7:25AM
MusicEducationUK in Global

As part of the 30th ISME World Conference on Music Education, which took place in Thessaloniki, Greece, last July, the International Society for Music Education (ISME) was presented with a silver Gibson Les Paul guitar at the ISME/Gibson International Awards for Music Education ceremony.

Sam Kidd playing the silver Gibson Les Paul guitar with 23 Fake Street, one of the bands that has grown from the 'School of Rock' project.

According to Lee Higgins, past ISME Director and Associate Professor of Music Education at the Boston University School of Music:

'Rather than the guitar being some sort of inanimate trophy, I proposed a project to Nina Miller, Executive Director of the Gibson Foundation, and Graham Welch, then President of ISME. The guitar would be put to work as a symbol for the ISME/Gibson Award. The proposed project was nicknamed the ISME 'Olympic Torch' as a metaphor for the instrument moving from one place to another. The general idea is that the guitar will become 'resident' in a small number of projects during the biennium 2012-2014.

'On 14 September, the guitar began its journey at a project named School of Rock in the Wirral on Merseyside. This project has three components. Firstly, the young people have lessons on instruments of their choice: guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, vocals etc. Using a mixture of professional and trainee tutors drawn from recipients of past projects, this provides formal instruction on instrument and vocal techniques. The tutors have to deal with a range of skills from beginners upwards and the individual lessons take place in rooms spread across a youth centre and a church hall. After six weeks of technique, everybody is divided up according to instrumentation and put into bands to rehearse as an ensemble the songs they have been learning in the individual lessons. Finally, the bands perform two gigs including one at the O2 in Liverpool. 

'The School of Rock project finishes in December 2012 so the instrument will then make its way to US where Joe Pignato's popular music class at the State University of New York will enjoy it. To record the journey, I have placed a 'moleskin' notebook inside the case so everybody who plays it can write a message. Over the two years, we should be able to capture many of the experiences people have had playing the instrument.'

Lee Higgins will give a report of the ISME 'Olympic Torch' project at the 31st ISME World Conference on Music Education which takes place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2014.

Article originally appeared on Music Education UK | The national music education hub (
See website for complete article licensing information.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

About OpenSoundS

About OpenSoundS

What is OpenSoundS?

OpenSoundS is a collaborative online environment, where students from across Europe can
  • showcase their works on Music & Sound
  • collaborate with their peers
  • exchange knowledge and know-how
  • learn about the latest tools in Music Technology and I.T.
  • engage in constructive online dialogue
  • learn about intellectual property, copyright and sharing
  • learn how to manage and participate effectively in collaborative projects,
  • and, also, have fun engaging in these activities.
The OpenSoundS platform ensures that this online experience is achieved within a secure, intuitive and accessible environment.

Who is behind OpenSoundS?

OpenSoundS is a collaborative European project, funded by the EC's Education and Culture Lifelong Learning Programme.
Partners of the OpenSoundS project are:
  • Istituto tecnico Attilio Deffenu [visit]
  • EarMaster [visit]
  • DEI - Universit√† di Padova [visit]
  • MidiWare [visit]
  • Nuvole [visit]
  • Brightonart [visit]
  • International Music Education Research Centre (iMERC) [visit]

Access and Registration

How do I access the online collaborative system?

The OpenSoundS collaborative platform is accessible at:

How do I start?

Although you don't need an account in order to browse projects and listen to the available tracks, you can only have the full OpenSoundS experience if you have an online account. Please see below, depending on whether you are a teacher or student.

I am a teacher, how do I get involved?

During this testing phase, accounts can only be activated by a project partner. If you would like to be involved, please contact an OpenSoundS project partner (information about the OpenSoundS partners can be found here: You can apply for an OpenSoundS account by visiting the OpenSoundS collaborative platform here:, and selecting the create a new account linkat the very top right hand side. You will receive the necessary information from the OpenSounds system once your account has been activated.

I am a student, how do I get involved?

Make sure that your teachers know about OpenSoundS! Ask them to join (see above). Once they have joined, they will be able to create an account for you. You can apply for an OpenSoundS account by visiting the OpenSoundS collaborative platform here:, and selecting the create a new account linkat the very top right hand side. You will receive the necessary information from the OpenSounds system once your account has been activated. The person that will be responsible for your account is likely to be your Head of Music, or Music Technology, but things could be different in your school. A member of the OpenSoundS team will let you know if there is a problem.

My parents are concerned about having accounts online. How safe is it to use OpenSoundS?

Open SoundS is a platform created and actively maintained by Professionals, Researchers and Academics with great experience, internationally, in virtual learning and online collaboration. Your work and activities are safeguarded at numerous levels. Student users are protected by 4 levels of scrutiny:
  1. their peers
  2. their teachers
  3. the project partners
  4. the OpenSoundS server administrators
OpenSoundS is a closed family (although a BIG family!!!). All family members are welcome to enjoy their online activities and sharing using a safe online platform and free of bullying, negativity, and non constructive criticism. It is essential that all OpenSoundS registered users treat their colleagues in a respectful and courteous manner. We operate a zero tolerance policy about abusive behaviour.

