Members of the Kids' CBC Interactive team recently headed to Hamilton,
Ontario, to meet up with four extremely talented musicians. The reason?
To brainstorm an exciting new augmented reality music activity featuring
online star, Lion.
"When we were considering building nine different AR activities," says Jennifer Burkitt, Executive in Charge of Interactive Production, "we knew it was important to include a music activity because many schools' music curriculums are disappearing."
After reviewing studies linking musical training to improvements in memory, math and literacy skills, Burkitt contacted Astrid Hepner, musician and program director/founder of "An Instrument for Every Child."
"Our expertise doesn't lie in music," says Burkitt, "so we knew we needed musicians to consult on this project."
Two lively brainstorms followed, with the interactive team picking the musicians' brains in Tickner's music and recording studio.
"We had a bunch of great ideas for the game," explains Interactive Producer Frank Desimini, "but we needed real musicians to tell us if we were on the right track."
Adds Burkitt, "We wanted to know what kernel of information we should be passing on to children. Is it a love of music? Is it lessons? Or are we simply exposing kids to music?"
Since the brainstorms, the interactive team has been busy building an activity that encourages kids to create their own music, as well as introduces them to different musical instruments and genres -- key components of Canada's Kindergarten music curriculum.
"The musicians' input has been invaluable," says Burkitt. "We're especially excited about including original music within the game, created by Jamshed, Chas Misener and music engineer Robin Aube. Ultimately, our goal is to inspire kids and parents to explore music together, and to have fun doing it."
The new online music activity coincides with the musical push in other areas of Kids' CBC, such as the brand-new Kids' CBC stream on CBC Music, to launch this July.