Creation of the Video

This video was filmed on an IPhone X using slow motion which I thought would be suitable at the time, however since then I have realised I should have booked out a DSLR video camera for a higher quality image. As this video is only going to be used on social media, therefore mostly viewed on a mobile phone, I decided that the lower quality video would be acceptable for now and it would be something that I would take into consideration for future developments.

The recording of the video went quite smoothly as the actors were prepared with the right equipment and the sun was shining, which meant that the majority of the shots were well lit with natural light.

I did have to re-record the shot with the computer screens as the sun was shining directly on the screen, which was later on therefore only using artificial light and this did affect the overall feel of the video which was supposed to be bright and cheerful.

Post-production was mostly basic editing of transitions and colour correction, however I did add a blur mask on a couple of the shots to give the illusion of depth of field. I think this worked really well and helped improve the overall feel of the video.

At the end of the video, I included the animation that I had created of the logo.

For the voice over I wanted a voice that was calming and after posting on social media I eventually found a person suitable for the job. This voice over was done the same time as the audio recordings for the stories. Overall, I believe this voiceover gives meaning to the video and works really nicely with the shots it accompanies.

Audio Recording – Mp3 Story Files

I wanted to incorporate different stories within my site so after asking my family and friends on social media if anyone would be interested in sharing their stories I managed to get a few responses. I chose to record three of the stories, Gary’s story and Josh’s story, and my own story as I felt this would encourage others to share theirs. The final stories were written out by ourselves prior to the recording so when we went to the recording studio, it would be quicker and we wouldn’t waste any time. This was important as we already had limited time to use the recording studio.

When it came to recording the stories, we did around 3 or 4 takes per narrator and this enabled me to be able to edit it into a voice over that flows without any faults. As Gary and Josh were quite nervous, it did take quite a lot of work in post-production to get it up to a standard that I was happy with. As these are short clips on the site, it was important that the clips were fast paced yet easy to follow. I encouraged Gary and Josh to use informal language as if they were telling a story to a friend because I felt as though it was better suited to site. I was really happy with the final recordings.

In Josh and I’s stories, I included the original audio files of our songs at the end of the clip. I believe this works really well as it brings closure the story and ends it on a high.

After showing these recordings to family and friends and receiving good feedback, I am confident that these recordings are of high quality and are suitable for the site.

Literature Review – Music Therapy

The use of music as therapy has been around since the 1700’s. However, according to Duerksen (2014), it wasn’t until the 1940’s that ‘music therapy’ was considered a profession. People recognised the link between the two fields, yet they still didn’t consider the use of music therapy as a profession, to be essential.

Duerksen (2014) states that music ‘can be used to structure individual behavior, integrating cognitive, affective, and psychomotor functioning. It can also provide structure and pattern for the interaction, coordination, and integration of individuals in a group’ (Duerksen, 2014, p2). In his article, he argues that music has therapeutic uses and is a ‘highly adaptable art’ (Duerksen, 2014, p2) . In the 1940’s, music programs that focused on the application of music were brought into colleges and universities, which all had a strong focus on research, which led to research on music as therapy. Duerksen (2014) noted that by 1985 there were over 2000 registered music therapists, and the profession started to grow. by 1998, the profession had evolved and was heavily based on research.

Duerksen discusses how ‘music can communicate both nonverbally and verbally. The nonverbal communication can evoke and express feeling and affect for which there are no words. Setting words to music can express what individuals are hesitant to say, or cannot say, without the presence of music. Music is often interpreted as reflecting positive feelings such as goodwill, friendship, happiness, loyalty, and love’ (Duerksen, 2014, p2). It is difficult to understand why people wouldn’t label this therapy as essential, as it’s a therapy that many would benefit from.

Duerksen, G. 2014. Music Therapy. Oxford Music Online. [Online]. [Accessed 7 May 2019]. Available From:
https://0-www-oxfordmusiconline-com.wam.leeds.ac.uk/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-1002257019?print=pdf

Literature Review – Music Therapy

Music Therapy is often over looked and some believe it isn’t as essential therapy compared to others within the health industry, yet, the majority of people use music as a healing tool in their everyday life without even recognising. Ansdell (2010) discusses in his book, ‘How Music Helps in Music Therapy & Everyday Life’, how the relationship with music can change depending on experience, such as in one of his earlier examples, how it can be affected by health- related experiences. He discusses how some of the participants that he interviewed viewed music as the most important person in their life, as it acts like a friend or companion who is understanding and trustworthy.

