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Innovative spaces at UWCSEA: East Campus Music Recording Studio

Courtney Carlson, Former Senior Communications Manager and Mark Bradshaw, Former Head of Music, East Campus

When it comes to music making at UWCSEA, students have access to not only outstanding teachers, instruments, and performance spaces, they also have the opportunity to utilise industry-standard recording studio facilities, software, and equipment. The recording studio at East Campus is a central feature of the Music programme. It is well-used, accessible, messy, and fully connected to music learning, practice and performance. Whether using one of the ‘live’ rooms to practice with a band or ensemble, or to write and record original compositions, Music students benefit from having access to professional recording facilities.

The studio runs industry-standard professional recording hardware and software, including a TASCAM 32-channel mixer, Logic Pro X, a Moog synthesiser, a Komplete Kontrol keyboard, amplifiers, and a variety of microphones for different jobs (e.g., vocal, instrumental) and sound quality requirements. The two adjoining 'live' rooms as well as the 15 Instrumental Teaching Programme practice rooms are all connected to the recording studio.

UWCSEA Innovative Spaces - East Campus Music Recording Studio

UWCSEA Innovative Spaces - East Campus Music Recording Studio

1. Access supports collaboration

High School Music students are able to learn how to use the recording studio equipment and how best to utilise it for various purposes (e.g., recording, mixing, mastering). IB students in particular benefit from regular access, which encourages creative and generative collaboration among students. They also benefit from a very high standard of recording for their compositions and assessments. Younger students are also able to take advantage of the studio space; Grade 5 students write an original song each year for their Exhibition, which is recorded and produced in the studio. During school holidays, professional songwriters and producers from Songwork International have also offered courses and recording opportunities to students.

2. Stronger partnerships

The recording studio has also supported our work with NGO partners such as Epic Arts and Cambodian Living Arts. When the groups have visited campus to work with students, they have also been able to work in the studio to produce high quality music recordings, which they may not otherwise be able to achieve. Students benefit from the experience and exposure of working with these organisations to produce recordings that will support their long-term organisational development and goals.

3. ‘Live’ rooms

The two ‘live’ rooms on either side of the recording studio are fully sound-proofed. A permanent set of instruments is available in each room along with amplifiers, speakers, microphones, a PA for vocals, and a back line. Instrument-isolating shields (around the drum set, for example) provide sound isolation which enhances the recording sound quality. These flexible, multi-use spaces can be used as stand-alone rehearsal space as well to record while composing or performing.

4. The man behind the board

At the helm of the recording studio is Ashfie Ahmad, the recording and live sound technical officer. Ash is a fully-involved member of the Music Department staff, supporting Music lessons, Activities and Service. His professional skill, flexibility, and commitment to putting student learning first have all contributed to the full utilisation of the recording studio across the Music programme.

  • East Campus
  • School Infrastructure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Technology