Exploring Music and Video Games

This interactive session explores the nexus of music and video games. We will make live music to live video game play and discuss considerations for implementation in general music classes.

NOTE: This session was originally scheduled as an hour long session with lecture, interaction, and discussion; however, this session was booked for the same time as another session I am presenting. Because of this conflict, I have curated resources below I would have mentioned in the lecture portion of the proposed session.

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Emerging Music Nexuses: Technology, Video Games, and Coding

This discussion-based presentation focuses on three emerging music nexuses: 1) music performance and technology; 2) music and video games; and 3) music and coding. The presentation slides below provide many resources related to these nexuses; however, the discussion revolving around this presentation are not limited to these nexuses. I intend for this presentation to be a springboard for discussion on emerging music nexuses and their implications in music education/facilitation.

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Multimedia Ensemble: Performing Live Music with Live Video Games

This presentation focuses on a multimedia ensemble that created live music and sounds (acoustic and digital) to live video games. The session explores the successes, failures, and musical problems experienced within the ensemble as well as the specific software and hardware used by the ensemble. The session concludes with a discussion on future ensemble possibilities for music and sound with multimedia experiences.

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Sonic Modding: Modding Video Game Music and Sound

This interactive session explores modding the music and sound of video games. The session begins with a brief presentation on software and hardware modifications that can be done to create music and sounds within and through video games. Following the brief presentation, we will begin modding the music and sounds of the video game Left 4 Dead 2 by finding and/or recording new music and/or sounds for the game. The session will end with a discussion on what could be learned in a project like this and how it can be implemented in the settings we facilitate in.

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Interacting with 8-bit

The early technological constraints imposed on 8-bit composers can act as project criteria for composing and performing 8-bit music that interacts with live 8-bit video games. This two hour session will begin with an interaction with 8-bit media and then break out into groups to create short musical excerpts and sound effects for a live video game. After all of the groups share what they created, the session concludes with a discussion on musical problems, technological constraints impacting creativity, and future projects. 

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Modern Video Game Projects

This session will explore potential projects that involve creating music to modern video games. We will also explore how video games can be used to explore technology, music theory, music history, composing, and performing with modern video games. Experience with video games is not required as the focus is on the unique musical affordances students can experience when creating music to video games. Please feel free to bring an instrument as we will experience a mini project that requires everyone to musically contribute to a live video game in the session.

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Old School Video Game Projects

This session will explore potential projects that involve composing and performing music in the 8-bit aesthetic. We will also explore how the 8-bit aesthetic can be used to explore technology, music theory, and music history through composing and performing with 8-bit video games. Experience with video games is not required as the focus is on the unique musical affordances students can experience when composing and performing music to old school video games. Please feel free to bring a laptop with a way to write music notation as we will create and perform music to a live video game in the session. 

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Video Games in Music Education

This session will explore applications of video games inside and outside of the music classroom. We will explore various games, apps, and websites that allow students to engage with music through video games. Experience with video games is not required as the focus is on the unique musical affordances students can experience when engaging with music video games. Please feel free to bring an instrument, laptop, and/or tablet as we will be exploring a wide variety of uses of video games inside and outside of the music classroom.

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Engaging with Popular and Participatory Cultures: Implications for Music Teaching and Learning by Tobias, E., Box, C., Johnston, N., & O’Leary, J.

In this panel we (a music teacher educator and three doctoral students) address our engagement with popular and participatory cultures to develop understanding, skills, and dispositions related to such engagement for K-12 and higher education. We demonstrate how new musicianship and musical engagement situated in participatory and popular cultures can inform contemporary approaches for music teaching and learning, broadening beyond garage band-focused approaches to address popular music and culture in music programs. We discuss key principles and concepts related to participatory culture and transforming or recontextualizing music in terms of 1) musical engagement; 2) musical learning; and 3) future practice. NOTE: The resources on this website only pertain to my portion of this panel presentation. 

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8-bit Composition Unit? Composing for Old School Video Games

Students are highly motivated by video games as they can spend dozens of hours playing each week. What if educators could channel this motivation into composing by allowing students the opportunity to compose to old school video games? This presentation demonstrates a variety of 8-bit musical experiences that integrate technology, theory, history, composition, and performance with 8-bit video games.

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