Educators and Teachers thread


As per a discussion with @steveoath in the Board Games thread, this is a place for teachers and educators to talk.

If you’re on this forum, you have some creative impulses - hopefully we can talk about the creative things we are doing in the classroom also.

Music (and music tech!) subjects are obviously great, but anything else is cool too.


Sure, I’ll kick things off.

I teach high school music, and this semester I’m teaching Music Technology for the second time.

Ableton has launched a website that teaches music theory concepts in the “paradigm” of a DAW and I’m really excited to use it!


I teach a course one semester a year at a local art school, the Academy of Art, about the role of sound in the media landscape. It’s divided up into three sections: first, three weeks on listening; second, six weeks on how institutions, people, and objects express themselves through sound (“Sounds of Brands”); and third, six weeks on how things related to sound (interfaces, Internet services, instruments, audio hardware, bands, albums) express themselves in non-sonic ways (“Brands of Sounds”).


Interested in this discussion!

I’m teaching music to kids at a juvenile detention centre at the moment. Just for three weeks over summer (in Australia), 17 - 21 year olds. It’s preeetty different from what you guys will are doing. So far I mostly just jam on guitar with a couple students while the others listen to hip hop as loud as they can get away with. They really do whatever they want, so it’s really not like a usual class where I’ll have their guided attention.

Resources are incredibly limited (no internet allowed in there, just a couple of iPads, one laptop shared between my classes and another being taught at the same time, a few okay but mostly busted instruments, interface and mic… pretty much it), so it’s actually quite hard to come up with much to offer them in classes.

After getting to know them a little more I want to try an active listening and discussion session, to at least try and open their minds. Will see how that goes before deciding on what course to take after that.


Interested of course!

I teach university - undergrad to professional masters to research masters level - working at the digital end of the geosciences. I’ve been involved in game design since the early days of role playing and SPI and Avalon Hill historical games. My kids got me into computer game design and I’ve since worked and taught in that area with a very strong emphasis on building realistic worlds and on interfaces (AR, VR, etc. etc. etc.).

I guess the most relevant bit is that I work with museums building various kinds of exhibits - well, actually, I sponsor and mentor student teams to do that - with recent work being on a local health care history museum.

Recent game stuff has included sustainability games, AR-based explore-the-environment games, mods to existing engines to ‘play in your own neighbourhood’ including AR and situated augmentation, citizen content creation (Facebook for places - ‘Placebook’ idea).

So yeah, I’m too much into tech and not enough into working with people on direct, actionable, and consequential stuff :slight_smile:

Going way back, one thing I did with kids which worked was to give them the pieces of a bunch of board games (Catan, Risk, Samurai, etc.) and have them take the pieces and first build a mod based on one game, and then build a mod using pieces from different games. Really wanted to take ideas from Magic The Gathering and Catan and put them together… but ran out of time.


I teach at a university and run my department’s grad program. I’m teaching mostly sound design to undergraduates and then sound art to grads. Also, a couple seminars, one on the history (a history) of sound in the arts. Another focuses on video art and performance.
Also, maybe useful to say, the department I work for represents itself as a fine arts program. For the undergrads, they generally end up going into industry jobs (broadcast, gaming, motion graphics). For the grads, more often a line between the art world and academia.


I teach creative coding, design thinking, and music technology to both undergrads and graduate students at a US design school.


Still can’t get over how clever this is, BTW :smiley:


Oops forgot to reply here.

I teach science in our kindergarten and primary school. Big age spread 3-11. Just finished yr one of a Master’s in Early years (ie preschool) pedagogy but personal life took a back seat so have taken a break from it for now.

I love to see the children question things, and debate/conflict is a large part of my teaching style.


Thanks, @natet. Much appreciated.


Anyone applying for a place on the ESA training course?


the forum software is warning me about bumping an old thread but I’d love to see more talk about teaching here so here goes.

I’m a PhD student in mathematics, and I’m planning to continue in academia after I finish. Which probably means that whether or not I get a research-focused job, I’ll spend a long time teaching calculus to undergrads (and if I’m lucky, some other courses as well :wink: ). So far I’ve only graded homeworks or led recitations as a TA, but I hope I’ll be able to start teaching my own courses soon.

Calculus for undergrads is kind of an interesting problem, because for many students, this is one of the few classes they take in the math department, so their preparation for the course and their motivations for taking it are always uneven.

This semester I’ve held my Calc 2 recitations almost like a lab—they come knowing that for the most part they’ll work on their homework in groups, which lets me flit around and engage more of my students one-on-one than I would otherwise. This is the first semester I’ve tried this approach but my third semester overall, and although attendance isn’t mandatory, most of my students are still attending, which is an exciting first!


I’d love to see the syllabus for this, if you can share.


I teach studio art/digital art at a small liberal arts college. I approach most everything as “collage” and remix. Currently one class is created sound collages based on interviews they’ve done with one another about a sound that has changed them.

And my colleague in the music school, teaching music technology, has asked me to come in this week to show his class my modular rig, specifically the VCOs.

Recruiting more weirdos!


Teachning a class of engineering things for masters level students in local uni as a side job. I used to do lectures more but now mostly focusing on problem based personal tasks. Working with the students of different age from 20 something to 40 something. Absolutley no connection with my music/art unfortunatley.


25th year teaching at Berklee in the music business/management department, focusing on music publishing and music technology in the marketplace…


I’m a PhD student in a literature department, doing some TAing on the side of my dissertation. Can’t think of a way to bring my modular to class, but I did have a student recently write a paper using raga and indian classical music as a metaphor, so we had a few minutes of music geekery during office hours.


It’s great to hear about everyone’s experiences with teaching. I just started this year as an elementary school music teacher in Richmond, VA. My kids are super interested in anything electronic, and I’m planning on bringing in my synthesizers and teaching some units on sound. A personal goal of mine is to get my students to appreciate music in all of its forms, and to understand how culture affects it. I’m happy to be exposing them to new things. Teaching is great!


I’ve thought about incorporating some of these into my Music Tech course for undergraduates. It’s a random mix of students, some who will probably have a music background that understand theory (but may have never used a DAW like Ableton) or those with no background at all. Trying to cover all my bases.

I figured the site would be a good “optional resource” since I can’t account for different levels of experience.


eagerly reading/following this threat.

Transitioned from the classroom 10 years ago (middle school english language arts) and am now in the education non-profit world working on professional development for novice, young-adult educators/mentors working in underserved public schools in exploited areas around the US.

very little overlap with music on the surface, but a central thing Im working toward is helping our community see their noviceness/beginner’s mind as an asset - and that making their learning and growth visible to students, if done intentionally, can be exceptionally powerful and humanizing in spaces that are structurally often anything but. tricky with the high stakes, business-y, commoditized approach to schooling here, but we’ve seen some really amazing things in partnership with veteran teachers/admin. We have a loooooong way to go with rethinking/resourcing our work to be of most value to students and schools, but it’s exciting.

it’s honestly my dream job and connects to my personal long term hope of being part of re-centering k-12 schools as holistic community centers.