Project Area

I have an account, now what?

Congratulations! You are now able to post ideas, create projects, collaborate, discuss and communicate with all OpenSoundS users.

How do I log onto OpenSoundS?

  • go to
  • click on Log in (top right)
  • type in your username
  • type in your password
  • click on the Log in button at the bottom

How can I see the latest projects posted on OpenSoundS?

  • click on the Latest Projects link, available on the left-hand side navigation panel
  • a list of latest projects appears in the main window
  • There, you can have a quick overview of
    • the project title,
    • the owner,
    • a brief description,
    • and information about the project activity...
  • you can, of course, listen to the main project mp3 file!
  • you can also use the fast OpenSoundS search engine and search by project title, tags and owner.

How can I browse all projects available on OpenSoundS?

  • simply follow the link named Browse Projects under the Projects sub-menu on the left-hand side
  • this will take you to the Projects page where the complete body of available projects can be found
  • Don't forget to use the dynamic search boxes on the top if you are looking for something specific, you can search for project Title, project specific Tags and project Owner
An additional way to navigate through the numerous projects posted on OpenSoundS is to use the Projects List available under the Projects sub-menu.

Collaborative Area

What should I start with? An idea, or a project?

Normally, you should start with an idea on the OpenSoundS collaborative platform. The Ideas section is where you can describe your aspirations, find interesting musicians around Europe to collaborate with, discuss the different technologies that are likely to be needed once the idea develops into a fruitful project, discuss the level of experience/expertise, and describe your needs/requirements and thoughts about how you could have a successful project.
It is common for us musicians to want to go straight into playing our instrument and making music, but years of research and evidence from extremely successful past research projects demonstrate that the more careful your planning is, and the more detailed the information that you provide during the framing of your idea, the greater the success of your final project is going to be. Help other musicians work with you meaningfully and enjoyably. You will be rewarded!

What are OpenSoundS ideas?

An idea in OpenSoundS is what you can post when you are not yet ready to post your project. This is where you can:
  • invite other's to a discussion about a future project
  • invite expression of interest from other OpenSoundS users that might be willing to contribute to a future project
  • request help from other instrument players (e.g. you are a guitarist that looks for a bass or drums player)
  • discuss the possibility of a collaboration with other musicians and producers
  • let the OpenSoundS community know about something that you are working on

How do I post an idea?

  • First, you need to log onto your OpenSoundS account. Only logged on users can post on OpenSoundS (see above: How do I log onto OpenSoundS?)
  • Under the Collaborate section of the left-hand side menu, select Create Idea
  • The Create Idea page appears, where you can give your idea a title and
  • Provide a summary (see above: what are OpenSoundS ideas)
  • Describe the level of musical expertise that you expect from the project team, by choosing the drop-down list (basic, intermediate, advanced). If your particular idea is open for musicians and collaborators with various expertise, please choose the 'Not specified' option.
  • Describe the level of software expertise that you expect from the project team by choosing the drop-down list (basic, intermediate, advanced). If your particular idea is open for musicians and collaborators with various software/technology expertise, please choose the 'Not specified' option.
  • Describe the various software and/or technologies that you envisage using once your idea leads to a project. Try to be as specific as possible as this will help other people around the world to understand your needs and assess whether they could become part of the team.
  • Select the type of Creative Commons License that the resulting work will become available under. This is a very important part of the idea (and the project that the idea will lead to). Understanding copyright and intellectual property is a key objective within the OpenSoundS collaborative system. You can find a very helpful tutorial about Creative Commons right onto the OpenSoundS portal. Please feel free to read it.
  • Finally, you can upload any supporting material that you wish onto the platform, so that other people can form a better understanding about your idea, and asses how they could become part of your team. This could be anything that is related to you idea, like lyrics, chords, recordings, scribbles, diagrams, etc.
  • Once you finished providing the above information, simply click on Save
  • That's it! Your idea is now live and visible to your future team members!

How can I access Ideas on OpenSoundS?

Simply click on List of New Ideas under the Collaborate sub-menu on the left-hand side. There you will see all ideas that have been posted onto the OpenSoundS system, appearing in chronological order. Remember, you need to be logged onto OpenSoundS in order to post a response!

I am ready to create my own project. What should I do?

