Overview of all courses

Digital Musician

Study Levels: Postgraduate
Faculty: Dr. Tania Lisboa (course leader) in conjunction with other relevant specialist tutors
Royal College of Music

Dr. Tania Lisboa introduces the course

Digital Musician


There is urgent demand with the current world scenario for advanced digital skills in all areas of knowledge. The same applies to music. This postgraduate module will focus on skills needed by musicians working in the digital age. The course content will explore a range of technology currently available, give an overview of practical applications in music, and discuss research in the field. Furthermore, it will explore the processes involved in dealing with technology and support students in learning how to achieve the desired digital product. Such skills will enhance student employability and career development in the post-pandemic environment.


By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand the impact of technology on teaching, performing, composing, and researching in the digital age.
  • Learn how to improve audio and video quality in digital content creation as well as how to reach out to online audiences.
  • Discuss music possibilities of a variety of technologies in their main area of study (i.e., performance, composition, teaching).

This will contribute to acquiring the relevant skills and resourcefulness to make successful careers as professional musicians and educators in the digital age. In sum, students will realise the potential of relevant technologies and digital opportunities in their careers.


Assessment Type: 15 minutes spoken presentation reporting on observations of three practitioners working on a chosen and approved topic within the module aims and objectives.

RCM students will have a second assessment as follows (open to Global Conservatoire students as a choice): a professional performance, masterclass, lecture, lesson, composition, or research project, to be agreed with the module leader and delivered through digital platforms, followed by a 10 minutes viva account describing the process and product of the project.


The course will be taught in a hybrid mode in the Spring term and be comprised of 8 units of approximately 90 minutes duration of study. Students will be required to work independently using multimedia resources created for the course in the form of recordings, reading materials, quizzes, etc. Students will also be expected to contribute to discussion groups in the online platform. There will be three points of synchronous contact: at the beginning, middle, and end of the course. Tutorials will be delivered synchronously online and booked accordingly.

Students will be expected to work independently to select practitioners in the field and to make contacts for the observations assessment.


1. The technology and the creation of digital content I (introductory session; synchronous).

Overview of technology, exploring best platforms, dealing with optimum audio and video set-up; creating digital content.

2. The technology and the creation of digital content II

Best practices on livestreaming and online video content; online communication, disseminating content, and reaching audiences.

3. The professional Musician in the Digital Age I: Teaching and Learning

Discussing available technologies for synchronous teaching and learning; adaptations to teaching (lesson planning, set-up, delivery, assessments)

4. The professional Musician in the Digital Age II: Rehearsing and Performing

Discussing available technologies for rehearsing and performing online; working with latency; communication and interaction in synchronous online rehearsal and performance; adaptations to rehearsal strategies; innovative approaches to creativity in performance.

5. The professional Musician in the Digital Age III: Composing

Discussing technologies available for composition; the creation processes; working with latency.

6. The professional Musician in the Digital Age IV: Researching

Acquiring knowledge of up-to-date research on music and technology to identify trends and new directions, and to foster innovation in the digital age.

7. Audiences in Digital Age workshop

Audience decision-making (what is involved in engagement with online audiences – YouTube, Spotify, etc.); online auditioning and interviewing, professional simulation (i.e., benefits of performance simulation). Monetizing content. Introduction to Rights and Intellectual Property.

8. Innovation in Digital Age concluding workshop (synchronous)

Exploring Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, Artificial Intelligence and reflection on applications to the music industry and profession. Closing reflection on emerging technologies and ‘2040 scenario’ exercise.


All synchronous sessions will be recorded and made available to all students in the course. Students will also have access to weekly multimedia materials including videos, assigned readings, discussions, and other online materials for peer learning. Written and verbal feedback will be provided throughout the course.

Three synchronous sessions will be arranged so that students can meet in break-out rooms to discuss experiences and concepts of the topics studied. This will allow for building stronger virtual interactions internationally.

Students will be able to sign up for individual and group synchronous tutorials with the teaching staff. Peer learning will be fostered through varied and inclusive materials that provide opportunities for students to discuss their own experiences and musical aspirations.


The delivery will involve tutors in specialist areas. Moderation of assessments and tutorials may be shared amongst the RCM and other GC tutors.