Research: electronic music at the music school

Since September 2021, together with Johannes Herrmann, Joan has been appointed as a teacher for electronic music at the Musikschule Konservatorium Zürich, developing a project of pedagogical and artistic relevance. Shortly afterwards, the same program was implemented at the Musikschule Weinfelden, that Joan visits weekly to introduce young musicians to the world of electronic music. This exciting task fascinated the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology of the Zurich University of the Arts, that decided to integrate this pedagogical adventure in the context of a research project.

The content and structure of the courses have been designed by Joan. In the lessons, students are introduced to the core concepts of electronic music: historical key moments, pioneers, new instruments, evolution of technology and its consequences in the arts, the distinction in between electroacoustic, electronic music and musique concrète, different equipments like microphones, interfaces, controllers, synthesizers, and much more. But theoretical and technical input is not the final goal of the course: through different exercises and sound experiments, children get to experience the musical possibilities of the electronic medium by themselves. They try out different microphones with their voices, instruments, or objects found in the classroom; or they turn the knobs and faders on a synthesizer and discover the sonic results. Children approach an apparently complicated world with curiosity and a playful attitude, opening their ears to new sound worlds and realizing the musical potential of electronic music.

The mission of the course is to introduce the future generations to a medium that is very present in our everyday life and that is defining the present and the future of the arts in general and of music in particular. By discovering the essential concepts of electronic music since a young age, the new generation of musicians will be ready to face the challenges of the music of the future and exploit their artistic potential.

The research project at ICST observes, analyzes and reflects about the courses, with the intention to improve the contents, didactic methods and artistic goals and to eventually implement a systematic model in the context of the music school, bringing electronic music into the classroom and making it accessible to musicians from the very early stages of their education.