Negotiated Digital Creative Project


As part of the MUED4002-Technology in Music Education course at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music our second assessment task was to create a Negotiated Digital Creative Project. The idea behind a Negotiated Digital Creative Project was to extend on any skill, philosophy or pedagogy learned in the MUED4002 course by negotiating a creative project which was to be published onto a website and presented at the Presentation of Learning Evening.

My group’s (Aleksandar Stojanovic, Paolo Torresan and myself) final product can be accessed through the link below:

The MESS Project

This blog post will document a series of drafts and reflections on the process of creating my group’s Negotiated Digital Creative Project.


Early Days

Aleksandar Stojanovic, Paolo Torresan and I were fortunate enough to be able to do our practicum teaching together at Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS). NBCS has great facilities for their music classrooms and initially the three of us thought we could learn to use some of the new technologies NBCS had to create our Negotiated Digital Creative Project. As we progressed with our practicum teaching we realised that we were going to have no spare time to work on our Negotiated Digital Creative Project while doing a 6 week full time Practicum teaching.

As we finished up our Practicum teaching at NBCS we resumed our normal university classes back at the Sydney Conservatorium. One lecture about the “Maker movement” given to us by James Humberstone in our MUED4002 class inspired us a group to try make something on our own as a group. Our initial idea for our Negotiated Digital Creative Project was to create a live performance recording of us using the music technologies we had been exposed to in our MUED4002 classes. We knew this assessment task was going to be challenging so we decided to also have a backup plan which was making a documentary.  Bare Conductive’s “Touch Board” in particular had our attention. Making a classroom compatible talk box was another idea however as we were researching we found out a man in Japan had already made one… 

As time ticked and frustration grew we decided to move to our back up plan which was scripting and producing a documentary. We decided to script and produce a documentary on Sydney’s Music Education scene.


Google Doc – October 19th

Today we had to do a lift pitch in class for our Negotiated Digital Creative Project. I explained to the class (and other distinguished guests from Microsoft and etc) how Aleksandar, Paolo and I decided to script and produce a documentary. I also explained how we came up with the topic, idea and focus of our documentary. Initially during our Practicum teaching experience Aleksandar didn’t have much of an idea of how Sydney schools operated especially in music classes. The only experience he had was from his previous Practicum teaching experience at St. Aloysius’ College. During my schooling in Sydney my parents too had no idea of how Sydney schools operated as they had both grown up in Japan. Because of our experiences such as these we decided it was a good idea to try bridge a gap for international students, parents and teachers by creating a documentary that would inform these international people of Sydney Music Education scene. We decided to utilise the fact that every single of us could speak another language. Aleksandar speaks Serbian, Paolo speaks Italian and I speak Japanese.

There was still a lot which had not been organised let alone discussed so we decided to make a Google Doc so we could all collaborate and gather ideas there.



Overview, Goals, Specifications & Preparation – October 21st

We realised any project, especially an educational documentary needs a overview/purpose, goals, specifications and preparations.

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Plans for interviews – October 31st

Since it was the last weekend before starting to film, today I made up a rough plan for the interviews we plan to carry out. Obviously this plan is a optimistic one and we knew we weren’t able to do all the scenes planned however we were decided to be hopeful.

This interview plan can be found HERE

Checklist – November 2nd

After finishing up my final MUED3603 – Composition in Music Education assignment I was now able to be back on track with my Negotiated Digital Creative Project. As I am starting filming tomorrow I have created a checklist.

The first and most vital thing I needed to create was a permission form for the two students participating to sign. I have made a draft version and sent it off today to Brad Swibel the Deputy Head of School at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School to get it approved. Hopefully I don’t have to change too much of it!

For cameras instead of borrowing the Sydney Conservatorium’s I decided to use my older brother’s cameras (Sony NEX-VG30 and Sony Alpha A6000) and to mount them onto a tripod each. To record the audio I decided to buy two RØDE smartLav+ lavalier microphones which could be connected to smartphones.

