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Mats Nermark

Studio One Inspires a National Education Initiative in Sweden

In the course of a career, a teacher influences hundreds of students through direct instruction to students as well as via the dissemination of ideas through students and colleagues. By combining the influence of passionate educators with the extended reach of music education technology, Mats Nermark, along with colleague Erik Hamresand, demonstrates how quickly educators can reach thousands of students.

Nermark is an inspiring educator with experience in almost every area of music education and the music industry, including teaching, sales, marketing, product management, product development, education consulting, marketing consulting, and administration. Currently a Development Manager at the Department for Upper Secondary and Adult Education in Kungsbacka, Sweden, he took advantage of an opportunity to lead professional development for music-education technology, using PreSonus® Studio One®, and is rapidly developing it into a national education initiative.

In May 2012, the Department for Preschool and Compulsory Education (ages 6-16) and the Department for Upper Secondary and Adult Education (ages 17+) hosted a collaborative professional development session for music educators. There, Nermark and Hamresand hosted three sessions for music educators: “How to Use Studio One Digital Audio Workstation Software,” “How to Record a Live Ensemble in the Music Classroom with Studio One,” and “How to Use Studio One to Make a Composition in Preparation for a Lesson.” Session participants received a copy of Studio One Professional 2 and were introduced to the capabilities of Studio One Free for their students.

Educators in attendance were encouraged to use this information in their programs and to explore the possibility of redefining pedagogical methods using Studio One Free for entire schools with one-to-one laptop initiatives. This could make music creation a possibility for approximately 7,000 students in compulsory and upper secondary schools.

Having every student use Studio One Free is a key component to this strategy. “One of the more important long-term purposes of the project is to make students aware of music as a source of joy in life,” says Nermark. “So if we plant a music seed in their souls now, it would be a good thing if they had an opportunity to pursue this budding interest not only at school but also in the evenings and even after having finished school for the rest of their lives.”

Since this event, several teachers have incorporated Studio One into their music education classes, even teachers in lower grades who heard about the software from colleagues that attended the session. Having all students use Studio One, often with PreSonus interfaces, enables easy collaboration on projects. Nermark emphasizes that the use of PreSonus software for music education is a “way toward international collaboration, crossing both geographical and cultural borders, while encouraging and developing cooperation between interested parties.”

The success of this event has created many opportunities for Nermark and Hamresand to inspire others regarding music-education technology in Sweden, including a full-day professional development session in April 2013; sessions on Studio One for both returning and new participants; invitations to present at national professional-development conferences; and inclusion in the design and implementation of a studio production house for students where Studio One will be used for recording. It also led to an opportunity to create a curriculum for teaching music and audio production to at-risk students, seeking to lower dropout rates by providing a meaningful course and a creative outlet that capitalizes on students’ love of music.

Inspired by the national initiatives regarding entrepreneurial learning, Nermark and Hamresand decided to gather all their ideas under the project name Entrepreneurial Skills through Music Education (ESME). This project is also tied to the European Union’s initiative on digital literacy as a key competency for EU citizens. “Our primary goal is music education,” notes Nermark, “but through that, the students will gain a lot of entrepreneurial skills along the way without even realizing it.”

Mats Nermark and Erik Hamresand are demonstrating the influence of passionate educators to help bring about technology integration in schools. For more information on how your school system can benefit from music-education technology using Studio One, please contact musiceducation@presonus.com.