Remixing songs by Aboriginal artists to learn to code

Quebec Anishinabe rapper Samian is supporting the Ta voix est puissante program, which aims to teach high school students computer science and coding through music.

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Quebec Anishinabe rapper Samian supports the program Your voice is powerful (TVEP), which aims to teach high school students about computer science and coding through music.

TVEP's mission is to teach the fundamentals of computer science, entrepreneurship and social justice. Using the free online code editor EarSketchThe program is designed to help high school and college students creatively remix songs by Aboriginal artists after they learn the basics of coding in an eight-module lesson plan. No previous experience is necessary, the creators of the program say.

These modules will allow students to learn not only the technical side of coding, but also how music, computer science, and entrepreneurship can be used to foster social justice. Each module includes a lesson plan, slides, student notes, and an exit ticket. In the various modules, participants will be challenged by different themes such as the layers of music (activism and equity), creating a sound bank, or the structure of a song or the messages you want to convey in a text.   

Meet Aboriginal artists

In addition to Samian from Quebec, Canadian Aboriginal artists Dakota Bear and Jayli Wolf are participating in the contest. The students will remix songs by these three First Nations artists based on the social justice themes present in their respective works. For Samian, the song Invincible people will be offered.

For the occasion, EarSketch will be offered in French, Ojibwe and Inuktitut. At the end of the training, participants will be encouraged to submit their remixes to a contest in which two winners will receive a 5,000 $ grant from Amazon Music.

Invisible people by Samian will be one of the three songs that will be remixed in the program and in the competition Your voice is powerfulwhich will end on May 31, 2022.
Photo credit: Francis Di Salvio

A proximity techno

For Samian, "the project is really well done". According to the Abitibi artist, "we always need a computer base". He even affirms that to miss out on the digital when you are at school is to miss out on the curriculum. What's more, for Samian, who is used to giving talks in schools, the TVEP program will also allow teachers to be part of the program.

For those who might not necessarily make the connection between rhythm, poetry and coding, Samian is there to reassure them. "I've learned a lot in 15 years. Technology is evolving so quickly. Plus, it allows the artist to better develop their products." He himself now has a studio at home. Techno is easier than you think," he says.

Samian, who has just released his fifth album entitled Nikamowho writes in Anishinabemowin, the language of his people, is curious to see what his remixed song will look like. He is also curious to see what the program will do for the youth who participate. He says it could open up a dialogue between youth and parents and address the issue of colonialism.

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About the Author

André Magny
For more than 30 years, André Magny has been going back and forth between journalism and teaching French to teenagers and adults alike. Freelance freelance writer for various media including Francopresse, he was also a cultural journalist at Law in Ottawa and in charge of new technologies at Soleil de Québec. He also did sports journalism in France. He has a weakness for the Francophonie, culture, sports, cuisine and politics.

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