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Electronic Music School

A Contemporary Approach to Teaching Musical Creativity

Will Kuhn and Ethan Hein

Publication Date - 09 July 2021

ISBN: 9780190076641

320 pages
8 1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock

This book is a practical blueprint for teachers wanting to begin teaching music technology to secondary age students.


Electronic Music School: A Contemporary Approach to Teaching Musical Creativity is a practical blueprint for teachers wanting to begin teaching music technology to secondary age students. Will Kuhn and Ethan Hein inspire classroom music teachers to expand beyond traditional ensemble-based music education offerings to create a culture of unique creativity and inclusivity at their schools.

Part One offers an overview of the philosophical and institutional aspects of starting a music technology program, with a particular focus on the culture of electronic music surrounding digital music creation tools. Part Two dives deep into curricula for music lab classes, including several lesson examples and techniques. This section also includes abbreviated project plans for teachers who have fewer contact hours with their students. Part Three discusses how music technology courses can grow into a larger media creation program, how such a program can contribute to the broader school culture, and how project-based music learning effectively prepares students for careers in media. Electronic Music School also includes narratives from music technology students themselves, who often have an intuitive understanding of the future directions music technology programs can take.


  • Includes 17 original lesson plans for project-based music classes
  • Features a complete, practical plan of action for starting a school music tech program
  • Includes student-generated materials

About the Author(s)

Will Kuhn is the Department Chair and Music Technology instructor at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Ohio. In 2006, he designed an innovative Music and Media Tech curriculum focused on amateur music production, which now enrolls over 350 students annually. Nationally, he gives clinics and workshops on revitalizing school music programs for the 21st century. His book, Interactive Composition (OUP, 2015, with VJ Manzo), has become a widely used text on Ableton production and he serves as an educational advisor for Ableton's education initiative. He currently serves as the President-Elect of TI:ME (Technology Institute for Music Educators).

Ethan Hein is a Doctoral Fellow in music education at New York University, and an adjunct professor of music technology at NYU and Montclair State University. As a founding member of the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, he has taken a leadership ro le in the development of various technologies for music learning and expression. He has written for publications like NewMusicBox, Slate, and Quartz.


"Featuring a creative workshop model that goes beyond our traditional music education pedagogy and curriculum, Kuhn & Ethan Hein shape new trends for music teachers to support their own students as successful electronic music makers in multiple settings. Whether learning in PK-12 settings, in school, at home or in the community, Electronic Music School is a must read guide for all worldwide." -- Elise Sobol, Director of Music Education, NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions

"In today's world, the presence of technology in teaching there has never been more essential tool for connecting, creating, and capturing student work. The integration of technology into the music classroom is no longer a fringe endeavor by a small group of tech geeks - the coming of age of technology in the music classroom has arrived. What Kuhn & Hein have put together in this publication is magnificent - an essential guide to not only how to build a technology-rich learning environment for music - what they call an Electronic Music School - but a well-crafted guide to how to teach in this new environment, why this type of learning is relevant, and practical strategies for continuing to engage students for years to come. Any music educator interested in incorporating more music technology into their instruction should add this book to their professional library immediately." -- Jim Frankel, Director, MusicFirst

Table of Contents

    Preface: The Music Class at the End of the World
    To the Reader

    Part One: What You Need to Start Your Own Electronic Music School
    1. Towards a Creative Music Curriculum
    2. An Art Class for Music
    3. Understanding What a School Really Wants
    4. Tech You'll Need For Your Program
    5. Ableton Live And Push

    Part Two: Creative Electronic Music Projects for the Masses
    6. Designing Creative Music Projects for All Types of Students
    7. Teaching Recording and Sampling with Audio Projects
    8. Teaching Songwriting with MIDI Projects
    9. Teaching Creativity with Outside-the-Box Projects
    10. Common Issues For Students In Music Lab Lessons
    11. Assessing Music Lab Projects
    12. Futureproofing, Extending and Moving Beyond Music Lab Projects

    Part Three: Community Music Culture and Extracurriculars
    13. Live Performing and Afterschool Groups
    14. Understanding Student Led Groups
    15. Virtual Electronic Music School
    16. A Rising Tide


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