The healing of music has been around for a long time, with Andell’s (2014) example dating back to 1804 where a mother lost her child and used Beethoven’s music as a way of expressing herself and letting loose with her emotions.

In Stige, B et al’s (2010) research, they explore how music can be used within a community as therapeutic purposes, such as participation and bringing people together, as well as being able to gain a sense of belonging within a group of people. Their study about Community Music Therapy (CMT) was conducted in the UK, Israel, South Africa and Norway, across eight different projects. The findings of the study show that music has helped people find their voice, in a literal and metaphorical sense, as well as helping people connect with others that they wouldn’t normally associate with.

When reading up on the project, I came across many reviews of this paper that had commented on the fact they all use personal stories yet there was no way of finding out more or being able to listen to them. This research has assured me that there is an audience for my project as people want to listen to other peoples stories.

References –
Ansdell, G. 2014. How music helps in Music Therapy & Everyday Life. United Kingdom: Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
Stige, B., Ansdell, G., Elefant, C. and Parlicevic, M. 2010. Where Music Helps: Community Music Therapy in Action and Reflection. Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series. pp.349.

User Observation – Website

During the final testing and evaluation period, I carried out some user testing to check the usability, accessibility and general aesthetics of the site. The user testing was carried out with 10 individuals with ages ranging from 13 to 74, however they are all web users so know the basic functionality of the web.

This process involved observing the participants whilst they were on the site and they were asked to think out loud so I could understand the thought process better. This task generally went well and they all agreed that the web site was self-explanatory with clear headings and the ability to return to the home screen using the logo. I was satisfied that the site is user-friendly.

The next stage of the process involved asking the participants questions about the website. Here is the list of questions in full –
1. What is your opinion on the colours?
2. What is rMusic?
3. What does rMusic do?
4. What functions would you add to the site, if any?
5. Does the website make you want to read more?
6. How clear is the information on the site?
7. Would you return to the site?

When the participants were asked about the colour palette used on the site, I received comments such as ‘Modern’, Up-to-date’ and ‘Appropriate for the style of the website’. One participant did mention that it might be a good idea to change the images on each page to make the pages more individualized, however the colour overlay brings unity to the site.

When asked ‘What is rMusic?’, the participants didn’t know how to answer which leads to believe that my site needs a mission statement that is clear and obvious on the home page so people know exactly what rMusic is about. I received answers such as ‘A charity?’ and ‘A Music Therapy site’. This is something that I will adjust on the website.

When asked ‘What does rMusic do?’, the participants again didn’t know how to respond but the answers were a bit more accurate with comments such as ‘a website for people’s stories about music’ and ‘a site that helps with mental health’. This is something I will improve on when writing the mission statement.

Question 4 was ‘What functions would you add to the site, if any?’, and only one responded with a few features such as ‘Add a short sentence on the home page about what rMusic is’, which is something that I am looking into anyway. Another feature was a dropdown menu or search bar, which is something that I will be looking into once there are more stories however I personally do not think there is a need for a dropdown menu or search bar when there are only a few stories to look at.

When asking the participants ‘Does this website make you want to read more?’, I received mostly positive comments such as ‘Yes it makes me want to follow social media pages to keep up to date’ and ‘The short abstracts make you want to keep reading the stories’, however, one did say that Music Therapy isn’t their thing so they wouldn’t like to read more.

The participants all agreed that the information within the site was clear, as it used ‘informal language’ and had ‘readable text’, therefore it was ‘easy to read’.

The last question was ‘Would you return to the site?’ and the participants answered with 70% (7 out of 10) saying yes and 30% (3 out of 10) saying no as there was no reason to use the site however they would recommend to someone who might be interested in music therapy.

Overall, I think the user testing was useful and the main points to improve on would be to 1. Include a mission statement, 2. Change the images within the site to add variation and 3. Change the block texts to short statements so users can skim read and still understand.

Evaluation – Idea Changing

After completing a Udemy course and watching numerous YouTube videos to try and teach myself xcode and swift language, it became a worry that choosing to create an application was above my technical abilities and would affect the final project as I couldn’t implement the main features. After organising a supervisor meeting and discussing the potential options, I have decided that a website and social media focused project would be better suited to my skills as I can use my design knowledge, as well as audio recording and video production. Instead of coding an application from scratch, I will be using the html coding and inserting it as a web view into xcode. I am confident that a website based platform will be just as beneficial to the target audience.

Work in Progress: Feedback & Evaluation

As part of my digital media project module we had to do 3 presentations. One of the presentations was a ‘work in progress’ presentation which was an informal evaluation carried out by class peers and the lecturers involved in the module. The aim of this was to see if we were on track according to our Gantt Chart that we made at the beginning of the project and to evaluate the work that has already been done.

