Inquiry Question

How do musicians use technology to collaborate remotely?

Ideas For Teachers

A simple beginning:
(The teacher will need to provide a model of this to show students how to do it)

  1. Students can use their device to film themselves (or make an audio recording) creating a short and very simple rhythmic and/or melodic performance, and posting their videos/audio recordings in the class space so that other class members can watch/listen to them.  An online metronome (see example resource below) could be used as a recording “click track”, as musicians use in a recording studio. It would be useful to have the metronome audible in the student’s video rather than via headphones (teacher may need to explain bpm and how to use the metronome).
  2. Students could be paired. Partners watch the video made by their partner.  While playing their partner’s video on their device, they use a second device (a phone?) and film themselves adding a rhythmic or melodic layer to their partner’s original post.  This second video, with now 2 layers, can be posted to share with the class.
  3. Further layers could be added and shared in the same way.

As students become proficient with this process, their contributions can gradually become longer and more sophisticated.  The audible metronome click track can help hold layers together.

Progressing from this, the class can explore the use of various online platforms for collaborating and sharing on music making (see resource links) or GarageBand for Mac users.

Possible Online Research Questions

  1. Who are some professional musicians who have collaborated remotely to record music together? Find examples of their work online.
  2. How are bands, orchestras and choirs collaborating to create music during social distancing?



Soundtrap for Education empowers students and teachers to explore creative sound recording in all subjects, for all ages and ability levels. They have extended their free trial to support schools new to Soundtrap who may find it useful during this challenging time. 

Link: Soundtrap


Audacity: a free and open-source digital audio editor and recording application software.

Link: Audacity


7 Collaborative Music-Making Apps.

Link: Music-Making Apps


MUSICAA online metronome.

Link: Online Metronome


MUSICAA online drum machine and other instruments.

Link: Online Drum Machine & Other Instruments


Couch Choir: Over 1000 people from 18 countries submitted a video of their performance of “Close To You” (The Carpenters) in just TWO DAYS. Every submission successfully received was manually added to the collective.

Link: Couch Choir Video


Eric Edward Whitacre is an American composer, conductor, and speaker known for his choral, orchestral, and wind ensemble music. He has worked on a number of virtual choir projects with hundreds of participants in different remote settings. Here are 2 examples:

Link: Virtual Choir - 'Lux Aurumque' Video

Link: Virtual Choir 2.0 - 'Sleep' Video


Jacob Collier is a British multi-instrumentalist who creates music and music videos which mutli-track himself and also other musicians in different locations. This link is one of many of his YouTube videos that shows multi screen mutli-tracks.

Link: Jacob Collier - All Night Long Video