  • First, you need to log onto your OpenSoundS account. Only logged on users can post on OpenSoundS (see above: How do I log onto OpenSoundS?)
  • Upon successful login, click on the Create Project link, under the Collaborate sub-menu on the left-hand side
  • the Create Project page appears
  • first, give your project a title. This should be representative of your whole project (e.g. think of the title of a music album)
  • second, add an mp3 file as you main media file. This has to be an mp3 file so that everybody can play it on whatever technology or system they are using (computer, telephone, tablet device, etc)
  • third, select you team members! this is why it is always better to start with an idea (see above)! Here is where you invite other members of OpenSoundS to be part of your project!
  • fourth, add a description of your project: this is a very important part of your project. Explain what your ideas are about, what your aspirations are, what your needs are, what tools you have or planning to use, as well as any other information that will help the OpenSoundS community understand more about your project. The more information you provide, the greater the chances that people will want to collaborate with you!!!
  • fifth, if you have any additional composition elements that you want to post (e.g. individual tracks, sounds, effects, samples, loops, patches) you can post them into the composition elements section. Or, if you are using other people's work that is available in OpenSoundS, you can select them from the OpenSoundS file library. OpenSoundS supports a wide variety of file formats like wav, mp3, aif, aiff, ogg, wma, aac, flac, m4a, ape and others.
  • sixth, upload any other files that are not main composition elements. These can be instrument patches, notes, schemas, scores, or any other file that will help the team make music and/or create new composition elements and tracks.
  • seventh, provide keywords for your project and separate them with a comma (e.g. classical, violin, romantic). This is a very important part of your project. OpenSoundS hosts hundreds of projects and one of the easiest ways to navigate through those is to use appropriate keywords.
  • eighth, select the licence under creative commons that you want to release your project (see more information below). Attribution: acknowledge the author; non-commercial: cannot be used for commercial purposes; share-alike: apply the same license to derived works.
  • last, if your project has a constant beat, provide the Beats per Minute value (BPM). Classical tempi can be specified as TAGS eg. andante, presto, moderato, etc. Do not try to add these in the BPM box.
  • All done... click on Save and your project is now ready and online!

What are OpenSoundS tags?

OpenSoundS tags are meaningful keywords/labels that describe what the different projects are all about! This is an integral part of Web 2.0 and the semantic presentation of information. Tags help you
  • search for related work
  • make others understand what your work and ideas are about
  • identify projects that you might want to be involved with
  • locate samples and files that you could use in your own project
  • find people in the OpenSoundS community that you might want to collaborate with in the future
  • help other users find your project quickly using the OpenSoundS dynamic search engine

How can I browse the OpenSoundS projects' tags?

  • click on the Browse Tags link under the Collaborate sub-menu on the left-hand side
  • the Browse Tags page appears
  • all available tags appear in a cloud-view (also known as tag cloud, word cloud, or weighted list)
  • this means that the bigger and bolder a tag, the more popular it is
  • the list of tags is 'clever', you can click on any tag and you will automatically be shown all relevant projects on OpenSoundS

Can I find all of my projects and posts in one place?

Yes you can! First, simply log onto your OpenSoundS account (see above: How do I log onto OpenSoundS?). Upon successful login, go to My Page under the Collaborate sub-menu on the left-hand side.

How can I update my profile information?

  • First, simply log onto your OpenSoundS account (see above: How do I log onto OpenSoundS?).
  • Upon successful login, go to the top-right of the screen (where your username appears) and click on your username
  • a drop-down list appears
  • select the first option which is My account
  • press the Edit button at the top right of your profile page
  • update your information
  • click on Save at the bottom of the page
  • your new details are now online...

How do I post a comment?

  • First, you need to log onto your OpenSoundS account. Only logged on users can post on OpenSoundS (see above: How do I log onto OpenSoundS?)
  • Go to the project that you want to post a comment about (as mentioned above, there are numerous ways of doing that, either by using the search tool, or by browsing all projects, or by using the project tags, or the list of all projects... to name a few!)
  • Once you are inside the project page, navigate to the bottom of the page
  • Click on the Add new comment link
  • simply type your comment in the available box (you can also add a title if you want to - but this is not compulsory)
  • click on Save
  • All done, your comment has been posted online!
  • Remember: the OpenSoundS comments system is clever... it allows you to add media comments as well (for example, you can post a comment that includes a sound file -- like in YouTube where you can post a Video Response)

How do I share information about a project with other social media (e.g. Twitter or Facebook)?

  • simply go to the project that you are interested in using any of the above presented ways (browsing, search, recent projects, tags, project owners)
  • inside the project page and under the attributions information on the right you will see a share toolbar
  • if you hover your mouse pointer over the share toolbar, you will see a list appearing, with a large number of available social media (over 300, if you click on more!!!)
  • let say that we want to post the project information on Twitter
  • click on More... at the bottom-left of the sharing pop-up window
  • find Twitter (all social media appear in alphabetical order)
  • the tweet posting window appears, the message containing information about the project has been added automatically for you
  • simply use your login information (username/email and password)
  • click on the sign in and tweet button
  • all done!