Purchase College Receives Competitive SUNY Grant

Professor Jim McElwaine, Purchase College
     Imagine a mobile app that allows students to turn gestures into musical compositions. With grant money in place, it may soon be a reality.
     Professor of Music Jim McElwaine, Keith Landa, director of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center (TLTC), and Paul Thayer, instructional designer in the TLTC and lecturer in new media, received funding to develop an app for smart phones and tablets that will allow students to “draw” graphical representations of the melodies they are trying to compose, edit and manipulate them, and output them for collaboration and assessment.
     Landa explained how students sometimes experience barriers and constraints imposed by traditional notation systems. “We hope that this gesture-based composition app will be a more natural way for students to represent their melodies and will allow more creative expression on the part of our students,” he added.
     The State University of New York recently announced the recipients of the 2012 Innovative Instruction Technology Grants (IITG). This new, peer-reviewed SUNY program provides support for pedagogical and technological innovations that have the potential to be replicated throughout the SUNY system and benefit students and faculty worldwide.“Gestural Melody: New Learning Tools for Musical Composition” was one of 48 chosen from 117 SUNY submissions, receiving a Tier One Award for projects up to $10,000.
     Initial research begins this fall.
Click here for more information about SUNY Purchase.

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