Music as technology

On Tuesdays & Thursdays I get to hang out with a group of amazing middle school technologists who recently crowd-sourced the following definition:

“Technology is the use of new knowledge to improve our lives by solving problems or making us more productive.”

These world are the culmination of hours worth of discussion about the benefits and consequences of technology. At one moment in a conversation, a fifth grade student dropped this gem:

“Even music can be technology, because it uses knowledge to make our lives better.”

It took me a few seconds of bumbling to wrap my head & heart around the comment – such a profound and innocent statement that fuses the desire to create with technology’s potential to connect us with each other and the world around us.

There’s a beautiful illustration of this concept in Alive Inside, a new documentary that sits at the intersection of technology, music and therapy. Get past concerns of the word “iPod” dropping a bunch of times and watch through to the 5-minute mark where music reveals itself as technology, based on the above student definitions.

“It gives me the feeling of love, romance. I figure right now the world needs to come into music – singing you’ve got beautiful music here. Beautiful, lovely. I feel  a band of love, of dreams.”


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