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Was Lockdown a Fast-Track Towards Universal Digitisation?

Dr. Enrico Bertelli and Dr. Yui Shikakura
August 26 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Free

On March 19th 2020, as British schools went into lockdown, we took our last train down to London, abruptly ending a 2-year world tour. We frantically up-skilled ourselves through MOOCs, invested in new technologies and embraced new ways of reaching out to our students from challenging backgrounds.

During the following four months, our lives took place within a single square mile, as we delivered 114 online workshops to 1,074 students across England. For eight years we had relentlessly pushed schools towards a digital revolution, which had now disrupted all processes, overnight.

In this presentation, we share and explain our experiences, enriched by the feedback of our stakeholders, as we hectically reinvented our business model. With the usual routes to market blocked, we found new ways to reach out to our students, leveraging their parents’ newly found free time and even involving them as educators. We also describe how we converted our frontal teaching workshops into successful online experiences, connecting remote areas of the English countryside, to artists in South-East Asia.

We will reflect upon how the lockdown broke down geographical limitations, but also raised unsurmountable barriers to access for the digital illiterates, as well as those economically challenged. We set out to share our failures and successes in the form of a toolkit of best practices, for others to build upon.


Dr. Enrico Bertelli 

It all started in Venice 2003, after my first university exam. I got a good mark and found the Erasmus scholarship application; so I moved to Wales. I repatriated for a BA in Music, Cinema and Theatre, and a Percussion degree at the Conservatoire before embracing the cold Welsh weather again for an MA in Performance Studies. Soon after, York was home to my PhD in performance and electronics, before packing my life in a car towards London. But I was in Belfast, ordering pizza when an email popped in, with a grant that sparked the idea of Conductive Music. From two staff and five schools, we work with 70+ schools, 4,000 students yearly. I am so happy to have presented our project to 30+ universities and schools in Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and throughout Europe.

Maker Movement, Open Source, Legacy, Music Technology and STEAM are the keywords of our manifesto, thanks to which we take apart, destroy, hack and rebuild, any piece of art or technology, that we can touch!

Dr. Yui Shikakura

Teacher, performer and researcher in the field of Education, Music,Culture and the Arts; Ethnomusicologist specialising in Kabuki and Japanese Traditional Music. 

As a performer, I have performed mainly in Tokyo. 

I teach both one to one and groups of students,  from early years to college undergraduate studies. I have designed music workshops and organized lecture concerts for everyone from young children to seniors in Tokyo, Shizuoka, Nagano (Japan). I have conducted research on the gender gap in Japanese traditional arts, pedagogical methods of traditional music education for young students, and spectral and sound quantity analysis of various style of vocal sound. One of my principal goals is to create my own traditional music education curricula for various types of students.


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