Sharing sounds, projecting voices or maybe simply switching off and tuning in.

This year our music students had 3 very different briefs to choose from. Focusing on making sense of a complexed world, whether this was discovering its sound, to making a statement or discovering more simplicity and balance in their lives. Sit back and listen...

2020 has given us all some surprises, a world turned upside down forcing us to work in different ways and to adapt to many new rules and restrictions. Here at TICE, everything changed. What was mainly a face-to-face organisation working with young people giving them a hands-on insight into creative, design and digital sectors suddenly had to change – TICE went online. In all honesty, we did not know if many young people who were participating currently in TICE programme would want to carry on or whether we should carry on in such difficult times. But we did and guess what… so did many students and this is what happened.

In previous years, our Create Stage gives students (from Year 9 or Year 10) a selection of industry projects to choose from. Something different, unique and special to add to their portfolios. This year was no different, yet instead of physical hands-on support, our TICE students took it upon themselves to do their projects online. Step-by-step video guides took them through industry-focused themes, topic and skills. Not only did they manage them, but their results have also blown us away. Here presents what the TICE Music students achieved:

Music projects 2020

This year’s music students come from Marden High School. The students could choose from three projects:

  • Project One – SWITCH OFF, TUNE IN: Composition Brief
  • Project Two – BOOMS, BRAAMS AND BANGS: Sound Design Brief
  • Project Three – POWER TO THE PEOPLE!: Song Writing Brief


Supported by: Sample Library Review
Mentored by: Sam Burt
Project Contributors: Brian Brylow – Sample Library Review

Project Outline: We increasingly live in a super complex world. We over-consume, we squeeze 25 hours into a day and new digital content flies at us from every angle. There is that constant pressure to ‘live our best life’ and of course the never-ending pings of social media notifications. Many people, both young and old, are finding it all physically and mentally overwhelming and are looking for more simplicity and balance in their lives. They are seeking to take control of their own wellbeing. One of the methods is using music, almost as a prescription, to switch off and tune in.

The Brief: This project is perfect if you want to start to explore music technology and like to compose your own music. Also, if you want to create work that is not song-based and is more experimental in nature this is a great choice. You will begin by researching this type of music and keeping a wellness diary to form the inspiration behind your work. This will progress to using music software and exciting sample libraries, as well as your own live instruments, to create a beautiful ambient composition. With this project, you will be working with the team at Sample Library Review. They are experts in the software required to make this kind of music and also composers who will be advising you on your finished pieces.

Project results: please view the final results of Adam Jones & Olivia Allison from Marden High School.


Supported by: Krotos Audio
Mentored by: Sam Burt
Project Contributors: Matthew Collings – Founder, Krotos

Project Outline: In 2020 we are seeing more and more innovation that is increasingly led by sharing. We see this in Airbnb (sharing homes) and Spotify (sharing playlists) for example. This more decentralised aspect is also seen in the field of Sound Design which is accomplished by using a variety of different software and hardware tools that combine to be something far more powerful than the sum of their parts. We also see the new sharing digital world in learning how to do something. Many people now become experts in their field after beginning their journey watching Youtube videos. The ability to acquire new skills without traditional education and to then document the process to help other people do the same is the new model. It allows people to be truly independent and take their personal passion under their own control.

The Brief: This project is ideal for anyone that wants to learn something completely new. If you have ever wondered how to make all those sound effects we hear in computer games, films and TV this is the one to choose. It will appeal to people who are creative but also enjoy the technological aspects. You will have to be very inventive, patient and a quick learner. It is ideal for people who are less interested in songs and soundtracks and more interested in how sound works for less musical effect. You should be comfortable in documenting your process and be very open with sharing behind the scenes. You will get input from top sound design company Krotos Audio who have provided sound content for the likes of EA, Warner Bros, Disney and Apple.

Project results: please view the final results from Charlie Hadland & Josh Pearce from Marden High School.

Project Three – POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Supported by: Universal Publishing
Mentored by: Sam Burt
Project Contributors: Mark Gale – Universal Music Publishing Group & Jordan Riley – Producer

Project Outline: Rebellion is in the air! From the anti-China protests in Hong Kong to Black Lives Matter marches, from anti-lockdown gatherings to the Me Too movement and youth-led Climate Change activism, the people are making their voices heard. Whether they are feeling governments are cheating them, or that social contracts have been broken, or simply systemic inequality, people power is peaking across the globe. But how can we best ensure that real change for the better does occur? And what role might music and creative young people have in that?

The Brief: This project is aimed squarely at the person that feels like they have something they simply have to say and has a passion for songcraft. You don’t need to have written a song before and this project has a minimal amount of music technology involved. You should have a decent knowledge of what melody and harmony is and how a song is structured. Above all you need to have an issue you want to address – it could be something locally that you feel needs more light on it, or it might be a big global issue – anything is up for debate, as long as you feel strongly about it!

Project results: please view the final results from Rachel Elliott from Marden High School.

Thank you & Well done!

All we have left to say is “Thank you & Well done”, not only to the students but to the teachers at Marden High School, North Tyneside Learning Trust, to the parents who helped along the way, the companies that have supported and contributed to these briefs and the TICE mentor (Sam) that plugged away at the projects week after week.

And to the students, our final words of 2020 – we hope you have enjoyed these projects, we hope in years to come that when asked “What did you do when COVID-19 hit your shores?”, you can proudly present an industry written project you did, achieved, quite frankly smashed. Well done and congratulations from everyone here at TICE. It’s been an absolute pleasure!