Date: May 22nd — June 29th, 2018

Credit: 4

Location: Shanghai, China

Instructor: S. Alex Ruthmann

This practical, hands-on course will explore questions such as: How can we design engaging, creative learning experiences that are relevant to the cultural goals and needs of today’s youth in China, while laying the foundation for creative learning for the workforce of tomorrow? What are engaging, effective creative learning resources, and how are they best implemented in Chinese learning settings? How can we take advantage of young people’s ubiquitous love of music and technology to facilitate creative learning?

In this course, students will work in teams to design digital learning resources and experience designs at the intersection of music, coding, arts, and technology. The course will begin with an introduction to emerging trends in learner engagement and design-based research, especially related to web- and mobile-based musical experiences and principles of making music with new media. Innovations in and applications of musical interaction, interactive technologies, user-centered design & engagement, scaffolded learning, creative learning, pedagogies of play and making, and educational entrepreneurship will also be explored.

Students will work together in teams and paired with a partner audience of learners and teachers in Shanghai drawn from local and regional international schools, ed-tech startup, and cultural partners. Together they will assess the needs and opportunities of partner students and teachers, and engage in a two-stage iterative, reflective co-design process prototyping custom learning resources and experience designs with their partner end users. At the end of the course, students will present and demo their learning resources as part of a public showcase to an external audience of partners, educators, technologists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and experience designers in Shanghai.

Course Collaborators:

Yun Gu (Cloud Valley) School

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra  


Course Structure

This course will blend experiences across the following categories:

  • In class discussions and presentation
  • Out of class readings and group work
  • Lab experiences making and creating creative learning resources
  • Field trips to creative learning environments across Shanghai and beyond
  • Field-based user testing of group projects with community partners
  • Individual written and media-based reflections and documentation


To Apply!



Previous Workshop at NYU Shanghai

MusEDLab NYU Shanghai workshop from NYU MusEDLab on Vimeo.


Workshop Part 1: 工作坊第一部分
Play With Your Music - MusEDLab Apps & Projects


  • aQWERTYon - QWERTY keyboard improvisation tool 一秒学会即兴弹奏
  • GroovePizza - Circular rhythmic groove creator   节奏可视化的律动比萨
  • Explore Mahler - Zoom into a performance by the NY Phil  像交响乐团乐手那样感受马勒交响曲
  • In Your Eyes - Peter Gabriel Multitrack (** long loading time)  一首歌背后的多音轨
  • Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel Multitrack (** long loading time) 一首歌背后的多音轨2
  • Variation Playgrounds - Music creation apps for classical music  玩转古典音乐
  • Play With Your Music - Free creative online course  免费线上课程“玩转你的音乐”

Design Questions: 设计者思考的问题

  • What music would you like to see in these apps? 
  • 你想要在这些apps里听到什么样的音乐
  • How might these be adapted for a Chinese context? 
  • 这些apps可以怎样更好的适用于中国的音乐教育环境?
  • What are some barriers to using these apps?
  • 使用这些apps的过程中遇到了或可能遇到什么障碍?
  • What are some opportunities these apps enable for teachers, for kids, or for parents? 
  • 这些apps可以给老师,学生和家长创造什么新的学习机会?

Videos of Kids using our Apps 相关视频

Workshop Part 2: 工作坊第二部分

Play With Your Music - Makey Makey & Scratch

玩转你的音乐-体验Makey makey和Scratch

 For Makey Makey

For Scratch (and Makey Makey)

Design Questions: 设计者思考的问题

  • Who might use a newly designed Makey Makey for musical use?
  • 谁可能会对为音乐体验而新设计的Makey Makey感兴趣并且对其进行使用?
  • Why would they want to use it? 
  • 他们为什么想要用Makey Makey?
  • Where would they want to use it?
  • 他们会在什么情况下想要使用?
  • What are the current challenges in using Makey Makeys for music that you'd like to eliminate?
  • 在使用Makey Makey的过程中,你会想要解决哪些问题并作出何种改进?
  • What current experiences do you want to keep or preserve in your new design?
  • 基于现在的体验,有哪些设计你希望可以保留并且继续使用?
  • What new experiences might you be able to enable through a new design? What might be easier? Harder? or Better? Why?
  • 如果有新的设计,你会想要加入什么样的新体验?这些新的设计会在什么方面让体验变得更容易?更难?更好?为什么?


Examples from our Design Process - SmartBomb Labs

我们的设计过程示例 - 智慧炸弹实验室

SmartBomb Labs was a collaboration with Urban Arts Partnership bringing together middle and high school students and teachers designing solutions to challenges at the intersection of the arts and technology. See more here:

智慧炸弹实验室与Urban Arts Partnership 合作,将纽约的初中生,高中生和老师聚集在一起探讨艺术与科技融合中所遇到的挑战,并且针对挑战所共同设计解决方案。