For this presentation I was just coming into the production stage after having completed the pre-production and early research stages. This meant that I had just started the website and the application coding, however had a prototype of the application and completed all of the design aspects including a gif to possibly use in the promotional video for the product.

The feedback I received was mostly positive across the four categories; progress, visual/ aural treatment, technical issues and product realisation. I received 65% on average from my peers and 65% as the actual awarded grade for the presentation overall. Some of the positive comments I received were ‘good strong brand identity’, ‘professional layout with good colour and font choices’. The critical comments focused on the technicality which was expected since I had just started the production. I had some feedback on the website and application which stated the logo and website header was confusing as it reads ‘rr music’ which is something I will look into. Overall the presentation was very helpful and has given me some pointers to work towards and fix along the way.

Storyboard – Advert Design Process

As part of the project, I decided an advert in the form of a video would be a useful way of capturing the audience’s attention as it can be distributed on all social media platforms, such as a YouTube advert, Facebook sponsored post and Instagram sponsored post.

The main aim of the advert is to get the audience to think about the different ways they interact with music in day-to-day life, for example whilst exercising or using a turntable to play records. The voice over which reads ‘No matter who you are, where you’re from or how you enjoy music. There’s a community waiting for you, here at rMusic’. This is to show that rMusic is for everyone and not just musicians, although it is likely that the majority of audiences will be interesting in playing music as shown in my previous research.

The video will be fast-paced with various different angles and frames to keep the audience interested. The animation of the logo at the end represents the fun and modernity of rMusic.

The colours within the advert will be bright and natural light will be used to represent a fresh start. The clip of the person running at the end will represent freedom and happiness.

I have created a storyboard so I have a vision on paper of what I would like my final product to look like. This will help with time management as I will be working with volunteers therefore I would like to be as quick as possible. I have planned my shots so I know which equipment I will need (tripod, wide lens etc), as well as props such as headphones, instruments and the turntable. Stating which shots are indoors and outdoors has helped me plan the shooting day as I will be travelling to different locations throughout the day and it will be a tight schedule.

I have distributed the storyboard to the volunteers who have kindly agreed to be part of the video so hopefully in a week’s time, which is the agreed shooting date (20th April 19), they will know their role and be prepared.

Second Meeting with Dove House Hospice

On the 17th January, I had my second meeting with Dove House Hospice with another one of their Music Therapists called Patrick. Patrick did Computer Science and Music at University so he was a bit more up to date with the technology side of things. He was really interested in the project and gave some helpful tips and advice on the user journey of the application. We discussed ways that may make a user use the application after the user is introduced to music therapy and potentially progresses onto face-to-face sessions. This is where we thought of the mood tracker through the use of colours. We did think about musical notes being a tracker with sharp and flat notes being the indicators, however, we thought this may be a bit too technical and may put people off if they do not understand music score. Patrick said that the most challenging part of Music Therapy was getting people on board with the idea that it could be just as beneficial, if not more than, another type of therapy. This is where I thought of the idea of using rMusic as the journey from the first interaction with the patient to the actual face to face session. Perhaps using a leaflet with a QR code that people, like Patrick, could give out to patients and their families to introduce them to Music Therapy but in their own time. Especially as Hospices can be quite overwhelming by themselves, without the bombarding of information. rMusic could introduce them in a subtle way and encourage them to take the next steps into therapy.

First Meeting with Dove House Hospice

On the 9th January I went to Dove House Hospice, the external partner to my project, to go visit one of their Music Therapist’s called Briony Ming. During this meeting we discussed the demographics of Dove House Hospice’s clients. Briony mentioned that it is mostly younger people from 10-18 years old and older people who are either in the hospice with a lifelong illness or older people who have just lost a loved one. This is where we discussed possible ways to attract the middle age group and perhaps creating an introductory application that the music therapists can recommend to people to try out and to introduce them to music therapy.

Briony and I discussed various ways people use Music Therapy and how the sessions differ depending on the person. One of the ways that intrigued me was the option of the client’s story to be recorded and made into a DVD with a slideshow of their images. After the meeting I tried to think how this process could be mirrored into the application and this is where I thought of the idea of having the feature ‘Stories’ where users can listen to other people’s stories that relate to music and hopefully become inspired or help them think about their own stories as a result of this. I think a key part of Music Therapy is learning about your own identity through the use of music and I thought this could be a unique way for people to share their thoughts and experiences.