Inspirational words from Daniel about his digital arts lab classes…
I’ve been teaching at CSMA since 2000. Over that time, I’ve been blessed to work with so many creative and interesting students. In particular, teaching the music composition classes in the digital arts lab has given me the chance to see first hand the cool nexus of technology and creativity.
Given that so many of my students will grow up and work in the Silicon Valley in the technology fields, the activities and experiences that challenge them in class are, in my opinion, the perfect training ground for their future. You see, I think that developing an original musical thought lays the groundwork for critical thinking challenging perceived notions and fostering independent thought. Going along with the crowd is easy, but creating something that breaks from tradition and goes to new places is the kind of innovation necessary to be competitive. Day in and day out, my students do just that. They analyze, listen, and write in the style of the master composers: Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms to name a few. Then they take those principles, stir them up their heads, and spit out new and different takes on what we thought we knew. And if you don’t believe me, come in every week and you’ll hear something you’ve never heard before being expressed in a way you never thought it could be done written by a 10 year old.
Giving students a place where they can embrace their creativity and challenge everything is a breath of fresh air for a society that is too often, in my view, stuck on having things be either black or white. Teaching at CSMA, helps renew my belief in human creativity and, with any luck, the students who learn here will continue to challenge our beliefs in the careers they choose in Silicon Valley and beyond.