Permission form – November 3rd

Today was the first day of filming for our documentary so Paolo, Aleksandar and I firstly headed to the Sydney Conservatorium. We booked a hour slot with Sue Newsome at 1pm in her studio at the Conservatorium to film not only an interview but also an introduction scene before the interview. This scene turned out to super cheesy so I’m sure I will be extremely embarrassed at the PoL… Interviewing someone on camera wasn’t a first for me however I had never interviewed someone I did not know well. Sue being a lecturer at the Conservatorium and also being an ex Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Opera Ballet Orchestra player I had tremendous amount of respect and was quite tense in this interview scene! Never the less we had to push on to get around to film two more interviews. The two interviews left for the day was at St. Andrew’s Cathedral School so we grabbed all our gear and headed straight to Townhall Station.

Once we got to St. Andrew’s we had half an hour to set up which consisted of choosing a location within the Music Department to film, checking the lighting, checking the sound through the microphones, checking the camera angles and most of all checking if young Ken Fujiki (Year 3) had still remembered to meet us straight after school. Shortly after the school bell Ken & Mio Fujiki arrived and we commenced filming.

After filming the interview scene with Ken & Mio we realised we probably should have brought a charger for both cameras as the battery for both were now running under 50%. However we remained optimistic and the battery was able to survive until we finished filming Mimi. Both the interview with Ken & Mio and Mimi were done in Japanese by myself as for all four of us in the scene it was our native tongue.

Today I also received an email back from the Deputy Head of School that I needed to make a few changes before it was approved. I was told I needed to provide more context to the making of the documentary, where and when it will be published and also more context about myself and my studies.

The final permission form can be found HERE

Alek’s interview Scene – November 4th

Just like yesterday, Aleks, Paolo and I headed into St. Andrew’s to film another scene. Today we were filming Alek’s scene interviewing Andrea Kuburic a music teacher at St Andrew’s. Since Serbian was the native tongue for both of them we carried the interview out in Serbian. To mix things up we decided to film in a different room to yesterday.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 – November 8th

Screen Shot 2016-11-13 at 4.46.49 PM.png

Yesterday we finished up our conducting exam so today we were able to be back on track with negotiated creative digital project! At this point we have a few things that had to be done:

  1. Editing the footage we have so far
  2. Creating a word press where we can present our documentary.

We decided that I was going to edit the interview scenes with Sue Newsome, Ken & Mio Fujiki and Mimi Nishikawa. Aleks was responsible for editing the interview scene with Andrea Kuburic and Paolo was in charge for creating and formatting the word press. As a group we decided that instead of presenting our documentary as one long 40 minute film we decided to be inspired by our lecturer James Humberstone’s MOOC and present our documentary in a similar fashion by having short 5-10 minute videos. We decided that each video should have an introduction, an interview and then a conclusion.

For editing I decided to learn to use a program new to me, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. This program was quite challenging at first however after getting a few tips from my older brother and help from a few Youtube videos I managed to find my way around the program. On the other hand Aleks decided to use screen flow to edit his interview scene.

Last minute scenes – November 12th/13th

As we got close to finishing our editing we realised we needed scenes to link the interviews. So the three of us decided to head into St. Andrew’s one final time to do some filming. Unfortunately we had to return to my older brother his cameras so we had to film using our phones for these scenes. However my iPhone 5c has 1080HD camera and Aleks’ phone has 4K HD quality so we were not too worried about quality but were worried about the difficulty of usage. We still had the two RØDE smartLav+ lavalier microphones so we were still confident in sound quality for the scenes.

We were also expecting footage from a student from Northern Beaches Christian School however today (Sunday -13th) we realised we probably we not going to get this footage until after the due date so we last minute decided to do a similar scene but with Aleks. We got Aleks to talk to the camera in a narration style scene talking about his Music Education  experience in Serbia.

Tonight we managed to edit and put together the footage to have a complete documentary ready to be presented. Hopefully we do not have to fix too many things before the PoL!

Approval of footage – November 17th

FINALLY! Today I received a thumbs up from St. Andrew’s Cathedral School that our documentary has no misrepresentation of students, parents and staff. After completing the documentary it had to be checked by the executives of the school as well as the marketing department. The marketing department was in fact so happy that they have asked if they could use the footage for marketing purposes next year!

Presentation of Learning

To read about my final reflection of the Presentation of Learning evening and the MUED4002 – Technology in Music Education course as a whole click the link below:

POL + Final review of MUED4002



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