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Music plays a big part in culture and entertainment everywhere in the world and Cambodia is no exception. Music is one of the most easily accessible and consumable pieces of art. More and more, talented young Khmer artists are beginning to emerge from the shadows and are setting new records every single day. With a dream and a burning passion to start their creative career, they are striving for more. Cambodians, much like everyone else in the world, consume their music via digital streaming platforms. Whether it’s Youtube, Spotify, or local streaming platforms, everyone is using digital platforms every single day. Artists already know how to make great quality music and visuals but the problem lies in how well they can actually reach a new audience pool and distribute their work successfully and safely.

In this digital age, everyone is trying to stand out from the crowd so just being a great artist is just one of the steps to success. Newcomers or experienced artists need to know how to work around those platforms and how to distribute and monetise their work.

In partnership with DAI through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Digital Asia Accelerator program, The Sound Initiative has launched a new digital skills programme for artists and producers - “MUSIC 4.0” or “តន្ត្រី 4.0“! The Music 4.0 programme is a fully localised training programme delivered in Khmer and designed for e-learning, in a format that is suitable for both mobile phones and desktop browsers, to strengthen access to cultural educational tools. This course is for artists and producers who already know how to make good music, but need help to increase the quality and success of their musical products. It focuses on building digital skills like advanced mixing, mastering, branding, marketing, distribution, business, and communication.

Our first Masterclass with Both Bou, Expert in Brand Identity and Brand Strategy

We are currently running Music 4.0 as an offline course and online course simultaneously for our students using an online learning platform (which is the whole purpose of the programme!). This online platform allows students to be more involved with the lesson even if they cannot be present in the same room. By using it, they are getting more comfortable with this new way of learning and it encourages them to be as authentic as possible in the digital realm. It is not just our students who can benefit from this online learning platform. After it is publicly released, anyone can enroll in the programme with just a device that has an internet connection! With our current students' feedback and contribution to the curriculum, we can maximize the potential educational impact of the course and design the most effective way to teach our potential students entirely online.

The course officially started in early February with 6 students enrolled under the guidance of Euan Gray, our Music Director who is in charge of the development of the course and curriculum delivery. Teaching alongside Euan, our Creative Coordinator, Chive Chheng Heang and our Technical Trainer, Kouch Chanshela have also been directly contributing their knowledge and experience in the music industry as they are both an artist and producer respectively.

The Sound Initiative’s Music Team- Chive Chheng Heang, Euan Gray and Kouch Chanshela.

Music 4.0 Students and our music assistant , Ting Tong, Sai, Heang, Mora, KC, Mengy, and Ravuth

The course originally started as an in-person class and was held in The Sound Initiative’s studio but later progressed to online lessons. Despite the circumstances with COVID-19 restricting classes in person, we still push through and aim to continue lessons online.

Music 4.0 Team Activity at The Sound Initiative’s Studio

Online learning session

Online learning session

The digital era is here and now more than ever, everyone can have access to learning and creating through digital platforms. We want to educate artists and producers, for them to use the tools that they already have but are not aware of, to their advantage. We expect to bring Music 4.0 as a course made available to anyone with an internet connection.

Music 4.0 will be made available to everyone later this year, and you will have access to video tutorials, masterclass videos with celebrity and experts, downloadable tools, quizzes and so much more. Follow our social media here to be notified when the course launches!

តន្ត្រី 4.0 is funded through USAID’s Digital Asia Accelerator initiative, a partnership between USAID Asia and USAID Cambodia run by DAI Global. Learn more about them here. For more information about this course and any other future programme from The Sound Initiative, please reach out to us on our social media and consider signing up for our newsletter.

Written By: Irene Hang

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