by Author mattbrombley

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Choose your own adventure — how digital resources can put the learner in charge of their own learning journey

As we come to the end of the second year of the Synthesis project and, in particular, as we reflect on a period of time that has seen a huge shift online for so many learning and music-making activities, the team have been considering some of the powerful positives that can come from online learning.

As music leaders, we engage in sessions responsively. One of the biggest challenges of online learning — particularly those resources which are asyncronous — is that you cannot respond, in the moment.

Instead, what good digital resources should do, is to put the opportunity to respond in to the hands of the learner — empowering them to choose their own learning journey.


Earlier this year, we ran some pilot projects, where, for the first time, we didn't provide a music-leader to run sessions. Instead, for the first time, we provided digital resources. These resources had been developed and structured specifically to allow for a "choose your own adventure" approach.

This included:

  • Separating technical and musical instructions 
  • Keeping instructions short, and easily picked up and put down
  • Blending video with written explaination and instruction, as well as activity prompts
  • Linking between material, to allow the learner to plot their own journey

Feedback from participants and the setting-staff in these pilot sessions made clear that, the learners were in control of their own learning journeys. As one member of staff put so clearly, "They were showing me things they had learnt, that I did not know, so, they clearly were leaning for themselves, because they can't have learnt it from me!".

Find our resources for iPad at